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Weak Force by Tut

Posted by shirleycurran on 17 October 2014

Work force by TutWe had a splendid venture into the realm of valence electrons last week and the title of this puzzle by Tut immediately suggested to us that we might again be in a world related to physics.and before long that suspicion was confirmed.

However, before beginning our solve, I, of course, scanned the clues to check that Tut’s application for membership of the tipsy Listener setters’ club could be considered and, of course, he/she qualifies with ‘For example, beer which with added helium would produce incomprehensible speech (4)’ (BREW which, with HE gives HEBREW) and a dose of Madeira in a clue that parsed rather oddly,’Crazy, pointless Madeira’s aid to road grip (6 two words) (E from MADEIRA* gives AIR DAM).

We worked steadily through Tut’s clues, wondering about some of the surface readings ‘The tree to attack with unpowered bolster (10)’ (GO AT + W + PILLOW less P) – does Tut go around charging at trees with a pillow as his weapon? – and enjoying the economy of others, ‘Shirt tucked into Fraser Kilt (4)’ SERK is nicely hidden there and the Scots indicator subtly included.

I have been avoiding the leading diagonal lately after criticism from some of the crossworld gurus about using it far too often for the thematic message. However, I still look there as I solve someone else’s crossword and something vaguely familiar was appearing there. Completing that rather enigmatic quotation from James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake ‘…FOR MUSTER MARK’ helped us fill the more difficult north-west corner of the grid and, with typical Numpty back-to-frontedness, we then worked backwards to find our three quarks in the incomplete set of corrected misprints.

TOP and STRANGE gave us no problem but they used ten of our available letters so the third quark had to be the UP/DOWN quark, for which we already had a P that confined us to clue 12 across for the U; now that was sneaky,Tut! We finally sussed that the fat juicy thing that one pinches if one is a SCRUMPER grows on a malUs and was not some rather rotund malE’s corporation.

A gentle solve and all good fun. Thank you, Tut.

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One Response to “Weak Force by Tut”

  1. Jaguar said

    If you were going to be pedantic (and, let’s face it, isn’t that half the fun of Listeners?) then the “three quarks” that prompted the use of this quote by Gell-Mann were the down, up and strange rather than the top, as this hadn’t yet been predicted/ discovered.

    Otherwise, a nice and fairly easy puzzle, good introduction to this sorts of crosswords, and a warm welcome to Tut as he joins the setters’ club.

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