Listen With Others

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Listener 4149: Toga by Nod

Posted by erwinch on 26 August 2011

Back in May we had the apparently new Listener setter Nudd (Cross-reference) and now we have Nod, another new setter or is this Duck going retro?  I shall look out for Nadd, Ned, Nidd and Nyd to complete the set.  Nadd Ned Nidd Nod Nudd Nyd sounds vaguely familiar to me.
 
I found the clues in Toga to be fairly accessible but there were two that I did not fully understand:
 
27ac Egyptian Muslim offshoot possesses enthralling soul (5) Hamas + E – AM[E] in HAS  The wordplay is clear enough but I needed to confirm the definition and this was readily done via Google and Wikipedia.  But how would those without the Internet fare?  I could have visited the local library but happen to have the 2002 Encyclopædia Britannica on DVD where it states that Hamas was an offshoot of the pan-Arab Muslim Brotherhood.  In the current online Britannica this has been changed to the pan-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood.  I would conclude that Egyptian members of the Muslim Brotherhood were instrumental in the foundation of Hamas.
 
12dn Traction engine getting old replaced by current, stupid engineer (10) Trevithick + R – I for O in TREVO[R] + THICK  Is there a traction engine called Trevor?  Indeed there is and I probably met him some fifty years ago in the pages of the Reverend Awdry’s Thomas the Tank Engine books – it was a pleasure to be reacquainted.
 
Solving all the clues gave us the grid as follows:
 
 
 
And the extra letters gave the advice:
 
Shift first letters of the clues for more advice.
 
Shifting FUVSG … by thirteen letters found this additional advice:
 
Shift a row by thirteen then highlight in purple.
 
Here is the entire grid shifted by 13:
 
 
 
Only Row six makes any sense and even then it does not jump out at one but this gives us the solution:
 
 
 
It does not appear in Chambers but the Caesar cipher is very well known and is probably the easiest of codes to crack.  Nevertheless, it does have a current use on the Internet with ROT13 being used to conceal spoilers etc although I have never seen it.  One notable shift is the one-letter HAL to IBM, with reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey, although we are told that this was nothing more than a pure coincidence.  As a possible explanation of the title I offer that, in the clothing sense, a toga could be considered to be a shift – a Roman shift of four letters perhaps.
 
To conclude, this was a straightforward but entertaining debut.  I certainly enjoyed the research it inspired so thank you Nod.
 
As a postscript, you will see above or below just how much code my co-bloggers at LWO have written – I resisted the temptation.  Now let us check out George.  
 
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