Listen With Others

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin

L4656 ‘Co-star’ by Lysander

Posted by Encota on 14 May 2021

It feels a long time ago that I solved this one!

My final solution looked like this:

However, getting there wasn’t trivial! Luckily for us solvers, most of the clues were generously straightforward.

For example, 11d’s Cold greeting in letter (3) gives CHI.

In some ways, however, the clues were an add-on: the real challenge was finding the cipher that allowed us to encode the clues answers, creating the entries above.

I quite liked the fact that L(eft) and R(ight) encoded as each other and that A, I & E formed a ‘ring’ of encoded letters, with A becoming I etc. There may have been other patterns in the encoding. As an aside I did like the Title’s “River Avon-like” nature, with the enciphering of Co in Co-star demonstrating the Star-Star equivalence.

The ‘way in’ was spotting the difference in length between answers and grid entries. This gave insight into how many original letters needed to encode as two encoded letters. As an example, 1 across’s answer had 5 letters and its entry 6 letters, so one of the letters of the answer BALER had to be encoded as a letter-pair and the rest as single letters. I followed this round the grid and ended up with an intermediate stage that were the scribbles below:

And from there it all fitted together! By the end it felt like I had solved a jigsaw where you first had to make the pieces yourself, lightly disguised as a crossword! Great fun – thanks Lysander!

Cheers all,

Tim / Encota


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: