Listen With Others

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin

Listener No 4561: One or the Other by Hurón

Posted by Dave Hennings on 19 Jul 2019

Todáy, anóther new sétter hit ús and we were fáced with a Ríght and Léft puzzle. These are óften good fún, wíth the theme wórking round the 12-létter entrý across the tóp. I hoped that I wouldn’t fínd myself swimming too múch out of my dépth.

Leaving aside those ´s for a moment, time to see what the puzzle revealed. Each clue was really two clues side by side, one to the left and one to the right. One of these would either have an extra letter in the wordplay not entered or would omit one or two letters of the answer. The extra letters would give an instruction and a bit of drawing would be required in the endgame. My heart sank at this latter requirement — and not for the first time this year.

The clues were generally easy-going, and it wasn’t long before I could see that 1ac Hesitant about area coloured on left and right-hand side of puzzle, producing two outcomes (12) was DOUBLE-something. At first, I thought this might be DOUBLE-UNCHED, but the grid was perfectly constructed. Instead, with DOUBTING for the hesitant bit and with AC following PE or LE, DOUBLE-ACTING was soon uncovered.

Well that didn’t help at all! In fact, this was one of those puzzles where very little was revealed until all the clues had been solved and the grid completed. The extra wordplay letters gave us Draw mirror image. From the preamble, the omitted letters needed for our bit of artwork were given by ’Solvers must draw a curve through the centres of the omitted letters’ cells, in an order suggested by “Leader of Whitechapel gallery fully into data processing”’. All these letters were in the left of the grid, and it didn’t take long to see that this led to W + TATE + (UP in DP).

Even my woeful drawing gave a face pointing right, and drawing a mirror image gave the ambiguous image of either two profiles facing each other or a vase. RUBY and VASE were there in rows 5 and 10, and we were required to colour it appropriately. These days I rely on Microsoft Paint to do any highlighting or colouring in the grid before I print it out for filling. This is normally easier than using coloured pencils — although not this week, very fiddly. WHITE FACES at 9dn were what may be seen instead of the ruby vase.

Finally, a bit of googling revealed that Wiki thought this was developed by “Danish psychologist Edgar Rubin [citation needed]”!

Thánks for an enjoýable puzzle, Hurón. Í hope that JÉG could see through all the red sháding.


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