Phoney by Wasp – telephony?
Posted by shirleycurran on 16 October 2009
‘Phony?’, I said, ‘I bet one of those eight-letter words is telegram’. But of course, I had forgotten that when this lovely quick solve was almost all in place and we had VIEWS, GENIC, POINT, VI?OR, SC??E, TY?ES, PATHS and CA?TS to tie together with a common link. However, for us, that was the last stage.
Our grid, all prepared for solving with the five and eight-letter words highlighted, looked rather like a little piece of tartan (some naff and daffy modern clan) and the junior 8X8 team was away like the hound that spotted the hare, solving almost as fast as we could read the clues. Wonderful Wasp! – We needed a break like this after last week’s bell-ringing. The eight-letter code words were simply fun compared with some of the Listener hoops we have been jumping through since we did our first tentative solve almost a year ago.
There were some unusual words there, though. We know all about PECCAVIS, UNTRUSTY UNGOTTEN things, UNREPAIR and USERNAMEs, and the ARCHDUKE gave us no trouble, but Wasp must have trawled his Chambers to find THEREOUT and ABIDANCE. It was the helpful way these clues intersected that made ‘Phoney’ such a rewarding fill – certainly the one I would recommend, so far, for the terrified newcomer hovering on the Listener fringes.
We kept a careful check of those extra digits (the correct ones) and produced another eight-letter code (78784767) Is this a misunderstanding of the preamble on our part ? It says ‘The eight correct digits can be arranged to encode a word associated with an element of the puzzle. Well, yes they can, but so can the extra letters. SPURIOUS leapt out at us immediately, because of the four letters from the 7 group, but then we saw that the corrected letters themselves spelled SPURIOUS. So what? It is perfectly normal for the Junior 8X8 team to take the steep and thorny way. Of course, Bradford suggested SPURIOUS as another word for PHONEY – Nice!
We learned that INCUDES is the plural of INCUS and we were almost there EARLY ON FRIDAY EVENING! Oh yes, there was the usual red herring or two. We had to link those eight rather disparate five-letter words. First of all, they seemed to all appear in a genetic, biological or communications context when we simply fed them into Google. Too vague. They seemed to pair up VIEWS/POINT, TYPES/CASTS but VISOR/GENIC? We began to fiddle with numbers. When encoded, did they all add up to the same number? (Another idea for some demented setter?) Fortunately our wise friend suggested attaching a common prefix – back to where I started!
Thank you Wasp! We loved this neat, polished little puzzle. If only the Listener would give newcomers more of this level of difficulty and tempt people to have a go at the holy of holies.