Listen With Others

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4068: Xanthippe’s 364 263 (or Knick-knack, paddy whack …)

Posted by Dave Hennings on 29 January 2010

Rule number one with a Listener is: “Read the preamble, and then read it again”! You can then start the puzzle, but only after you’ve read the preamble for a third time!

I spent about an hour steadily solving the clues, marking the various possibilities for letters dropped from the acrosses and downs. I then read the preamble again: “All grid entries are real words”! D’oh! This made the puzzle so much easier and I finished the grid in another 15 minutes, to reveal MOBILE PHONE in the row at the bottom of the grid, and PREDICTIVE TEXT in the column to the left and the penultimate across entry. And thankfully no need to mark in the bars, just a long string of numbers to decode. Mobile phone to hand, and the instruction was decoded as: “Join centres of consecutive numbered cells with curves and complete the shape using straight lines. A three-word slang phrase must be written beneath the grid.”

The picture was obviously meant to resemble a mobile phone … wasn’t it? Luckily it wasn’t long before I looked at the title for the third time, which decodes to “Dog and”, giving the phrase to be entered under the grid as DOG AND BONE, and a simple picture of a bone to be drawn in the diagram. Commiserations to any non-British solvers who had problems with ‘Dog and Bone’, Cockney rhyming slang for ‘telephone’. They would likewise probably have wondered about Next being a UK retailer! Of course, any Americans out there are also probably perplexed by ‘mobile’, as opposed to ‘cell’ (how unromantic). Apparently the Germans call it a ‘handy’.

My final task was to sort out the clue Prop primarily supporting one edge of hide? I have a rule now that I don’t send an entry in until the wordplays in all clues have been fully resolved; I put GASPS a couple of years back when it should have been GASPY. The answer here was obviously SHORE, and primarily supporting was almost certainly the S. It must have taken half a dozen visits to the clue before I saw that one end of hide was ‘h or e‘!

A good puzzle from Xanthippe whom I’ve just about forgiven for somehow tripping me up in week 3 of 2008 with the Solitaire puzzle … week THREE! This was a nice simple theme with lots of little strands coming together neatly at the end.


One Response to “4068: Xanthippe’s 364 263 (or Knick-knack, paddy whack …)”

  1. Dale Johannesen said

    This American did indeed have to google for “dog and bone” and Next, but “mobile phone” is known here. This sort of thing is part of the game; I’m not complaining. Cody, Wyoming and Hank Aaron can’t have been easy for the British contingent.

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