Listen With Others

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L4627: ‘Flappy’ by Shark

Posted by Encota on 23 October 2020

OMG!

Not only did it have left-right symmetry for highlighted cells, it also featured (at least?) nine different butterflies, eight of which could be described by having a butterfly in one’s stomach

And not only that, it featured a pretty accurate diagram of a butterfly to be traced out by us the solvers – again (of course – it is Shark) symmetrically placed. 

And not only that, it also chose to include (I think I have got this right), in the hidden letters to be extracted, four butterflies in the four stomachs of a ruminant in order – RUMEN, KINGSHOOD, BIBLE and MAW. 

And not only that, the extracted letters came from the centre of words with an odd-number of letters that still remained words after the central letter of each was removed!!  An astounding added layer of neatness from the setter.

could try and claim that the fact that letters within the wings of the drawn butterfly might spell out “A rapid, beautiful, isolated comma” was done purposefully – but that might be stretching things somewhat. At least it gives me a (very feeble) excuse to quote the end of a poem by Robert Graves, woefully out of context:

So now, my solemn ones, leaving the rest unsaid, 
Rising in air as on a gander’s wing
At a careless comma,

Beautiful stuff!

Tim / Encota

2 Responses to “L4627: ‘Flappy’ by Shark”

  1. Andy Mullins said

    I always dread puzzles which require the drawing of curved lines as I always make a mess of them – so I’m chuffed to bits to have won one of the prizes for this one. As with all Shark puzzles I’m astonished with how much thematic material he manages to include.

  2. Alan B said

    It seems a while a go now, but I remember this puzzle (not the first by Shark that I have solved) for its clues rather than its theme. I agree they were quite tough, but it’s the quality that I remember most.
    I solved all the clues, got all the extra words and (obviously) all the letters that came out of them. I’m chuffed for a different and more mundane reason than Andy’s (above), and that is I got everything without any help from the thematic material, none of which I found!
    I put this one down when I didn’t know what to do with the bottom row and couldn’t make much sense of the string of letters that came out of the clues. I do as little grid-gazing as possible, which may be why I missed some obvious cues.
    I’m hugely impressed (after the fact) with how well the theme was executed, and also with something else I didn’t spot, namely, the fact that on removing the middle letters we were left with real words. (That’s something I would normally notice if I’m awake.)
    As always, I enjoyed the blogs from the regular contributors.

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