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‘Silence’ by MynoT

Posted by Encota on 7 July 2017

First of all thanks MynoT for a tricky puzzle, especially the endgame.  Filling all but the top and bottom rows was pretty painless, as several of the five-letter answers in the early down clues EATHE, NARRE, ESTRO, NEEDY had (very likely) to cross STARTLER in consecutive order which, combined with the 180 degree symmetry and the 15-letter DURCHKOMPONIERT across the middle of the puzzle, allowed much of the grid to fall into place.

L4455

Talking of heavily-capitalised text, is it only me that finds this next image funny?  It’s odd, after that ‘helpful’ Microsoft paperclip disappeared from MS Word, one can almost miss its presence.  I did say ‘almost‘.

Screen Shot 2017-06-22 at 09.12.48 

Anyway, back to the plot.  One clue that intrigued me was:

Walk quietly to dump and turn over earth (6)

…TIPTOE, which I at least parsed as TIP T.O. E(arth).  Assuming I am right, is TO a new ‘impolite’ version of PTO?  I see it’s in Chambers.

I also thought the most inventive clue of them all this week was

  In single combat man is lost in bush (6)

…i.e. MANO A MANO for ‘single combat’, with the second ‘man’ removed to form MANOAO, ‘a shrub of the heath group’ [Origin: Maori], according to Chambers.

After a short delay working out how to place the two 3-letter words and spending far too long not noticing the four out of five down entries in a row marked two words, then it became clear that the two Unclued entries must be blank.  Those four clues were a nice feature, I thought!

That left .E.NE.NTWO.TIS..UCH.INEA.TW.R. to interpret.  I guessed that the DURCHKOMPONIERT answer had some sort of relevance but got hooked on checking numerous Through-Composed examples out for associated text – especially those ending EASTWARD or ANTWERP – and got nowhere.

Two days later (!) I was sitting on a bench in the garden, armed with my laptop when I thought I’d better have one last go at it.  I luckily guessed that the .INE at the end was EINE (with the foothills of my ignorance in German already in sight) and found an online German crossword solver.  Entering A.TW.R. and having Antwort = Answer appear was a very pleasant surprise.  And with Auntie Google’s help, the final phrase, KEINE ANTWORT IST AUCH EINE ANTWORT – which I hadn’t previously heard of – appeared seconds later.  ‘No answer is still an answer’, paraphrasing slightly.

I loved the clues, I loved the grid construction, but I was niggled by my ignorance that meant I spent 60% or more of the time on the final search.  That’s definitely my fault and not MynoT’s though.  A great challenge, very enjoyable and very satisfying to solve it – eventually!

Tim / Encota

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