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Listener 4112: Girl by Xanthippe

Posted by erwinch on 3 December 2010

This was Xanthippe’s fifth Listener and second this year.  The previous two were rather quirky with themes on predictive texting and solitaire so we were hoping for something similar this time.
 
The clues were on the straightforward side and extra words carried two messages:
 
Fold over two dashed lines – cut along thick lines
 
Formerly a two hundred and fortieth of one pound
 
The answer to the second, a penny, immediately suggested the theme and we could see DROP and ENNY in the middle of the completed grid.  The preamble said that hints were supplied and folding along the dashed bars, first back and then in, displayed the two quarters of the grid with TOPSIDE (1dn) on one and LOWEST (8dn) on the other.  The letters to be extracted were readily found: MO, AP, DROP, ENNY, ME and NT giving the required phrase: A Penny Drop Moment.  I did wonder if the instructions were to be taken literally.  The grid could be folded and cut and the 16 letters extracted mentally with little difficulty but this would have left the letters remaining in place.  After the solution to Overhead Reduction by Schadenfreude was published in June last year it was rumoured that entrants who had not physically used scissors, adhesive, etc would be marked wrong.  This turned out to be a false rumour but it might have shocked entrants enough for them to take things more literally in future, as we may see.  This would have been my entry had I made one, except that I have replaced the extracted letters:
 
 
So, did the puzzle live up to its theme?  Although not in Chambers, PDM’s have turned up before with Samuel’s splendid contraption dropping pennies in Playtime last year although this didn’t necessarily predate Xanthippe’s submission.  However, there was one PDM of note for me and that was realising that the numbers 1 and 2 in the grid indicated the first and second fold.  To sum up, this was an entertaining and memorable puzzle – thank you Xanthippe.
 
Newcomers should note that a setter taking the name of Socrate’s wife as a pseudonym might be expected to be female – well he isn’t.
 
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2 Responses to “Listener 4112: Girl by Xanthippe”

  1. Erwin,

    I hadn’t heard the rumour about last year’s Schadenfreude and the use of scissors and tape. I’d like to know who spread it. Personally though that’s what I did then, and that’s what I did here! My comment above that solutions not showing such treatment should be marked wrong was, of course, made for effect … perhaps!

    Dave.

  2. erwinch said

    Yes, the rumour came from Derek Harrison on the CC Message Board, after the solution to Overhead Reduction had been published. I can’t find it in the MB archive but there are no records for 14th June 2009 so it may have been deleted.

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