Listen With Others

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Body of Evidence by Jaques (Did the Earth move for you?)

Posted by shirleycurran on 7 October 2011

There was a sense of déja vu about the start of this preamble. Weren’t we dispensing with letters before entry into the grid, with wordplay leading to the downsized entries, last week? This has the disadvantage that real words are rarely appearing in the grid, so no electronic help will provide the solution. However, we set to work and the grid filled steadily.

It is a good thing one numpty knows about ATOMISTS (Followers of Democritus dismantle Statism), that the TUATARA can also be called the HATTERIA (“Wedge-toothed” lizard – one that strikes dropping to the floor) and that a TRANGLE is a band in heraldry (Small band learnt in an unexpected way). With URETERITIS (Trouble for the waterworks – solvent is on the river) and THEURGIES (Concepts of divine action acceptable though not ordinary in scientific explanations), we soon had the grid nicely criss-crossed with long solutions.

Of course, it was seeing GALILEO GALILEI in those extra letters that was our real break-through. We wondered whether this was a book about him, since his name is perhaps not really part of the title of his work, ‘Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo’, but the letters in our margin made sense and progress speeded up.

A couple of weeks ago we were guilty of jumping straight to the PENNINES and DALES without the intermediate step. We did the same again. We could see EPPUR SI MUOVE across the centre of our grid, and, of course, naively slotted it in. Numpty consternation ensued when our almost complete grid had problems at the left and right but EARTH clearly doing acrobatics in the rest of the grid.

An added problem, for us, was that we didn’t have the Oxford English Dictionary, to check those clues at 1 down and 21 down. It is now, of course, obvious why Jaques had to include two non-Chambers words in order to get his earths to chase each other in a fine orbit right around the grid, neatly including the sun in an ‘elliptical’ situation.

When we had spotted that, our consternation was not over as there seemed to be some ambiguity about what to highlight. Clearly we had revealed the ‘evident truth’, ‘EPPUR SI MUOVE’, by moving the Earth one light round, and obviously that phrase had to be highlighted to show that we had seen it. However, the really evident truth, in Galilean terms (when the body of scientists, the powers that were, and the religious bigots were against him) was the actual movement of the Earth around the sun, that we had just performed. If we didn’t highlight that, how were we to demonstrate that we had even seen that sun lurking off-centre? We decided to highlight all the evident truth.

What a fine Listener debut for Jaques!


2 Responses to “Body of Evidence by Jaques (Did the Earth move for you?)”

  1. Well done, Shirley … your SUN is better placed than my S!

  2. shirleycurran said

    But your moving planet effect is superb. I was particularly pleased to learn that those of us who felt that the ‘evident truth’ had to include was was seen by GG were not penalised when we highlighted that as well. I stubbornly insisted on colouring it too! I am sure I was not alone.

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