Listen With Others

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(Green? with) Envy, by Quinapalus: Listener 4724

Posted by vaganslistener on 3 Sep 2022

It’s always good to see a Quinapalus puzzle on offer, not least because we have him (Mark Owen) to thank for the excellent suite of Qzw, Qat and other crossword programs and resources, which you can access for free via Q’s last Listener was no 4501 “Two Solutions” in 2018 which, “some cells have two letters entered diagonally so that certain entries contain two values; one has REV C L DODGSON and LEWIS CARROLL and another has PHANTASMAGORIA and RHYME AND REASON.” Clever stuff (and the sort of thing his program can help you do). What’s on offer this time?

Well, dear reader, I fell for Q’s red herring; hook, line and sinker. The preamble (probably by design) made me think of snooker, and the generous (and probably also deliberate) giving of the answer rather than entry lengths for the thematic to-be-coloured lengths pointed “obviously” to yellow, brown, green, blue and red (!) squares in plausible positions.

The grid fill followed steadily, and maintained Q’s membership of the Numpty Club (16 Order Tempranillo to replace plain _____ ? (6) > MERLOT via a subtractive anagram). Cheers! 

The message was slower to emerge, and as I started to see numbers like THIRTY and THREE I also started to think of snooker breaks and (as a “verse”) maybe even a line from the popular but probably best forgotten song “Snooker Loopy” by Chas and Dave. 

Oh dear! Wondering what GEN could be turning into at the beginning of the message, the penny suddenly dropped (how could a cleric have been so slow?) that the reference was to a Bible Verse: GENESIS THIRTY-SEVEN THREE to be precise, and Joseph’s “coat of many colours”. Nerd trigger alert! The word for “of many colours” is actually obscure in Hebrew and often translated nowadays as “richly ornamented” or even “with long sleeves”: but that really spoils the fun of the puzzle, so back to the main show.

The “work” then really had to be the Joseph’s Coat song from Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat, with the refrain:

It was red and yellow and green and brown
And scarlet and black and ochre and peach
And ruby and olive and violet and fawn
And lilac and gold and chocolate and mauve
And cream and crimson and silver and rose
And azure and lemon and russet and grey
And purple and white and pink and orange
And red and yellow and green and brown and blue.

And there they were, symmetrically dotted around the “cloth” (not a green baize after all but making the brothers green with envy).

Finally, how to submit? The colour range required exceeds that of my highligher colllection, and indeed of my coloured pencils. Qxw or another program allows the colouring to be accurate, but colouring a white square white is tricky. Then I read the preable again and saw that while the colouring of this larger set of squares was optional we did have to circle the letters. Another program would do that for me, but the background colour then just went into the circle – and the white circles needed to made black to show. So that’s what I did, and you can see the stages in the diagrams. The middle one is by far the prettiest, but the right-hand one is more accurate. I hope.

Thanks to Quinpalus for a cheerful puzzle and a well-constructed one too, with a classic two-step solve, selling a nice dummy along the way. I’m just working on a puzzle with misdirection myself and I’ll do well to get anywhere near this standard.

PS The wonderful Q aka Mark has now shown me how to add the coloured circles within QXW. I need to update my prorgam. “It’s under “Cell properties”. Put “\o” (without the quotation marks)
in any of the unused “mark” entries.”


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