Quads II by Shark
Posted by Encota on 23 September 2016
Welcome to my second ever post here!
Firstly, many thanks to Shark for a fun & challenging puzzle. Solving the initial clues (which, as an aside, have the usual terse precision I am learning to expect from a Shark puzzle), finding FOURTH DIMENSION and filling the grid felt like the easy bit! I loved some of the clues where many of the letters were missing from the Wordplay, with DEMENTIA clued as something like [D]E[M][E][N]T[I]A with the wordplay of “Upset about…” being for ATE< (i.e. ATE, reversed) thus being my favourite. I also loved how specific letters were missing from the wordplay even for checked letters –very impressive!
As an aside, I still had one clue at the time of writing which I couldn’t quite parse (SCRAGGED), though hopefully it’ll have come to me by the time this is published. I can find a definition and many of the components, apparently, but I couldn’t quite link it all together.
Picking which ten squares to black out in each quadrant was the hard part – there initially seemed to be so many options! I almost ended up with a mixed barred and blocked puzzle, which seemed like nonsense. Another try and I had spotted them…
With this level of difficulty I was wondering whether the four pieces that the grid was to be cut into would actually be more tortuous tetris-like dovetailed tessellations and did have to double-check that the ‘must then draw lines’ in the Preamble simply meant the central straight lines.
Once the SE diagonal looked suspiciously like (LE)NGTH then the other three quickly followed.
Finally, with a Title like Quads, was there a medical connection, was it simply Quadrants, did it refer to the number of dimensions, or was there another meaning on top of some of those that I was missing – not sure. Also waiting another 30 weeks simply to grab the Puzzle Number of 4444 would surely have been tempting as an editor, though unfair on Shark to have to wait another eight months or so to be published. Hopefully that puzzle’s already reserved for Quads III !
Overall, I love the variety of difficulty in The Listener and definitely prefer the harder ones: this is exactly the sort of puzzle I like – so thanks again to Shark!
Tim / Encota