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Listener 4071 – Oi, Galileo!

Posted by erwinch on 19 February 2010

Franc, with this his fifteenth Listener since 1994, is one of our more prolific setters but it is somewhat surprising to see from Dave’s Database that he has yet to set for any other principal series.  His first was slightly marred by printing mistakes (missing bar, incorrect grid length) but my overall impression is of straightforward fun puzzles.  His previous Listener was entitled Three Rings so are we perhaps seeing a series evolve here?  Five DotsSeven DashesNine …  The most memorable for me was *** (Letters from America) and I see that former LWO blogger, Duncan Horne, won the prize for that one.
Having a box beneath the grid to complete a Listener seems to have become rather commonplace of late.  This is the third this year and we are not yet out of January.  I counted a total of nine in 2009 while 1999 had none as such although several puzzles required entries to be made beneath the grid.  Of the Listeners that I have attempted, Jeffec’s Stocktaking was the earliest example found (No.1988, 1968) – AUTOLYCUS was to be entered in the box.  I cannot see that their appearance indicates any dramatic change in puzzles rather than just to tidy them up and perhaps they are not always needed.  I agree with Andy Stewart that Dog and Bone the other week was superfluous since you were repeating yourself if you thought that you were drawing the outline of a bone above and in the end it didn’t matter if you thought it was a phone (as it surely should have been).  I considered this another box that may have been better left out since how could anyone possibly have solved the puzzle without knowing what the dots represented? Also, there was not a great deal of room to list everything.
I might have preferred an enigmatic addition to the preamble, such as:
Solvers should attempt to get things in proportion although precision is not required.
Anyway, this is what I have tried to do with my solution:
I have listed them in order of decreasing diameter but, with Jupiter over twenty-seven times the diameter of the largest, Ganymede, you would be hard pressed to distinguish the moons.  This is how Galileo drew them and as I first saw them myself back in the sixties, which suggests that the moons’ surfaces are more reflective than Jupiter’s:
I suppose that it has been noted by others but I thought it very clever of Franc to have revealed that apt connection between Io and Galileo’s full name.  It was pleasing to see from Chambers that the distances of the moons from Jupiter in the grid were in the correct order – I wonder how often this ties in with the apparent distances when viewed from Earth?
I could not find any pictures of Earth viewed from Jupiter but if you had a really good telescope then it might resemble this magnified view from Mars:
The ratio of the diameters is just 3.7 to 1 and I have heard it suggested that we might be considered a double planet even though the Moon is the satellite. 
The Crossword Database gave just the one return when searching for Jupiter  so this may be a first as regards theme.  However, resolving clashes in cells in this way was strongly in vogue ten years ago when we saw London Underground stations, place names on the San Andreas Fault (Franc Spots the Join no less) and US Presidents appear, among others – hugely exciting at first, it soon became a hackneyed device but worth resurrecting now and again, especially to entertain newcomers.
First then last letters of extra words gave us:
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
There was no sign of this in the ODQ (2nd or 5th ed) or Chambers DQ (1996) so possibly an invention but it was readily found on the Net, attributed to Galileo.
As for the crossword part, this was largely straightforward although the wordplay to two all-checked entries eluded me at the time but are explained below:
23ac Ratify losing part of [Ogilvie] clan (4) seal – SE(PT)AL
49dn [Saline] pool found in limestone block (3) lin – (C)LIN(T) (I had thought of plinth)
So, to sum up, an entertaining and thought-provoking puzzle – thank you Franc.

One Response to “Listener 4071 – Oi, Galileo!”

  1. There was no sign of this in the ODQ

    Indeed not. I think this is a promising sign: the preference that thematic material “can be confirmed using commonly available reference books” (to quote the submission guidelines) must be a bit of a drag on setters, and it’s nice to see that it isn’t a strict requirement.

    so possibly an invention

    It’s from Galileo’s 1615 letter to Christina of Tuscany. I’m not sure whose translation it is: Stillman Drake’s translation has the subtly different “I do not feel obliged to believe that that same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended to forgo their use” (“senses” for “sense”, and the second “us” omitted).

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