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‘The Owl, the Pussycat & Hares Galore’ by Chalicea

Posted by Encota on 28 Jul 2017

There are animals everywhere in this puzzle, ‘Difficulty’ from Chalicea: a TURKEY, LUPUS (wolf), the PUSSYCAT, a NIGHTBIRD, even ARGALI, TEAR A CAT and the GERENUK!   If only there’d been an opportunity to hide a HARE or two, or even other hare-like creatures.

But wait a moment, the Item to be added below the grid is enumerated (1,4) – it simply must be A HARE.  I’d thought initially the puzzle was themed on that delightful Edward Lear work, ‘The Owl and The Pussycat’ – what a fool I was!  See how easily the setter can divert you down false trails.  Or maybe the poem does mention a hare, let me think…

Many of you may recall that these hare-brained escapades all started with Listener 4422 by Poat, named ‘Buried Treasure’, in which the Hare of the Kit Williams book ‘Masquerade’ was found lurking not in the grid but in the Preamble, more specifically hiding in the searcH AREa.

Ever since, bloggers at LWO – especially Shirley Curran (Chalicea) – and other Listener solvers have been desperately on the lookout for that HARE in each Listener grid.

So, if I am right, we are looking for a HARE, presumably hiding in contiguous cells in the grid.  I thought, given the setter is Chalicea, then there’s bound to be one.

How wrong I was.

Because, at least by my counting, there are 26!  By which, of course, I mean 4! And 2!

Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 23.10.30

See highlighted grid (forgive my scribbling), with some overlapping. I make it:

  • DOE x8 (all entered as DE, of course, given the ‘Difficulty’ with the missing O),
  • MARA x6,
  • PUSS x4,
  • WAT x3,
  • HARE x3,
  • BAWD x1 and
  • PIKA x1.

I make that one heavy-duty grid – very, very impressive!!

And of course, we all know that poem word-for-word, don’t we?  It sits so firmly in one’s brain that it is impossible to misremember:

Pussy said to the Owl, ‘You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet and fair!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:

But what shall we do for a hare?’

All I need to do now is write ‘A HARE’ below the grid and I am sorted.


Tim / Encota



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