# Listen With Others

## L4576: Striving by Twin

Posted by Encota on 1 Nov 2019

What is the Question? To Life, the Universe and Everything? Apparently it is What Is The Maximum Number Of Moves Possible in The Game Connect-4? And perhaps not the implication that the Universe counts in Base 13 from the “What is 9 x 6?” suggestion in the HHG2TG series after all.

Lots going on in this puzzle! First letters of spare words in most clues give the two instructions:

• READ TOP LEFT OF EACH SQUARE and
• DRAW ALL DISC OUTLINES.
• The first of these led to a new phrase: SPARE WORDS LAST LETTERS ARE MOVES IN COLUMNS A TO G.

At this stage anyone who had been guessing that the theme might be the game Connect-4 would most likely feel that the Penny had indeed dropped in the right place.

Six clues had secondary answers not to be put into the Grid. Working backwards and forwards I determined, I hope correctly, that these were CAPTAIN’S MISTRESS: SHADE FOUR WINNING DISCS. As an aside I’ve no real idea why the game is/was also called Captain’s Mistress. Ideas ‘on a postcard’ please (i.e. via Comments).

Shade those ones in and it is a welcome win for (Blue) Player 2.

And the Title as a cryptic synonym for Six-in-a Row? It seems strange to have embedded the Roman for six, VI, in a word for Row, i.e. STRING leading to STRI(VI)NG, instead of four? Maybe.

Tim / Encota

1. ### Steve Tregidgosaid

I realised on reading today’s blog entries that, having shaded all my discs in red and yellow to look more like the actual Connect-4 game (and added additional shading around the winning four), I’ve possibly violated the (strict?) “draw all disc outlines” instructions. Fingers crossed that the marking is generous in this regard, but I can well imagine that it may look like I didn’t fully decode the relevant instruction. That’s very disappointing so late in the year!

2. ### Michael Lunansaid

Wrong “I”, Tim

3. ### Tea Kewsaid

Regarding the title comments, STRIVING can be broken down as STR(IV)ING or STRI(VI)NG. This was used as a very elegant piece of wordplay in a Guardian puzzle a year or two back.

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