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Listener No. 4397: We’ll Always Be Together by Flying Tortoise

Posted by Dave Hennings on 27 May 2016

This week we had a return visit from Flying Tortoise, he of Dante’s Inferno/Infamy last year with In Case of Fire. I got marked wrong for that one because I was a bit too subtle, rather than just plonking the famous quotation around the outside of the grid. I hoped this week’s endgame wouldn’t be open to interpretation, although “annotated with a brief description of the experiment’s result” didn’t bode well!

Listener 4397Anyway, on with the clues, each of which had an extra word with either the first and third letters or the complete word spelling out five instructions. These would presumably tell us how some cutting and pasting was going to be required in the endgame to represent a famous experiment.

In my first pass through the grid, I only got half a dozen acrosses and the same number of downs in 45 minutes. In fact, this wasn’t quite as pathetic as first it seems since the grid was fairly small (12×9) with only sixteen clues in each direction. With 8 OPAQUELY and 9 CAFE NOIR as two of the downs, I saw a fairly quick solve ahead.

Indeed, another 45 minutes saw the grid complete, although 27ac Is difficult starting late incessantly — that gets you sullied (6) with the third letter unchecked had possibilities of SNOOTY, SNOTTY and SNOUTY. My money was on S (is) + [K]NOTTY (difficult).

My favourite clues were 1ac Griff has a cry about the crushing demise of Mel (4) with griff being a CLAW, and 10dn Sadly spotty, alas, I’m no oil painting (8, two words) for MONA LISA.

I then had a bit of fun trying to work out the ten clues where the whole word was used in the instructions, but eventually got:

Cut out printed L and S
Halve grid vertically
Place R half above
Slide strips of thee rows
Highlight site

I made a copy of my completed grid using Sympathy. Following the instructions, I cut out the L and S, cut the grid in half and into strips of three, then laid the right hand half above the left. I concentrated on the first three rows and, keeping rows 1 and 2 in place, moved the third row progressively one letter right. No revelation. Resetting the third row, I moved the second row to the right and repeated the process with row 3. I couldn’t find any obvious beginning of a “site”. [At this point, I should have moved the second and third rows progressively to the left… but didn’t!]

I decided to try with the bottom three rows, and luckily kept the bottom row in place and moved rows 4 and 5 progressively left. When I saw ISA, I knew where we were, and LEANING TOWER OF PISA was soon revealed in the central column. The famous experiment that we had to depict was Galileo dropping two balls of different sizes from the top and finding that they reached the ground at the same time.

Listener 4397 My EntryThe seemingly superfluous “using all cells” phrase in the preamble was now clear, and I retrieved the L and S cells from where I had left them in the kitchen! With a lot of adhesive tape, I stuck my six blocks of rows onto paper, put the L(arge) and S(mall) squares next to each other at the bottom, described the experiment and signed it with a G. Hopefully this was what was required, and I felt sorry for JEG who would presumably have been given instructions as to what was and wasn’t to be allowed for the “brief description”.

A very enjoyable puzzle this week from FT, so all is forgiven for last year!

2 Responses to “Listener No. 4397: We’ll Always Be Together by Flying Tortoise”

  1. shirleycurran said

    What a splendid animation!

  2. Thanks, Shirley, although I’d be willing to bet you could draw a better Galileo than mine!

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