Listen With Others

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Listener 4719: What’s My Line by Hawk

Posted by vaganslistener on 30 Jul 2022

Uh- oh… We’ve met Hawk before and he’s one of those brainy maths types. Will his puzzle catch me out as I have my third and last go at solving on holiday, with just an iPhone and newspaper beside me? 

The preamble gives little away this time, although drawing lines, lots of lines, suggests we are in the field of maths and more specifically geometrical construction. And there’s something to do with computing in there too if “application” means what I think it does.

So it’s a dive into the solving, looking for misprints (which eventually point to the bottom row and the diagonal up right from it), but especially for the clashes which are going to give us a name, that should open up the theme.

Luckily for me I solved quite a few clues in the top right quadrant early on, and had B and E pretty quickly. I’ve played around with computer graphics, pulling handles on lines to make curves, and although the full maths is beyond me I remembered it was something to do with tangents and a chap called Bezier. I went looking for the Z…

After that it was smooth sailing, with some lovely witty and elegant clues (38a was a winner in my eyes of course turning the primate (Desmond) Tutu into the rather different sort of primate TITI; and 13d with Gill and Prudence was good too, and taught me a new meaning of “woman”), but I was glad to realise I could be home in time to get out some coloured pencils for the final submission. 

So thanks to Hawk, and back to normal transmission next time.

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