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King’s album: ‘Red’ by King Crimson?

Posted by Encota on 4 November 2016

With a Title like “King’s Album”, might it possibly be a reference to one of my favourite ever albums – ‘RED’ by King Crimson?  After completing the grid then Yes (no prog rock jokes please), there it is twice – once diagonally, almost pierced by the Arrow and also rising in column two.

For those that like loud, skilfully played music, then it’s hard to beat this album.  Clearly the two occurrences of RED are referring to the recent Steven Wilson & Robert Fripp re-mastered 2CD version:
http://stevenwilsonhq.com/sw/headphonedust/king-crimson-red-2cd/

red1

Genius, sheer genius!

Talking of which, what a fabulous visual design in this week’s puzzle from Stick Insect!  My drawing skills are never the best but I’m happy to try and my attempt is shown here:

harold-rex-interfectus-est

The grid was filled fairly quickly.  I loved the hint – “NUMBER OF ANSWERS FOLLOWS NUMBER OF ROWS”.  There were clearly 10 rows, so now let’s count the number of answers.  Once I noticed there were 31 across clues I had a feeling I knew where this was going, so when there were 35 down clues, making 66 in total, so 1066 was the hint.  I also recognised the ‘INTERFEC’ piece of text but couldn’t completely recall all the Latin words from the relevant part of the Bayeux tapestry, so a quick investigoogle of the image also explained the gap in ‘HARO LD’ and the two-line split of the thematic Message.

The clues were all pretty gentle this week, with one or two exceptions.  As usual my recollection of two-letter words failed me – every time I come across GE as an alt for Gaea I do my best to remember it, but still seem to have to re-learn it over and over!  This time in:

Will’s repaid goddess in butter (6)

The checked letters seemed to make VENGED the likely answer and double-checking the Chambers (Shakespearean) definition for Venged made it pretty much certain.  But what about the wordplay?  Eventually: remove the added B from butter and that leaves GE in VEND – ah, that goddess in that meaning of VEND (i.e. to utter).

The LOI for me was 35d EWKING, explained as WE (‘Royal I’) < + KING, from that dialectal word EWK meaning to itch.  As an aside, according to Chambers there are six different ways of spelling it: YUKE, YUCK, YOUK, YEUK, EUK or EWK.  But you knew all those already, eh?

Finishing with a return to King Crimson’s Red, and with a nod to Raffles’ recent Listener 4412 theme, perhaps Track 2 ‘Fallen Angel’ should really, given the subject here,  have read ‘Fallen Angle’?

Enough silliness for this week.  Many thanks to Stick Insect for such a great puzzle!

Tim / Encota

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