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Listener No 4323: ONEPO by Artix

Posted by Dave Hennings on 26 December 2014

Well… it’s the day after Christmas, and I hope you all had a Happy Christmas Day and will have an enjoyable and Successful Listener Year.

Listener 4323It seems that I failed with Radix’s endgame last week: Robotics needed to be entered below the grid as the real title of the puzzle, rather than my Primordials. I’m afraid that, although Stiff Listener-like Special is a perfect clue to Robotics, as far as I am concerned, it represents what was missing from the puzzle/quotation, rather than what it was actually about. Ah well, c’est la vie.

On with this week’s puzzle from Artix, his second Listener. His first, No 4211 One Shot at a Time, concerned the attempted assassination of Theodore Roosevelt, despite the fact that it looked like it was going to be about golf! It was a tricky puzzle, and I expected nothing less here.

I’m afraid that time prevents a detailed blog, but suffice it to say that it was a devious little number. The reference in the preamble to clue 12 During break from work, men may go here was easy to solve, the answer being RESORT. Thus twelve answers would need to be anagrammed before entry. That provided a useful early bit of knowledge.

However, anyone who immediately solved 1 Alpine grower to wallow in 15 formerly was really off to a flying start. Sadly, this didn’t include me. I assumed that I would have to wait until I solved clue 15. Instead, I would have to wait until I realised that prior to the 15 category of cinema classification came AA. (The History of British Film Censorship makes for tortuously complicated and confusing reading.)

So, the answer to 1 was AROLLA (ROLL in AA) and it eventually proved to intersect 8 Aggressor who’s extended muzzle to compel Capone, say, to hide one, which was GARIAL, resorted to give ARGALI! This meant that the square in the top left corner was isolated, as was every alternate square in the perimeter.

The above sentence took about a minute to write, whereas it actually took me about three hours to fathom out.

As the grid neared completion, it was the D and Z in the bottom row that enabled the little grey cells to resolve the perimeter as SIX OF ONE AND HALF A DOZEN OF THE OTHER followed fairly soon by HEXADACTYLOUS. That only left the single letter from each column to rationalise. Surprisingly, I stumbled on TWELVE quite quickly. AND SIX came a short while later.

The title took slightly longer than it should have to get to grips with, but it turned out to be much, much easier for me than last week’s. Mind you, I needed to cast my mind back to pre-1971 days when pounds, shillings and pence reigned supreme in the UK. Back then, twelve shillings and sixpence, or 12/6 as it was written, was 5/8 of a pound… ie ONE POund. The 12 + 6 were also “all the elements seen in the initial grid”.

Listener 4323 My EntryGreat fun from Artix, thanks. It reminds me of the day, about twenty-five years after decimalisation, when my mother brandished a birthday card in my face. It had cost her 60p. “Do you know how much that card cost?” she said. Before I could open my mouth, she informed me “Twelve shillings!”

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