Listen With Others

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Listener No 4452: Bobs by Nud

Posted by Dave Hennings on 18 Jun 2017

My first thought on reading that this puzzle was about a night out with the lads was that Shirley would be in seventh heaven at the thought of all the alcohol. Or perhaps Nud’s mates are coffee-shop-aholics! Boring!

1ac and 1dn soon put paid to that. ACCOSTS and ABETTERS (soon to become ABETTORS) immediately indicated that we were dealing with double letters that presumably would become one, the sort of thing that a few pints of beer would lead to. It also meant that Nud was in fact Nudd (as I had already suspected).

After about 45 minutes, I had half of the grid filled. I could also see a mish-mash of letters in the NW–SE diagonal but SHA•••RA•HY• running NW–SE. Since the word we were looking for was only 11 letters, it didn’t take long to guess that HAPLOGRAPHY was the word that described what we were doing.

In fact, this was a word that was new to me and which Chambers gives as “the inadvertent writing once of what should have been written twice”. Now, I’m sorry, but surely this trait does not warrant a word in its own right. Unless there is a common tropical disease that induces this in its victims!

Just over ninety minutes in total saw this puzzle complete. It was only when I solved 21dn Perviate roof? Auditor’s to check (6, two words) that I discovered that a pair of letters could be haplographed such that RAIN IN became RAIN, and the same with ANA[NA], ORO[RO]TUND and TI[TI]AN.

So thanks to Nudd for his Boobs — an enjoyable couple of hours.


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