Listen With Others

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L4551: ‘Optics’ by Phibre

Posted by Encota on 10 May 2019

What a great puzzle – thanks Phi & Sabre!

[An alternative analysis …]

Given the title, ‘Optics’, this is obviously about alcohol.  Now what was that Graham Greene novel where they played a game of draughts, where the person capturing a piece had to drink a miniature whisk(e)y as a kind of handicap?  Was it Wormold and the one who fancied his daughter?  Or did I dream it?  Perhaps I can try the same with this puzzle – have a sipple (Chambers: a leisurely drink) after every clue solved.  I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

And yes, sure enough, in the bottom right corner of the puzzle, after a while I was definitely seeing double – a clear effect of the Chateau Paraffino.  It appeared that one’s eyesight started off reading the first few characters in each word as expected, e.g. the TREILLAG… of TREILLAGES but after a few one was seeing Double, hence TREILLAG-EE-SS.  It appeared the same happened after a bit of ALE, too (Adnams Ghost Ship out here in Suffolk, if you are asking, from the superb local Southwold brewery), resulting in A-LL-EE. And so on for the six other entries in this corner …  So seeing double (or drinking one?) appeared to be the first sign of being inebriated – but what was the other?

After solving many more clues (and naturally with the appropriate ‘alcohol-based penalty stroke’ imbibed after each clue solved), I could see – through the haze – that something strange was happening in Row 5 and Column 5 – there seemed to be more answers than space.  But hold on a minute – after involving the last one I solved, a sipple (or eight) – all the answers appear to be being slurred together – more drunkenness!!

Finally, I wondered if the ‘Examples:’ bit under the puzzle needed filling in but, when I read it, it already said ‘Examples:’ twice.  I must have filled that in earlier and forgotten.  It was at this stage that I lost CONTACT …

Cheers all,

Tim / Encota



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