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Listener 4263: Coordinates by Sabre

Posted by Dave Hennings on 1 Nov 2013

Oh dear… Sabre! Last time we had the chess knights, although I didn’t get as far as stumbling into the KOHB/KOHЬ trap, as many did. Looking at the grid, without its clue numbers, and reading the preamble, with its reference to clashes, and I knew I was in for a rough ride. And lots of cold solving!

Listener 4263I made a list of all the clue numbers (none of which were given!): 3a, 3b, 3c…3f, then 4a, 4b, 4c, etc. 4b Els’s party seen on tee would cause shock and Sabre was obviously trying to woo me with his golf image, JOL being a South African word for party and Els being a South Africn golfer. 4d was OWL with its nice ‘member of parliament’ reference, a word I’ve always associated with rooks, but which Chambers doesn’t mention (as far as I can see).

So, 2 out of 6 isn’t bad, and on to the 4-letter words. 3 out of 8, with just EINS, JASP and LOOM. Of course, none of this could come anywhere near being entered in the grid. That would hopefully prove to be the case when I got to the 8-, 10- and 13-letter words, of which there were two, two and four respectively.

Sadly, this didn’t prove to be anything of the sort. After doodling with the letters which almost certainly were anagrams of the answers at 13b (‘yoga pose Saul e’) and 13c (‘one privileged’), nothing became obvious, and a bit of ‘help’ was required to give GO-AS-YOU-PLEASE and PIGEON-LIVERED respectively.

At the end of six hours of on and off solving, I was still nowhere near being able to get anything in the grid, and the phrase ‘uphill struggle’ seemed particularly apt. I was still in cold-solving territory, and decided to give up for the day. CHEESEHOPPERS was the last clue to be entered, not into the grid, but into my somewhat scrappy-looking list of clue numbers.

Day 2, and I felt bright and breezy. I had 18 clues still to solve, including one 8-, two 10- and one 13-letter word. I initially thought that there would be just one clash per column/row, but that was far too easy… and wrong. TROUBLE-HOUSES was the breakthrough… sort of. I say sort of, because as I finally managed to place the four 13-letter entries, I entered it as TROUSER-HOUSES! This caused quite a few problems in columns 5, 6 and 7 as you can imagine.

As MAK·N· appeared near the bottom in the left column that formed part of the perimeter, the idea that it might make a word came to mind. Indeed, perhaps the top row might as well. It was quite late in the grid fill that TROUBLE MAKING manifested itself, but it was fairly obvious that the top row wouldn’t be anything sensible.

Listener 4263 My EntryFinally the grid was complete, and the final two letters got slotted into the top row. How typical of Sabre to include one entry that could only be resolved as BLOWZE, rather than BLOWSE, because the S was used elsewhere; and one letter that wasn’t part of any clash, Q, but was slotted in because there was nowhere else for it to go.

All in all, probably 12 hours for me, but no doubt a lot fewer for the experts among you. Certainly a puzzle to sort the men/ladies from the boys/girls. Hopefully I got everything right in the end. Thanks, Sabre.

2 Responses to “Listener 4263: Coordinates by Sabre”

  1. […] final solution had KOHB not KOHb anyway), and apparently one silly typo cost me his somewhat easier 2013 effort, so I can’t say I was looking forward to this one […]

  2. […] final solution had KOHB not KOHb anyway), and apparently one silly typo cost me his somewhat easier 2013 effort, so I can’t say I was looking forward to this one […]

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