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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:

  • 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


3 Responses to “L4576: Striving by Twin”

  1. Steve Tregidgo said

    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 Lunan said

    Wrong “I”, Tim

  3. Tea Kew said

    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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