Listen With Others

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin

Listener 4055: fiDlEDE by Waterloo

Posted by erwinch on 30 October 2009

Or rather: fiDlEDE by Waterloo
Just a short comment to note the rare use of lower-case letters in the grid – a once in a decade occurrence?  I thought that it made for an attractive picture:
4055 Solution
However, this was not a favourite type of Listener.  It was one of an occasional series that had no real theme other than the method of entry and, since we were told in the preamble what this was, solving proved to be rather mechanical.  I might have preferred it had we been required to work out the method ourselves, possibly with a preamble beginning along these lines:
In order to fit each entry into the grid, certain strings from two to ten letters long must be thematically treated and entered in upper-case – some entries have more than one such string.  Normal letters must be entered in lower-case, using a different colour to help distinguish o/O, etc.
The title gave us an easily deciphered example: fi D/D l E-D/E-D E/E but perhaps test solvers had found it too difficult this way.  Upon finding simOn in the grid at 10dn, I did briefly consider that all entries were to be real words but concede that this would be asking far too much from Waterloo.

3 Responses to “Listener 4055: fiDlEDE by Waterloo”

  1. shirley curran said

    Have pity on the newcomers Erwinch! This spelling out of what we had to do was just what we needed! (Though I can see that it removes the complexity of deciphering ten lines of preamble that you experts seem to cope with).

  2. Auctor said

    “Just a short comment to note the rare use of lower-case letters in the grid – a once in a decade occurrence? ”


    My WRONG was almost precisely 6 years ago, 1.11.03


  3. erwinch said

    Yes, thank you for reminding me of WRONG, Paul – one of the cleverest Listener titles of all time in my opinion.  I stand to be corrected, but that was possibly the only completed grid to use exclusively lower-case, at least in the Times era.  Since then we have had The Crooked Man by Jago (3919, March 2007) where the grid was ‘elementary’ so used a mixture of upper and lower-case.  When I first saw the chemical elements used to form words, many years ago, I thought the device totally stunning but now find it totally hackneyed (similarly grid entries using knight’s moves).  However, I would not want to deny newcomers the delight of experiencing these things for the first time.  Anyway, perhaps saying that lower-case appears once every three years or so would be more accurate.

    As for Shirley’s comment above; the greatest pleasure that I get from these puzzles is from the penny drop moment not from difficulty although that might come second.  The best pdm’s for me come when cracking the theme but fiDlEDE was not therefore devoid of them.  I certainly had one when solving 3ac (rEMber) having spent an inordinate amount of time looking for words beginning re-e…  Temporarily, I had managed to forget the workings of the scheme of entry.  However, to destroy my argument, my favourite Listener of 2009 to date has been Pentomino Factory, which contained no pdm’s and was not difficult.

    Incidentally, seekers of the ultimate pdm should avoid those selfish posters at Answerbank at all costs – they only debase everything that they touch.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: