Rather an appropriate crossword for a Flying Tortoise to produce (though I hope his shell survived the fall) and how enjoyable. We were surprised by the small grid and, after speedy confirmation that Flying Tortoise retains his membership of the Listener Drinkie Club, (‘Ship 7 innkeeper’s bottles (3)’ where 7 gave us ROBOT, which, of course, bottles an OBO, a ship; then ‘Fear coin’s lost for Jean’s drink trip (8, two words)’ giving us FEAR COIN* = CAFe NOIR) we raced through a speedy solve of the clues.
Some unusual words there; LENITES for ‘softens’, GROSSART for a Scottish gooseberry, WOLOF for African people, that unusual spelling of TATU. However, the extra words did sometimes stand out and we teased out a message ‘CUT OUT PRINTED L AND S, HALVE GRID VERTICALLY, PLACE R(ight) HALF ABOVE, SLIDE STRIPS OF THREE ROWS, HIGHLIGHT SITE.’
There was some head scratching now and the other Numpty disappeared to make supper whilst I cut my grid into two and pondered about how I was going to ‘slide strips of three rows’ and use that L and S, since the preamble told us that we were going to be ‘converting the filled grid using all cells’.
I should have poured that G and T and made the supper and left the other, scientific Numpty pondering, as the moment I showed him the vertically divided grid, he said ‘It’s the LEANING TOWER OF PISA’ – and of course it was, with Galileo somewhere up there (according to the possibly apocryphal story) and dropping a large and a small sphere to see whether one or the other reached the ground first.
Of course they hit the ground (or one of the hordes of tourists) simultaneously.
So I chopped up my grid and produced a fairly convincing Leaning Tower of Pisa, highlighted, with the L and S ‘spheres’ falling together and a brief description of the experiment’s result and I was left with just one small quandary.
Galileo’s initial was G and his experiment was into g (acceleration due to gravity). We’ve been here before when lots of competitive solvers spoiled their ‘all
correct’ Listener solving runs by putting an upper case B on KOHb. Well, I suppose a capital G (the constant of gravitation) is ‘rather apposite’. I hope so.
To complement my rather rueful interpretation of this maiden flight, I am including the quirky and highly entertaining interpretation of the experiment that came to me from a fellow solver and setter.
I love puzzles which are pictorial. This was a beautiful example. Many thanks Flying Tortoise.