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Listener No 4598: Xword by Waterloo

Posted by Dave Hennings on 3 Apr 2020

Sad to say, but this was the final crossword from Waterloo who died in December 2019. Including this one, there have been 29 Waterloos, the first way back in 1963, although not all are in the Crossword Database (yet).

His puzzles consisted of a variety of quirky techniques, such as no. 4254 Political Correctness Gone Mad where male terms were replaced by their female counterparts (such that SITTING ROOM was entered as SITTINBRIDE). My favourite was OO! Spectacles? where letters or combinations of letters were clued by their appearance (eg costermonger’s barrow gave TO and knuckle-duster in a down clue gave BB).

This final puzzle involved some space-saving techniques such that CARETAKER was entered as AKER, NEUROLOGIST as NLOGIST and TICKETY-BOO as ETYBOO.

And for a final bit of quirkiness, consider the excellent clue at 31dn Sad Australian missing a time in Darwin, say for NATURALIST (AUSTRALIAN – A )*+ T. Well, the preamble says that “The Chambers Dictionary (2016) is the primary reference”, so I thumbed through to see what it gave for natural. Hmm… that didn’t look right: “a character (y) cancelling a preceding sharp or flat (music )”. (y)?!

Opening the software on my PC, I found “a character cancelling a preceding sharp or flat (music)” with no symbol given at all. Trying the app on my iPad, I was finally shown “a character () cancelling a preceding sharp or flat”.

Having nothing better to do [! Ed.], I decided a bit of research was needed. Chambers (2008) has the character in brackets but (2003) and (1998) have nothing. Before that, (1988) had the character again. Similar weirdness exists in the various editions for flat and sharp with (2016) giving “(w)” and “(x)” respectively. Bizarrely, they all seem to give double-flat and double-sharp correctly — ♭♭ and 𝄪.

I knew there was a reason why I kept old editions of Chambers but, of course, I ignored what (2016) told me and entered ! [Back to sanity. Ed.]

Thanks for some good fun over the years, Waterloo.


4 Responses to “Listener No 4598: Xword by Waterloo”

  1. Gail Busza said

    I see that yo put the same symbol for VAU at 8d as we did, rather than the F in the solution.

    As both are in Chambers, I don’t see how we can be marked incorrect.

  2. Gail, if you go here you can see variations that were accepted, including the one you mention.


  3. Gail Busza said

    Thanks Dave

  4. […] death in December 2019, Waterloo was still producing similarly quirky gimmicks. This final puzzle (Listener #4598) involved some rebus-type symbolic substitutions, so that (for example) CARETAKER was entered as […]

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