Listener 4285: Now You See It by Mr E
Posted by Dave Hennings on 4 April 2014
One of our trickier setters, in my opinion, this week. It would be difficult to summarise his puzzles as they have all been quite different; however, “tough” would be one suitable adjective. This one looked pretty innocuous — five entries to be jumbled, and one to be highlighted. Time would tell if “innocuous” would end up being an appropriate adjective.
1ac Appease old fool with regular payment (7) shouted out ASS something, and ‘assuage’ soon led to ASSWAGE being entered. In 6ac A large number are seen in the writer’s short journey (6), the writer is frequently ME, or in this case MY, and MYRIAD was also an early entry in the grid.
I hoped, of course, that neither of these would end up being jumbled, so decided to try and confirm this my moving on to the down clues. 1 passed me by, but some doodling with the letters ‘does eat top’ soon gave SEED POTATO followed by WITHER at 3. 4 was ALT0, 5 GLUTEUS, 6 MOOI, and 8 an anagram of MADE IN NI. Blimey, Guv!
It then didn’t take more than a couple of seconds to see SEVILLE ORANGE at 10ac. According to the preamble, this isn’t listed in Chambers “in the expected place”. How did the editors know what I was expecting? With this warning, finding it under apple or pear seemed likely, so I was surprised when I found it under orange. OK, it wasn’t under Seville, but I was surprised that this was being pointed out to us. As a matter of interest, in the ODE it is defined under Seville, but also mentioned under orange.
Not all clues were as easy as the initial flurry, but I made good progress and had a large part of the grid complete within 90 minutes. These included four of the answers that needed to be jumbled. The first one that I got was 1dn HAWSE. This had to be entered as ASHWE, and this is from where a lot of my later confusion would stem, unable as I was to get ASH WEDNESDAY out of my head — we were just over a week into Lent!
The other three jumbled entries had nicely devious clues. 24ac One formerly preventing sin, say (6) was LETTER, sin, or shin, being the twenty-first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. 21dn Bird upset by one-sided result (6) was LINNET, being TEN-NIL (10-0) in reverse; and 29dn This has some bars and spaces larger than others, I’d say (5) was GRATE, sounding like ‘great’. The trouble with LINNET was that its jumbled entry could be ILENTN or TLENIN.
I finally got the last answer to be jumbled — 36ac Things shaking about, held by unsteady lines etc (13) as FISHING TACKLE that was entered as F INSIGHT ACKLE. So the other four jumbled entries could be found in sight… but what had that to do with Ash Wednesday. It wasn’t long before I decided that this was nothing to do with that.
For me, it was looking at TREETL that enabled me to visualise STREETLIGHT and see how the jumbles would all form words when surrounded by SIGHT — SASHWEIGHT, SILENT NIGHT and STAGE RIGHT being the others. I suspect that we were supposed to get there a bit more logically, by recognising that we had IN SIGHT jumbled within its entry and applying a similar concept to the other jumbles.
It then became clear what “… jumbled in a different sense” in the preamble meant: a word in the grid when jumbled would form another word when slotted into HEARING, SMELL, TASTE or TOUCH. I decided to concentrate on the 4- and 5-letter words in the grid, and would try Smell first, but got nothing apart from wondering if a SMART SELL was a bit like cold-calling. My next sense, Taste, was rewarded, almost at once, by TOOTHPASTE from PHOTO at 14ac.
And so, a nice bit of fun from Mr E came to an end. This puzzle wasn’t too tricky… no doubt he’s busy trying to come up with one of those for next time.