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Posts Tagged ‘24 Across’

L4611: ’24 Across’ by Merlin

Posted by Encota on 3 Jul 2020

What a cheerful theme! And spotting YELLOW SUBMARINE and CHICKEN SANDWICH as being ‘cryptically equivalent 15-letter phrases’ – excellent!

Here’s my attempt …

The hidden message, with my added punctuation, spells out:
“Does 8d [Eleanor Rigby] give hint to theme? The reverse!”

And when Yellow Submarine was published as a single in 1966 the flip-side was of course Eleanor Rigby.

I’m assuming that the pun in the Preamble saying that the lines – which reveal FILM – reveal something that could cover either phrase. A chicken sandwich in clingfilm & Yellow Submarine is a film – I think that covers it …

My last one in was RNLI at 29ac. The uncorrected clue read:

Who may save from sales return limited stocks (4)

I’d spotted the definition was ‘Who may save from gales’ by that stage but it still took me far too long to read ‘stocks’ as a hidden indicator and see ‘retuRN LImited’. D’oh!

Cheers all & keep looking after yourselves,

Tim / Encota


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Listener No 4611: 24 Across by Merlin

Posted by Dave Hennings on 3 Jul 2020

Oh dear, it was Merlin week again! It had been a long time since his last puzzle back in 2012. That was based on Euler and the Königsberg bridge (No 4209, City Crossing Tour) and, according to my annual stats for that year, was a fail — despite ages on the endgame. A few years before that in 2006, I vividly remember how ye Olde Treasure Hunt, based on Sherlock Holmes and The Musgrave Ritual, also caused me grief. I hoped for better luck [This is the Listener! Ed.] this week.

There were clashes in 14 cells, which, “along with one other (to be determined)” needed to be left blank. I hoped that it wouldn’t need too much determination. The rest of the preamble sounded quite tricky with lines to be drawn, two 15-letter phrases being revealed and a question and answer relating to one of the phrases, the other of which needed to go under the grid. Lawks!

1ac was a nice start What goes in Fort? Group of soldiers, English not American (6), with Fort being a misprint for Ford. Unfortunately, PETROL had to wait to be solved before being entered. Luckily, 7ac Change chemical firm in matter of law (5) came to the rescue with firm for form.

A few more across clues came through in the first pass, but the downs started well with ETTIN, THECLA (solved that somewhere else the day before!), ADEEM, CLERIC, TYPICAL and WENS. All those enable OTHER-WORLDLY to be slotted in at 12ac and I was getting happier.

My favourite clues were 6dn Attack Attach island cut off from state (7) for CONNECT [CONNECTICUT – I – CUT] and of course Ecstasy taken by bleary Ringo ruined his maths’ mates’ number (12, two words) [E in (BLEARY RINGO)*] giving ELEANOR RIGBY. The trickiest for me was the thematic 24ac Wallop barrel not used for full round (4) where I kept trying to add a B or BL somewhere before realising that BARREL ROLL – BARREL was the ROLL I was looking for.

On to the endgame, and the Q&A spelt by the corrected misprints was Does eight down give hint to theme? Reverse. Thanks for that, Merlin!

So could I make anything of the ten lines somehow in four groups? “No” was the answer to that question, partly due to that pesky letter that wasn’t a clash. So I took to googling ‘Eleanor Rigby’, et voilà, it was a song from the film Yellow Submarine. Identifying that in the clashes enabled CHICKEN SANDWICH to pop out from the unused clashes.

Thus we had YELLOW = CHICKEN and SUBMARINE = SANDWICH. The shape that came from those phrases was FILM, which referred to both the movie and the plastic wrapping. Discarding the answer that was 8dn related, I wrote the food item in the space under the grid. Personally, I think the corrected misprints should have given Does twenty-four across give hint to theme? Yes.

What a lot came together neatly, and hopefully I got home error-free. Thanks, Merlin.

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24 Across by Pilcrow

Posted by shirleycurran on 3 Aug 2012

Here I am, sitting in front of my completed grid and wondering about the preamble. A speedy Friday solve produced a full grid, and, as the fireworks went off all around the house as the local French celebrated le quatorze juillet, la fête nationale (Bastille Day), we saw that a French topic was the theme. Could it be Arsène le Lupin (detective hero of French adventures). No, of course it was Arsène le Wenger. “They can’t be serious!” said one Numpty, as the other, soccer hater, fiddled on a piece of scrap paper, turning the lower case ‘e’s into ‘a’s, inverting the W or Wenger to get an M and fiddling with five of those central letters to produce Arsenal Manager. “They are!” she replied – a living person as the theme of a Listener crossword. I thought that contravened the rules. We’ll be getting Wayne Rooney and Andy Murray next or even that Scottish manager fellow. Heaven forbid!”

Solving had been fun with the linked clues giving convincing surface readings and sometimes deceptively concealing the split between the A and the B part. I was keeping a careful record, as we had been told that there were ‘ten pairs each way’ but I needn’t have bothered as our last two  sets proved to be one of each kind.

There was a moment of satisfaction when the resolution of the endgame produced only real words. SEA-KING became SNAKING and FORE-HORSE became FORM HORSE (I had to look that one up in Chambers but of course, any frequenter of Ascot could have told me what it was). Radix would surely approve!

‘Vessel used by Easterner, on the drink for an /eternity, getting tipsy after one Scotch’ had to be my favourite clue. Not only did Pilcrow demonstrate his participation in the habitual Listener compilers’ tipply club but he also beautifully concealed the join between PRO + A (for an) and AE  (one in Scotland) + ON (getting tipsy).

So why am I sitting here, staring at the grid and wondering about the preamble? It’s that word ‘Initially’ (Our hero is to be deduced at 24 across – ARSENE WENGER -, with an article befitting his country of origin inserted before his surname, – LE – and initially entered in lower case apart from the initials of his forename and surname (to remain as capitals).)

An ‘initially’ implies a ‘subsequently’ or an ‘ultimately’. When we have performed the turning and repositioning of five letters, are we expected to leave those letters of Arsenal Manager in lower case, or do we submit, as usual, in upper case? Oh the dilemmas of these preambles! Well, I suppose that a crossword submitted entirely in lower case would be acceptable and this won’t be the first that requires or tolerates a mixture.

Still, this moaning numpty thought the preamble was ambiguous and loathes the wall to wall soccer that seems to dominate much of British ‘culture’ but thank you, all the same, Pilcrow for some entertaining clues.

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