Listen With Others

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Listener No 4719: What’s My Line? by Hawk

Posted by Dave Hennings on 29 Jul 2022

Only one previous puzzle from Hawk, and that was early last year with Forrest Gump and his box of chocolates. This week, a lot of misprints and a few clashes to contend with. The last bit, “In two clues the definition refers to the answer (entered normally) with an added application of the construction” caused a frown which I hoped would be easy to resolve.

All in all the clues were fairly straightforward although a few required some dissembling. 41ac Maid’s note replacing priest’s last letter (5) had me wondering how (pries)T fitted in with the maid before realising that BONNE was BONZE with N for Z. And 1dn had Stop making old Moravian search arcade (7) where OBOE had SCUR for O with arcade becoming arcane. 13dn Gill and Prudence diminished English side of Britannia (11) derived from POLIC(y) + E + WOMAN, with gill being a policewoman as well as a female ferret.

One clue brought a smile, if only because of its quirky surface reading: 37ac Irish mobs typically concealed shed from Spanish lady (4) [mobs for moss; HIDALGA – HID]. And 34dn Rude to leave banknote with orangey hue (5) [Rude for Rule to give TENNE(r)] brought back memories of you-know-who across the Pond! My favourite clue though was 4dn Having uncovered nostrils, restored lung harmony (11) [GYMNORHINAL (not LUNG but LING HARMONY)*].

It didn’t take too long to spot that the clashes changed to become BEZIER, he of the famous curves. Chambers has them used in car body design from when Bézier worked for Renault in the 1960s. Wiki has them also used in “animation user interface design” and hence we could (eventually) suss the two clues mentioned in the preamble: 19ac Lord in ecstasy round companion (3) and 39ac Report of trench mortar, possibly a weight on newsman’s shoulder (4). They led, respectively, to CADDIE and MINICAM where CAD (computer-aided design) and CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) were the thematic applications.

The endgame then required us to draw lines along the locations spelt out by the corrected misprints: Twelfth row and SW NE diagonal. Connecting the paired letters then gave us what a Bézier curve looks like.

Thanks for a fun puzzle, Hawk.

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