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‘Multiple Deletions’ by Ifor

Posted by Encota on 29 Jun 2018

2018-06-10 13.16.52

Ever since this clever puzzle by Ifor, where all entries into the grid are only allowed to contain one-letter chemical elements, I have been writing my daily diary using only the reduced alphabet made available by those one-letter chemical elements, namely:

  • B: boron
  • C: carbon
  • F: fluorine
  • H: hydrogen
  • I: iodine
  • K: potassium
  • N: nitrogen
  • O: oxygen
  • P: phosphorus
  • S: sulfur.  Yes, I have finally succumbed!!
  • U: uranium
  • V: that other one*
  • W: tungsten
  • Y: one of those discovered in Ytterby, I forget which*

As an example, here is a typical daily Diary entry – this one was for SUN. of course, though actually every day contains exactly the same …

  1. Up, up, up!
  2. Cook couscous soup on hob
  3. Nip of whisky
  4. Pick up bus
  5. Inconspicuous on bus
  6. Nip of whisky on bus
  7. Hop off bus
  8. Whisky in pub
  9. Buy book in bookshop
  10. Whisky in inn
  11. Picnic of chop, onions ‘n’ chips
  12. Sink nip of whisky in pub
  13. Sip of couscous soup
  14. Whisky in pub
  15. Spoon of soup
  16. Whisky in pub
  17. Cup of soup
  18. Whisky in pub
  19. Buy pink chiffon bikini. Why???
  20. Pick up bus
  21. Choc ‘n’ buns on bus
  22. Whisky on bus
  23. Sick on bus (HONKS CHUNKS)
    2018-06-27 18.17.15.jpg
  24. Unconscious on bus
  25. Skip off bus
  26. Kip in bunk

There were some tough, long words in this puzzle: ZONOTRICHIA, CONSENTANEOUS and, my favourite, HIGHMUCKAMUCK.  10d’s choice of PHONICS or possibly PHONEMICS as the defined word added to the complication, since it was then not initially clear which type of clue it was.

I had found the John Donne poem / quote – “I am a little world made cunningly of elements” and its location of “Holy Sonnet Five” – about one-third the way through the solve, along with confirming which other letter required deletion from the clues I hadn’t at that stage solved.

The symmetry of the puzzle helped a lot in identifying which clue type was which – I felt this was one of the smartest parts of the puzzle.

My only slight concern during the endgame was being sure I had been told to use only one letter symbols for elements: could I, perhaps, have kept Ne (for neon) in the central column near the bottom, for example?  However, when it was clear what had to be deleted from that column, I eventually twigged what it was I was being asked to delete.  And perhaps the Title was telling me to delete any multiple-letter element symbols – not sure?  I am bound to have missed a hint somewhere – I usually do!

The clues and the vocabulary used were of the highest quality – I loved them both!

Many thanks again to Ifor; this was another class act.


Tim / Encota

* Just in case you needed to be certain.  Vanadium, check.  Yttrium, check.


2 Responses to “‘Multiple Deletions’ by Ifor”

  1. Steve said

    Oh wow, I hadn’t noticed the symmetry of clue types! That’s very neat.

    Loved the diary.

  2. Steve said

    To clarify my earlier comment: I know the preamble mentioned symmetry, but I (for some reason) read it as those 18 answers being connected pairs in terms of words somehow. By the end of the puzzle I assumed I’d just read too much into it. Had I realised the clue types could be inferred, I reckon it would have been an easier solve.

    Hats off to Ifor for a terrific puzzle.

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