Listen With Others

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‘Battleships’ by Paddock

Posted by Encota on 6 January 2017

First of all, Happy New Year to all in the Listener community 🙂

Bloomin’ ‘eck there were some tough clues in this one!  And I haven’t fully parsed two of them (17a & 24a) as I first start writing this – hopefully I’ll have got them over the next day or two.  Loved it!

Using the Battleships ‘board’ of, I suspect, many of our childhoods to provide the Theme for this puzzle was ingenious.  Achieving a nautical theme to such a depth throughout the large majority of the clues was very impressive and must have been great fun to write.  A super job – thanks Paddock!

For example, I think I spotted six different uses of ‘ship’ in the clues:

  • for HER as the Contents of a Container&Contents clue to form INHERE (26a),
  • S for ‘starter on SHIP’ to form part of (s)[T]RETCHING (4d),
  • part of an anagram in RAN SHIP (8d) which with [B]E formed PARISHEN,
  • to mean MAN (verb, to ship), part of a reversal to help form ENAMOUR(9d),
  • ‘ship’s capacity’ as the definition of TONNAGE (25d),
  • ‘record from ship’ for LOG (27d),

and that’s not counting the other boats, warships, cruisers, subs etc that make an appearance.

I’ll confess to one piece of stupidity on my part in one of the first clues I solved and one of my favourites:

         Mice etc at sea offering assistance to cat (6)

Rather than being a ‘pirate Jerry makes Tom look stupid again’ cartoon as perhaps the surface suggests, this was of course an anagram (‘at sea’) of MICE ETC, with one unrequired letter. As an aside, what a brilliantly deceptive definition in ‘offering assistance to cat’, where the ‘cat’ means ‘vomit’ and the answer is EMETIC.  So far so good…

Unfortunately I then spent half of Saturday, on and off, failing to spot that MICE ETC minus EMETIC actually ISN’T the letter M.  The time I’ve wasted trying to fit MUSTER* into the grid instead of CRUETS*  🙂   At long last the final Cruiser (CRU) and Submarine (S) had appeared and all was, at long last, solved.

There were several other constructions I loved.  One example,

Cloth either side of topgallant slashed (5)

with either side of T(opgallan)T (but not both!) combined with WEED to make TWEED.

And finally, you’ll most likely be pleased to know that I don’t intend to set any more hares running this week, hidden or otherwise.  Or (as I might clue in one of my technology-focused puzzles elsewhere), setting baud rate to zero.

cheers all,

Tim / Encota

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