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Archive for July, 2020

L4614 ‘From Here to There by Shenanigans

Posted by Encota on 24 July 2020

A delightfully neat offering from fellow LWO blogger – thank Shenanigans!

A word needed to be shifted in roughly half the clues before solving, and it was the first letters of these that were to give us Solvers the hint of what to do next. I counted up the total number of clues (49) and realised that there were therefore 24 even ones and these were my candidates for the clues with moving words. Fortunately I had guessed correctly …

About two-thirds the way through, my first letters read:


I could readily make sense of the second half, so had a chat with Auntie Google about that book/film/whatever entitled “The Go-between”. But initially I couldn’t make sense of the first half. It looked much like the Author’s name. I checked out the O that I’d derived from 44ac’s clue

Oddly set upon in shout from excluded …

… and realised I’d moved ODDLY instead of EXCLUDED. That let me spell L.P.HARTLEY correctly and still gave me EUOI as a shout from the even letters of the fodder, which was good.

Eventually I twigged that O-Q was the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (ODQ) and felt a right twit! The most famous quote by a mile from the book’s Prologue is:
The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there“,
which seemed a great candidate for the puzzle.

With a couple of clues left to solve I had noticed much of ‘THE PAST’ on the trailing diagonal of the grid and wondered if it could be replaced with a country whilst still creating real words throughout. I spent a little while trying to shoehorn AMERICA into the spaces then settled on AUSTRIA.

That left the two unclued Downs at 14d and 24d. By this stage they read
H-STE- and -IGH-Y. Taking ‘THEY DO THINGS’ as the shared anagram fodder for these two gave a few options:

The only pair I could find to fit involved neither tights nor thighs, so HOSTED NIGHTY it was 🙂

A gentle puzzle, cleverly using an excellent quotation thematically: another classic Listener from Shenanigans: thank you!

Cheers all,


PS And do the ‘moving’ 24 clues ‘go between’ the other 25? Apologies Dave, I’d missed that nicety entirely!

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Listener No 4613, Escape: A Setter’s Blog by Xanthippe

Posted by Listen With Others on 19 July 2020

The inspiration for this one came from my young people. They were suggesting I should visit the local Escape Rooms; as they involve solving puzzles to escape so it would be right up my street. It seemed a good idea for a puzzle.

I decided on riddles for guiding the solver out and the ‘tomorrow’ riddle immediately came to mind. Four six by six rooms fitted well and I decided I’d make the doors 2 cells wide to give me more freedom for moving from one room to the next. Initially, I was going to use known riddles but thought it would be good to have ‘crossword’ as one answer so would need a bespoke riddle.

‘U’ for the solver suggested itself early and had the advantage of being a relatively easy letter to use only once in the grid. I remembered Riddle was a character in the Potter series. I looked it up and found he was in the ‘Chamber of Secrets’ book. As this would need to be a bespoke riddle I placed this in the top left room; with many entries starting there the length of the riddle would be essentially not limited. At this point I had the vague idea of a word play on what a potter does. Later I was pleased to be able to use ‘work’ to refer to the novel too. Although I’d not read the books when I set this puzzle, I have now!

For the riddle in the bottom left, I looked up riddles and came across the candle one, it’s a riddle I’ve come across before but had forgotten. As it was going to be a carte blanche I settled on having two 12 letter entries both across and down; these should help the solver in placing entries. The top half was the trickiest to get in, particularly with 16 letters of the riddle pretty much constrained in the top left. On completion of the grid I realised I’d have to be concise with my ‘crossword’ riddle as only 6 entries started in that room.

Lastly the clues, the slowest part for me. Always written over months – good job its not the day job!


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Erratum Listener no 4616 Disco Lovers by The Ace of Hearts

Posted by shirleycurran on 19 July 2020

An erratum concerning Listener puzzle No 4616, Disco Lovers by The Ace of Hearts has been published on the Listener puzzles website. Here’s a link:

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Escape by Xanthippe

Posted by shirleycurran on 17 July 2020

Our first reaction was “What an original grid!” The preamble was original too, promising us riddles that we would need to solve to escape four rooms. We (U) began solving unsure whether those walls could be crossed by our symmetrical solution to the clues but it soon became clear, when BEER crossed one of them, that we could ignore them in our solve and pay attention to them when we were ultimately manoeuvering our way out of the rooms.

BEER? Yes indeed ‘Hoppy drink preferable – Tom’s not teetotal (4)’ gave us BETTER losing TT and producing an extra word ‘Tom’s’, so I need not worry about xanthippe’s retention of his admission ticket to the Listener Setter’s Oenophile Outfit, even if he feels BEER is preferable. Cheers, Xanthippe!

Xanthippe’s clues were all of that fair and generous kind and, as we had the good fortune to solve the four 12-letter ones early on, our grid fill was speedy. ‘Honour promise, don’t fire English weapon (12, three words)’ gave us the amusing KEEP ON (don’t fire) E SWORD.

Equally amusing and so clever was ‘Muddled how to make even 11? (5)’ The answer to that last clue that we solved had ro be ADDLE and we smiled when we realized that if we ADD LE, we convert EVEN to ELEVEN.

We are not very good at finding redundant words in clues. I think we solve too quickly without justifying every word, so that we had some rather incomplete riddles to solve and needed a supper break before we scanned our clues more carefully to get:





I could see that the answer to the last one was CROSSWORD – a self-referential comment on our barred cell grids that aren’t the kind that prisoners are kept in (well, yes, admitted, we do spend some frustrating, head-scratching hours trapped in the things but …) and that led us out of the grid at the bottom cell, so the U could go there (or does he become I or ME?) and that established his starting point in the room above and there he was, pointing us at TOMORROW.

From the start, the other Numpty had been saying “Tom Riddle, he’s in a work with Harry Potter” but I hadn’t taken it on board and CHAMBER OF SECRETS was the last solution to be entered after CANDLE had shown us where it ended. I am told these are familiar children’s riddles that appear on the Internet and of course, there they are. I should have asked a five-year old.

I drew U’s ‘complete’ path, crossing all the cell borders from his original position to his final external cell but was then left with. a nagging doubt. He has escaped, so I imagine we have to remove him from his original position – or have we?

Many thanks to Xanthippe for a different and entertaining puzzle.

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L4613: ‘Escape’ by Xanthippe

Posted by Encota on 17 July 2020

Lots of clues contained an extra word, which then needed to be suitably grouped together. This resulted in the following four phrases/riddles:

  • Always coming not arriving
  • Where Tom’s in work with Potter but clay never gets baked
  • Tall when young short when old
  • Barred cells here prisoners don’t enter

And the answers to these, TOMORROW, CHAMBER OF SECRETS, CANDLE and CROSSWORD spelt out the path that allowed the solver (U) to escape from the top NE quadrant and end up exiting the Southern door of the Escape Room complex.

A few of the extra words were quite tough to find but eventually they all dropped out. Thanks Xanthippe!


Tim /Encota

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