Listen With Others

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“Fieldwork” by Ferret

Posted by Encota on 2 Dec 2016

What a beautifully elegant puzzle!  Ferret has picked four six-letter words suitable for clockwise crop rotation in the puzzle, BARLEY, GARLIC, CARROT and FALLOW, whilst ensuring all changes are still words – very smart.  But also the four ‘rotated’ entries have 90 degree symmetry, as do the four ‘cropped’ entries – impressive, a superb grid.

There were some great clues: to share one, I particularly liked the apparent verb tense mismatch in 30a.  With the clue:

    Decided to dispose of son’s means in Scotland (6) ,

would it be ETTLED [being SETTLED without the S(on)], or ETTLES [Scottish for means]?  Of course one misprint was used to bring the tenses back into alignment – means change to meant – and all was sorted.

One or two words in the grid – especially TETANIC – looked ripe for a single letter change and, in this case, so it was.  Perhaps I wasn’t the only one to wonder if Ferret had at any time been an owner of the bike known as the MIRAGE MOPED that might have appeared at 1?  OK, it was just me!

For the correct answer have a look at Shirley’s and Dave’s blogs.  Alternatively… in some form of parallel universe and for something a little more mystical, first mix yourself a drink.  Specifically knock back a SODA (i.e. ADOS back to SODA in the grid), then off we go….

The aim, in my surreal world of CROP CIRCLES, is to determine in which REGION is the point at which mystical forces converge (and so find the hidden item).  The process is as follows:

  • Stage 1: Locate the Crop Circles – these are all the letter Os in the puzzle.
  • Stage 2: Seek out the ‘ley lines’ created by connecting these, with straight lines as in the diagram.


  • Stage 3: It is then trivial to locate where those forces are concentrated (see diagram).  Rumour has it that if you dig in the REGIONS (27a) with the TOOL (25d) provided, you will find the location of a buried golden hare.  I knew it would turn up if I kept looking.  [editor: Tim, I think you’ve got your puzzles muddled here!]


OK, the diversion above isn’t actually true as such – but it felt slightly plausible.  I think?

Thanks again Ferret for a very elegant gentle puzzle.

cheers all

Tim / Encota

2 Responses to ““Fieldwork” by Ferret”

  1. shirleycurran said

    Loved it, Tim. Trust you to ferret out the hare in the end (but wrong puzzle – is it going to become an obsession – to ferret a hare out of every puzzle?)

  2. Andrew Fisher said

    Thanks Tim, as ingenious as ever. I was in conversation with a top-notch solver the other day, who suggested that my next puzzle submission to the Listener should include HARE as an otherwise irrelevant hidden word within the grid;)

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