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Striving by Twin

Posted by shirleycurran on 1 November 2019

Our first run through Twin’s clues produced a number of solutions, EH WHOW, for example, where we saw a hidden pair of Scottish words when we had removed ‘engulf’ ‘Some in Nineveh who [engulf] warriers lament for Queen of the South (6, two words)’. CEORL, TASSET, MONIST, AVALE, HAEMIC, TRACEUR – these were not the words we usually introduce into the Numpty dinnertime discussions and there had to be a reason for them that became evident when those initial letters of ‘spare’ words spelled out READ TOP LEFT OF EACH SQUARE and DRAW ALL DISC OUTLINES.

Of course, knowing that there was a message there helped us to complete our gridfill and we found yet another message in those ‘top left’ letters: SPARE WORDS LAST LETTERS ARE MOVES IN COLUMS A TO G.

No, I hadn’t forgotten to confirm that Twin retains his entry ticket for the next Listener Setters’ Oenophile Knees-up and, indeed, with a stunning compilation like this we’ll be raising our glasses at the bar. That’s if his ‘religious adherent’ hasn’t managed to enact some kind of prohibition: ‘Religious adherent’s eagerness to close pub up, any number inside drinking (7)’

Those ‘remaining clues’ that were ‘actually two clues overlapping, one for the grid entry and another for a word of the same length, whose definition is the overlapping part’ were the hardest to solve. We put ZEST around a rising INN, giving ZENNIST, then put WINING (drinking) around N (any number) and produced WINNING as the fifth of the ‘non-grid answers’ (grateful for those guiding letters CMSFWD that condirmed which clues were giving us the words). So cheers, Twin!

‘Regiment panics at …’ had produced CAPTAINS as an anagram, and we worked out that ‘Film about bodyguard’ was MIST RE SS. As usual, time for Wiki who tells us that ‘The Captain’s Mistress is supposedly the game that so engrossed Captain Cook during his long voyages, that his crew gave it the name that has stuck to this day. Modern day copies such as Connect-4 are simply rehashed versions of this game.’

Now we understand why we have to treat the grid as 42 two-by-two squares. I label my seven columns A to G and find, with astonishment, that the last letters of those 42 ‘spare’ words all end with A,B,C,D,E,F, or G.  What a feat to have managed to spell out the message with the first letters of those words, and still divide them into six sets that would produce a successful Connect Four game (even if that did lead to some rather shaky candidates like ‘eighty-one’, ‘Ford’,  and IMDb).

Wiki tells me that the first player will always win if he plays correctly but my green played first and I find a row of four orange counters in my grid so I now have to SHADE FOUR WINNING (orange) DISCS and create a new grid where, using ‘two alternate colours’ I draw disc outlines (alternate, obviously, as the players have to insert their discs into the ‘grid’ in turn).

What a superb compilation. Many thanks to Twin.

One Response to “Striving by Twin”

  1. David Thomson said

    “ There is a persistent legend that on his three major voyages, Captain Cook used this game nightly to relax with his fellow shipmates… naturalist Sir Joseph Banks and botanist Daniel Solander. Cook spent so much time playing the game, it came to be known as The Captain’s Mistress.”

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