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Movements by Mango

Posted by shirleycurran on 21 Mar 2014

Red priest 001Mr Lemon last week and Mango this week when they have just lost one of the three compilers. Well, with the genius of that team, this promises to be quite something. OMG, that preamble! One of the Numpties almost despaired on reading about numeric values O to d-1 and ‘base d‘. Even the more mathematical Numpty stomped off in a huff at first but was tempted back when I commented that the clues seemed to be remarkably approachable for a Mango compilation and that the grid was filling nicely.

No problem reaffirming the Mango affiliation to the Listener boozy club. ‘Maybe like a dingy old Australian claret (5)’ gave us O + A + RED, though why setters with such taste would be imbibing dingy old claret, I can’t imagine. However, there was ‘A Mediterranean vessel acting something like a small schooner (7)’ TARTANA (TARTAN + A) – maybe they resorted to something Mediterranean in that schooner.

We speedily latched on to what was happening with those clues that required movement of a special letter before solving (a thematic number quickly defined itself as 12 since we know how strictly Mango observe symmetry and each one we solved in that top section of the grid was going to have a partner at the bottom or vice versa).

RA and TE were gifts, weren’t they? ‘Sun god had to eradiate beams essentially (3)’ required us to shift the E, giving ‘Sun god head to Radiate + beAms (essentially)’ and ‘Note ten wives anew (3)’ had to become ‘Note ten waives New, so TEN lost its N’. Once we had the trick, the remaining ten were fun – except 43 across where we were somewhat perplexed even after we had established, because of the endgame, that M had to be the moving letter. It was only then that we saw that this was a delightfully hidden word; ‘Attention from aid inside mart (3) became ‘Attention from amid insidE ARt’. Delightful!

An almost full grid with only a couple of clues in hiatus. We were not sure about ALWIN at 31dn ‘Boy accepted fifty penny coin out of circulation (5)’ but the next p.d.m. confirmed that and showed us where we were heading. There, in lovely Mango symmetry were SPRING, SUMMER, AUTUMN and WINTER and we rushed to Wikipedia to see whether this was a Vivaldi anniversary. Surprisingly, the year wasn’t but the date was (almost – we learned that he was born on March 4th 1678, which of course, gave us values for SUMI) and we practically side-stepped the calculating of  those base 12 summations when we decided that il prete rosso was going to give us PRIEST as the word the seasons would add up to, and that he had to be RED.

There was a Numpty red-herring since I used TEA to find that word but, initially, wasn’t aware that PERP was a valid word. We knew Vivaldi was born in Venice but TRIESTE? (Of course, that didn’t work, as each letter could only appear once in order to leave six to be placed in ascending numerical order in the six spaces on the top row.)

Our calculations were now rendered somewhat easier, since, of the 12 letters that had been played with in the clues, only six were left and two of those were automatically assigned to Alarums and Ute, and M already establised. We had only G,W and N left. It was not an excessively difficult calculation to work out how each of those, added to the letter that had moved in the clue, totted up to 11 and we soon established that G had to be O, the first in an ascending series, with W as 2, and N as 10. Even I enjoyed the maths – and this crossword in its entirety. I wonder how many more Mango crosswords are in the editors’ files. Lots, I hope! Many thanks to Radix and the other Mango men.

One Response to “Movements by Mango”

  1. sethmould said

    Reblogged this on Seth Mould's Blog about QRanium.

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