Listen With Others

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin

Listener No 4748, XPS: A Setter’s Blog by Karla

Posted by Listen With Others on 19 Feb 2023

Have you heard of Gregor Mendel?’ asked my wife in the garden one September afternoon as we were doing justice to a decent bottle of pink. Adele was reading a ‘history of science’ and Brother Mendel’s metaphorical tonsure had popped up. I don’t succeed on every have you heard of … question that comes my way at home, but I was on safe-ish ground with this one. Genetics was one of the more interesting subjects of my A level biology classes and I could just remember enough to deliver a reasonably authoritative precis of his contribution.

GREGOR MENDEL and PISUM SATIVUM with 12 letters each made the first step of a 12×12 grid with a side column and row an obvious way in. But after that, I got stuck in a series of cul-de-pods. Dominant/recessive traits occupied me for some time, as did trying to represent F1/F2/ F3 generations. In the end, I decided to keep it to crossing peas. I liked that the letters of GREEN were in Gregor Mendel. As were the letters of GENE, but as that term was not in usage in his time, I discounted that. I tried playing on GM as in ‘genetically modified’ but that didn’t feel right at all. I chose alternating misprints to give the idea of ‘crossing’, not sure if that was picked up.

Thanks to Wan for his time and advice in getting this puzzle into shape. And a posthumous nod to the greatly missed Neil Shepherd who test-solved.

Nick (Karla)


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