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Listener No 4291: MAXON by Schadenfreude

Posted by Dave Hennings on 16 May 2014

A slight shudder of trepidation this week when I see thatit’s a puzzle by Schadenfreude, but I don’t think he’s tripped me up yet… unlike that other setter beginning with S and ending in E! Here, we had an extra letter in all but one clue, and some clashes to possibly cause a headache.

6ac DAY BED started me off, followed by 13 EYELID. But that was two characters over its entry length, so it looked like the clashes were slightly more complicated than usual. I couldn’t solve 14ac A daughter so fair returned with tense Arab leader (5), but it looked as though ‘so fair’ might become ‘so far’ after dropping a letter. I got a couple more acrosses, including 23 SENGREENS which had an excess of three letters over its entry length.

Onto the downs, of which I got half. At first I thought that 1 would be TYNESIDE, but TEESSIDE was soon slotted in. I also got 4 Greatly respected director introduced by American patriot (7) REVERED which was the clue without an extra letter.

Looking at the smattering of extra clue letters that I had after my first pass through, The was a possibility to start off, followed perhaps by first. The preamble referred to a “cumulative amount”, so numbers might be involved, and The first twelve was my guess. For the downs after 4, it could be forty-eight. It didn’t take long to see:

The first twelve pots. Forty-eight

Listener 4291

We were back on the snooker table, following on from Mango’s 27 back in December 2012. Thus the YEL of EYELID would need to have LOW crossing it, and it was likely that the colours were all on their correct spots with the reds more than likely all over the place. There would be nine red balls on the table after 6 reds and 6 blacks had been potted.

And so it proved a relatively short time later, although the position of the blue ball was slightly off centre. Two clues deserve mention. 18ac Carrier for one, about ninety, staying back (5) leads to DROWNER and is a reference to Jean-Baptiste Carrier, which took Google/Wiki to reveal that he was “noted for the Noyades de Nantes, a series of mass drownings in the Loire that claimed two thousand or more victims”. There was also 2dn Midget perhaps tucked into extremely palatable soup (4) with its reference to Midge URE, once the T of ‘midget’ is removed.

Listener 4291 My EntryNow!! Having just reread the preamble (long after posting my solution), I considered again the phrase “to shade the cell thematically”. I originally took that as “in the right colour”, but I suspect it also had to be “in the shape of a ball”. So obvious, really. Oh to have an artistic head on these shoulders… or at least write my blog before submitting my solution!

Thanks to Schadenfreude, although it looked as though I was not destined to have a MAXimum break ON for my Listeners this year. Me and my big mouth in the opening sentence of this blog!


4 Responses to “Listener No 4291: MAXON by Schadenfreude”

  1. Jaguar said

    I think you’re saved, the solution says that “circular or full-cell highlighting [is] accepted”. Thank goodness, as my solution was will full-cells also.

    Anyway, the “MAX” may be “ON” in theory, but in practice it’s looking like almost end of break here… speculative shot up the side cushion to plant the red in the far corner, with plenty of backspin to stay on the black? I’d be impressed if the guy at the table managed to get above fifty from that position, let alone a Maximum…

    But it was a very lovely puzzle, I thought, and thank you to Schadenfreude for setting it!

  2. Thanks, Jaguar, and a lucky escape for us square-fillers, I think! If the preamble had said “to show understanding of the theme” then I suspect that ball-shaped shading would have been required. That would have ensured that the solver understood that the theme was snooker… rather than a Jackson Pollock painting à la Shackleton (Listener 4031, Much Ado About Nothing)!

  3. BTW, does anyone know why the title was all capitals, rather than just Maxon.

  4. shirleycurran said

    I wondered about ball shapes (and would have uttered ‘ball shaped and unladylike’ comments had they been required but opted for cell filling in view of the white cell, top left, where some sort of circle would have had to be added had balls been required. To my mind such niceties would be plain silliness, since,even to a non snookerist like me, it was perfectly obvious that we knew what was going on in this grid if we managed to display all those balls in the right places and hunt for the reds to complete our grid fill.

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