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Listener 4171: Dipper’s Fruitful Recipe (or Don’t Forget to Eat Your Carrots)

Posted by Dave Hennings on 27 January 2012

The first puzzle of the year, and it’s another offering from Dipper. And yes, it’s about gardening again … not one of my favourite pastimes (and that’s putting it mildly). Initial letters of extra words spell out the title of a horticultural book with other information to be found.

Listener 4171 SolutionA quick run through all the clues, and I got half a dozen across entries and the same number of downs. That was a pretty poor show, but was probably due to the ‘interference’ of the extra words. Luckily, these entries gave enough of a skeleton for solving to progress quite quickly. In fact, very quickly — the puzzle was finished in just under an hour and 40 minutes.

Near the end, I looked at the initial letters of the extra words that I had identified: MAN••ING•OWI•••LA•TI•GOFKI•C•E••A••ENS. It didn’t take much guesswork to deduce that the title of the book was Manuring, Sowing, Planting of Kitchen Gardens. It didn’t seem to be a particularly catchy title, and I suspected that it wasn’t one of last year’s bestsellers.

Having completed the grid, there were just the the two unclued entries to complete: RI•HAR• and •ARD•NE•, so it looked like some guy called Richard Gardener. With no additional references given in the preamble, a quick check in the ODQ was called for, and revealed that it was actually some guy called Richard Gardiner, born c1533, and the full title of his book was Profitable Instructions for the Manuring, Sowing and Planting of Kitchen Gardens. In fact a search on Amazon reveled a reprint with the following even less catchy title on the cover: Profitable instructions for the manuring, sowing, and planting of kitchin gardens Very profitable for the commonwealth and greatly for the helpe and comfort of poore people. Gathered by Richard Gardner of Shrewsburie (1599). So how did he spell his name? Anyway, I’m guessing that he was the Percy Thrower of the 16th century.

Listener 4171 My EntryIt was time to check my entry clue by clue to make sure that there were no silly mistakes lurking. 1ac Shrill noise, according to Scots, made by most of stuff I installed in Motherwell school was SCREICH, the extra word being ‘Motherwell’. Well that didn’t work!! SCH for ‘school’ was there, and an I, but ‘most of stuff’? It should obviously be CRA(M) I in SCH to give SCRAICH. I had jumped to the conclusion that ‘shrill noise’ was SCREECH, but with an I in it. Chambers has:

screich, skreich see skreigh

Percy Thrower

Percy Thrower on Gardening Club

… where it gives:

skreigh, scriech, skriegh, screich, screigh or scriech (Scot) n and v (to) screech, shriek.

The entry in Chambers that tells all is:

scraich or scraigh (Scot) vi to screech, to make a scratchy sound. n a screech; a scratchy sound [Cf scraugh, skreigh]

Easy to be confused … and get it wrong if you’re sloppy!

So, a pleasant first puzzle of the year from Dipper, and luckily not requiring too much horticultural knowledge.
 

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