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Facing heather to eat rice pudding*

Posted by Encota on 10 February 2017

I recalled the second line of Mr. Burns’ Address to a Haggis, namely GREAT CHIEFTAIN O’ THE PUDDING RACE!*, but somehow managed to forget the first line entirely.  The title of this blog above of course comes from the (thankfully) long-forgotten ninth verse that used to accompany dessert 😉

Some kind definitions in this strong puzzle from KevGar, without which this could have been really tough!  Loved the puzzle – thanks KevGar!

I’d solved around 20 out of 44 clues before I dared trying to get some into the Grid.  At that stage I only had two sets with a shared letter-pair: BU-NC-O and U-NC-LEAR and strongly suspected they’d intersect at NC; I also had LO-AM-IER and OG-AM as entries needing fitting.  Like most of you I had, near the start, done the Enumeration analysis.  For example, there are 3 x [13] and 1 x [12] clue(s), and four [12] entry locations, so presumably three of them must have a double-letter cell in them.  I had the majority of the answers requiring a 6-letter entry space, which really helped since two pairs of these intersected: UNCLEAR/LOAMIER and PLAYER/FISHIFY.

I do always enjoy puzzles where the clue answers are alphabetically-ordered – once you get a few then you can often narrow down what you are looking for quite quickly.  As an example I had the 7th answer CLOTHES-HORSE and the 10th ERSH.  so the 8th and 9th needed to fit between them.  With a first letter of C,D or E then it was much easier to guess an artist, and once I’d guessed [DE]GAS for Rabbit artist (5) then [DE]RAY as an old word for disorder in the clue Torpedo disorder forgotten (5) followed quickly.

So, after completing this week’s Grid, I appeared to have the seemingly incorrectly ordered letter-pairs of FA-IR-FA-YO-UR-HO-NE-ST-SO-NS-IE-FA-CE.  There appeared to be several words in there but one or two looked out of place to this Numpty.  I double-checked that I had (a) collected them up in order and (b) hadn’t inadvertently included a pair of letters from the other Clue type where they’d needed to be added and not subtracted. No, all seemed fine.  I then ringed every word in the Grid that didn’t contain a letter-pair in a cell and, no, I really hadn’t missed any.

So that left a bit of investiGoogling and it had got as far as ‘Fair fa your’ before the prompt knew what I was after and prompted FAIR FA’ YOUR HONEST SONSIE FACE.  To quote an employee of Mr. Burns (Ed: what?) – doh!

So we had an Address to a Haggis.  What other Addresses is Mr. Burns famous for?  [And no, not Burns Manor on the corner of Mammon and Croesus Streets]  I could find:

  • Address of Beelzebub
  • Address to a Haggis
  • Address to Edinburgh
  • Address to General Dumourier
  • Address to the Deil
  • Address, to the shade of Thomson,…
  • Address to The Toothache
  • Address to The Unco Guid, and
  • Address to the Woodlark

It was fairly clear where HAGGIS was in the Grid, though it needed a bit of playing with the ‘IS’ in the last cell to vaguely satisfy its use (or at least to try and satisfy me!) in three different directions.

GRUB NIDE down the right-hand column looked very EDINBURGH-like.

The TO-OT pair jumped out as the start of TOOTHACHE.

UNCO GUID is there in Row 2.

That left DEIL as another diagonal highlight.

That made all five – and they were all Addresses by the same source, Robert Burns.  A final check that there weren’t any additional ‘a’ or ‘the’ to be included – nope.

An elegant extra was of course the leading diagonal’s content of AULD LANG SYNE.  I hope no-one rushed to highlight that [as it’s not formally an ‘Address…’] and missed one of the others?  Gut instinct says that at least one person will have been rushed and will have done that – but what do I know?

Great fun.

cheers all,

Tim / Encota

PS Was it only me that thought they might also have spotted at least parts of (Address to) GENERAL DUMOURIER in the Grid:
GENERA on Row 7, UMOUR on Row 1 and IER on Row 3?  Spooky!

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