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Listener 4531: A BIG ANSWER with PHONY PURENESS

Posted by Encota on 21 December 2018

So, what sentence structure that starts with an adverb or interjection niggles you most?

Talking of racehorses, SUPERPOWER BY SHENANIGANS is just begging to be tested for anagrammisationability, isn’t it?  What do you mean, No!?

So, some simple suggestions:

  • Where to find crossword puzzles:
    ANY NEIGHBOURS’ NEWSPAPERS
  • A cheat:
    ONE BUYING ANSWERS, PERHAPS
  • “I did it to help keep the traditional press going”:
    ON BUYING NEWSPAPER SHARES
  • A googolplex, a large number named originally in the U.S.:
    A BIG ANSWER with PHONY PURENESS.Not to be muddled up with the Googleplex, of course 😉 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Googleplex

2018-12-02 11.38.30 copy

One of the things I liked most about this puzzle was its accuracy in using ones and zeroes to populate the hidden phrase with corrected misprints, rather than the easy way out using the letters i and o.

So, the clue,
 Novel source of energy found in active atomic element 32 (7, two words)
was nothing to do with element 32, Germanium (Ge) – rather element 31, Gallium (Ga), which it becomes when the misprinted 2 is changed to 1.

Thus
 Novel source of energy found in active atomic element 31 (7, two words)
parses as GAS (source of energy) in A(ctive) A(tomic) + GA, namely AGA SAGA,
so providing the initial character of the defining phrase,

“1 FOLLOWED BY A GOOGOL OF ZEROS, 10 TO THE POWER OF A GOOGOL”

Similarly the later 1 and 0 from the above phrase are provided by misprints in:

 Elder’s started at No 10 in difficulties with Sir Humphrey initially as god (6)

and

 Remedy for clot, Appleby at the outset put a favourable slant on curbing independence with Chancellor’s No 11 (7)

These become, after misprint correction,

 Elder’s started at No 11 in difficulties with Sir Humphrey initially as god (6)

and

 Remedy for clot, Appleby at the outset put a favourable slant on curbing independence with Chancellor’s No 10 (7)

The former parses, I think, as: (difficulti)E(s) in GAN (old word for ‘started’) S(ir) H(umphrey).

And the latter as A(ppleby) SPIN with (chancello)R I(ndependence) inside, to give ASPIRIN!

Given those two (brilliantly surfaced) clues alone use 31 ‘words’, including ASPIRIN’s that by itself required three lines to print, these were some ‘heavy duty’ clues!

Probably the prize for the most convoluted clue to parse – for me anyway – should go to,

 Court of Session’s expert witness mostly coming in second for gunshot wound (4)

Which becomes, after misprint correction,

 Court of Session’s expert witness mostly coming in second for gunshot would (4)

Here there are twelve words to provide a 4-letter answer.  Like the previous two, here’s another very clever surface.  My parsing went as, def=Court of Session’s (Scot. indicator) expert – see the BRB definition of ‘used’: SE(e) = witness mostly; in second for (g)U(nshot) – another single letter grab, quite a feature in this puzzle – followed by ‘D, a shortform of would.  Simple, eh?

As everyone who tried it will likely agree, the gridfill was the really tough bit on this puzzle.  I think I’d solved around 30 of the 45 clues before I made any headway with it.  Once I had the two 12-letter Down clues and enough of the Acrosses, it became a game of trying to get at least four interlocking.  Unfortunately for me I started with the 12-letter ones nearest the middle and slowly moved them to the edges, eventually finding their correct places in Columns 1 and 13.  After getting ten or so to fit together plausibly in the NE and SW corners, I could begin to get some assist from the grid for the clues I hadn’t yet solved and it began to fit together.  Slowly!  It took me a personally embarrassing number of hours – definitely still in single figures, but not by much!

A real challenge – thanks Shenanigans!  And, by the way, will we ever be hearing chanted from the terraces, “Are you Googly in disguise?”  That’s the best guess I have!

Wishing you all a very Merry Xmas 🙂

Cheers

Tim / Encota

 

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