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Listener No 4497: Catechism by tnap

Posted by Dave Hennings on 27 Apr 2018

tnap’s first Listener concerned the delights of the Greek-English Lexicon as fought over by Liddell and Scott. This week, we had misprints in the clues and eight answers that needed thematic adjustment before entry, and 4 needing to be jumbled.

Misprints anywhere in clues can be tough to decipher, and so it transpired. Luckily, CANTICUMS at 2dn came fairly early in the solve. I say “luckily”, but really all that did was confuse me since we had a 9-letter answer going into a 7-letter entry. What’s more, 27ac NEAPED gave 2dn ending in an E and I think it’s fairly obvious that CANTICUMS doesn’t have an E anywhere. When 26dn showed itself as ACCOMPTED going into a 7-letter space, something quite devious seemed to be going on.

Suffice it to say, I had no idea what was going on for an awfully long time. Moreover the correct letters of the misprints seemed to be spelling out a load of gobbledygook!

All in all, this was a tough solve, made even tougher by not having been a fan of The Jetsons and consequently having no idea that the junior Jetson brat was Elroy. Oh well.

Eventually, and don’t ask me why, I wondered if the ‘comment’ spelt out by the corrected misprints was German. I googled ‘raff…n…ert and was rewarded immediately with a reference to Einstein. I leafed through my recently acquired Oxford Dictionary of Scientific Quotations (courtesy of Polo by Apt last year) and all was revealed. Raffiniert ist der Herrgott, aber boshaft ist er nicht for “Subtle is the Lord, but malicious He is not.

Given it was from Albert, it didn’t take long to work out the relevance of e=mc2 and substitute E for MCC and then anagram the result to give four of the entries. The last bit, shrinking LLL in four entries to a single L and dilating a T in four others to TTT took a bit more time, especially ANTTTON.

At first, I thought the title was just some sort of description of the quotation, but I knew there would be more to it than that. Substituting an E for the MC & C and then unjumbling, gave ATHEISE, which I assumed was a reference to Einstein’s supposed theological stance.

All in all, a pretty tough puzzle from tnap. I think I got there in the end, thanks.


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