Listen With Others

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Listener No 4571, International Standards Organisation by Harribobs

Posted by Dave Hennings on 27 Sep 2019

It really doesn’t seem to me that it was nine months ago that we had Harribobs last Listener, the very enjoyable A Secret Unlocked based on Histiaeus sent Aristagoras a message tattooed on the head of a servant. But indeed it was! Shows how time flies when you get to my age.

Harribobs has had some interesting and enjoyable puzzles over the last few years; the first was back in 2015 if my records are correct. Many of them have had incredible grid construction. Here, the preamble told us that a number of answers needed to be entered in reverse. It also told us that there would be an ideal solution and an acceptable textual solution. I dreaded that there would be a requirement for more drawing — I’ve lost track of how many Listeners have required artistic skill this year.

As it turned out, I had three options to choose from in completing my submission. The ideal solution was spelt out by the extra letter in the wordplay of 32 clues: Flags replace twelve nations in array. It didn’t take too long to see that, excluding the perimeter, there were twelve 3×3 blocks in the grid, each of which contained an anagram of a 12-letter country name. These were, top left to bottom right:


So… I could take the “less ambitious” way and just write each of the twelve countries in the grid. (I assumed that would be top to bottom, left to right, rather than in a circle.) I decided that I wasn’t going to do anything less than was ideally required. However, I don’t have a set of coloured pencils any more, and anyway I didn’t really fancy spending a couple of hours drawing each of the flags — although I know someone who would! I decided to scan the grid and paste each of the flags onto it from the internet. Hopefully JEG would think I’d done it by hand!

Thanks for yet another entertaining geographical puzzle, Harribobs.


One Response to “Listener No 4571, International Standards Organisation by Harribobs”

  1. Gail Busza said

    That’s cheating! Mind you, it did take a long time drawing all the flags 🙂

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