Listen With Others

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Listener No 4491: A Dreadful Puzzle by Dysart

Posted by Dave Hennings on 16 Mar 2018

Last year’s Dysart revolved around Edward Lear’s Jumblies with lots of (un)jumbling going on. This week, we only had nine entries to be jumbled before entry, mostly resulting in non-words. Mostly!?

Solving was relatively steady with some good entries going in, including FENG SHUI, ON TAP, OURIAL and CYTON. Unfortunately, most of them ended up having to be rubbed out and jumbled!

It was only when ORNITHO was probably the entry going in the middle column — more likely than ORTINHO — that a quick check in Chambers showed that it signified ‘bird’. Well, I knew that, and having clocked the extra bird word in 21dn Tree-like object blocking road to the north, deserted apart from five birds (8) (END in RD< + VOID – V) that ORNITHOPHOBIA revealed that we were talking about fears of the irrational variety. Okay, HYPSOPHOBIA isn't too irrational, but you get my drift.

I would seriously like to meet someone with PANTOPHOBIA, fear of everything, to see how they exist in the real world. I’d also like to meet someone who has PHOBOPHOBIA, which is apparently the fear of fear and begs the question “What is fear of phobophobia?”

The extra words and their phobias were: daylight/PHENGO, work/ERGO, crowds/OCHLO, night/NYCTO, pain/ALGO, cats/AILURO, everything/PANTO, birds/ORNITHO and heights/HYPSO. The only extra word that wasn’t an extra word was PAIN and that was part of the entry PAINT in the top row.

Next we had to change BEAR at 14ac to FEAR, a synonym of PHOBIA, and lastly highlight a cartoon character noted for one of the thematic items. Fear of work seemed the likely phobia, and Homer Simpson was the first character to come to mind. He was nowhere to be found, but ANDY CAPP, Reg Smythe’s character in the Daily Mirror was there, running NE to SW.

Thanks for a very entertaining puzzle, Dysart. Amazingly, it doesn’t seem that phobias have been used as a theme before, apart from the good old TRISKAIDEKAPHOBIA, fear of the number 13. Now I’m sorry, but that is irrational!


One Response to “Listener No 4491: A Dreadful Puzzle by Dysart”

  1. Alastair Cuthbertson said

    Sorry couldn’t resist this.13 is a prime number, Fibonacci number, Happy number and Lucky number. Oh and also a rational number!

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