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Listener No 4434: Addresses by KevGar

Posted by Dave Hennings on 10 Feb 2017

Last year’s KevGar puzzle took us for a walk with the Walrus and the Carpenter, Lewis Carroll’s bizarre oyster-chomping duo from Through the Looking Glass. This year, we had to find some addresses, but not before some cold-solving of clues in alphabetical order of their answers.

listener-4434What’s more, several cells needed to accommodate two letters. Oh dear! I immediately thought of our infamous golden hare puzzle from last year where we were faced with exactly that.

The difference this week was that the two letters weren’t generated by clashes but were used in both across and down entries. For entries without double letters, two consecutive letters needed to be dropped from their clues and these would spell out the first line of an address. This didn’t sound too taxing, so on with the solve.

There were four 12-letter entries in the grid and for the clues, just one, the others being 13 letters. Thanks KevGar for making life a little easier by giving the answer lengths. The first of these, clue vi Fluid love surrounds endless line around Oxford University (13, two words) didn’t make any sense at this stage, but ix Choo’s short heel confusing model (12) looked like an anagarm of Choos short heel minus a couple of letters. Well, that too would have to wait.

Clue xxxiii Square, for example — square dance endlessly takes in area without direction (13) had me thinking of PARALLELOGRAM, but apart from being in roughly the right place in the list of clues, the wordplay stumped me. Luckily, clue xliv (I needed to look that up) Rotten onion, an issue barring European cases of forming workers’ groups (13) was easier to disentangle as UNIONISATIONS.

A quick pass through all the remaining clues, and 45 minutes later, I had a dozen answers but, obviously, an empty grid. Another 45 minutes, and I had eighteen answers, of which half would be entered into the grid, one letter per cell. But not yet.

All these gave a nice alphabetical structure to the clues, and more were solved but not slotted in. However, I wondered whether ABACI could go in the top left quadrant with BUNKO (it would later turn out to be BUNCO) and CIDED crossing it, the CI going into a single cell. QUADRILATERAL and AQEOUS HUMOUR were also soon in the grid and a short while later, I had AULD••••SYNE staring out at me from the NW–SE diagonal. Thanks for that — I tentatively (it could be a red herring) put LANG in the middle four spots.

listener-4434-my-entryAfter a total of three hours, I had a full grid (with CLOTHES HORSE being woefully slow in coming), and it was time to put the dropped letters from the clues into conventional clue order. It looked somewhat gobbledygook-ish, but in fact spelt out Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face from Address to a Haggis by Robert Burns, the English equivalent being Good luck to you and your honest, plump face.

Now I remember from another puzzle [You’re thinking of No 4121 To… by Navajo back in 2011. Ed], that Burns had a fair few poems which were addressed to various things, including a mouse, a louse, a house and toothache. HAGGIS was an easy spot, and TOOTHACHE reasonably so, but a bit more googling was required to uncover UNCO GUID and the DEIL.

Well that was four and I needed one more. I guess we were supposed to blithely highlight AULD LANG SYNE and be done with it, but in fact EDINBURGH was the fifth addressee running up the last column.

Thanks, KevGar, this was good fun, and congratulations on all the thematic words in the grid. I’m just sorry that there was no MOUSE… so I’ve added one!


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