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Posts Tagged ‘Agreement’

Agreement by Samuel

Posted by shirleycurran on 6 Jul 2018

We are child-minding in California with a rather demanding two-year old, and I was dreading a really fearsome crossword with a GWIT leap from solving to a totally obscure and unrelated endgame, something along the lines of ‘All clues consist of two halves which must be differently attached in order to provide the definitions and wordplay to entries which are all jumbled, all but three of these must be entered using knights’ moves. The remaining three give a cryptic definition of the theme which solvers must highlight with a single curved line linking six symbolic thematic items ….’ You know the style!

What a relief, therefore, to see the name Samuel at the head of the puzzle and to read a preamble that we could absorb in a single reading. We could be sure of totally fair clues. (Are you claiming that ‘See how far one can get from moon containing Yttrium (7 three words)’ is fair? There are hundreds of moons Ed.) Well we put a Y into the letters we had and guessed the rest, producing TRY IT ON.

We had to find misprints in the definitions of all but eight of the clues. That’s always a challenge for the setter but tends to render the solving slightly easier when a few are instantly evident: ‘not Raving joints – surely that was ‘not Having joints, which gave us ENODAL.  ‘… town adjacent to where parties made peNce’ – surely they made peAce. First penny drop moment, “EGHAM is near Runnymede! It’s about the Magna Carta” said the other Numpty and, of course, we saw where the ten-letter phrase would go. Down the leading diagonal. That rendered solving much easier with so many letters in place.

No, I haven’t forgotten the inevitable setter’s tipple and it was there in ‘Striking head consuming drop of Ouzo and what some mean by “raki”‘. Samuel is into the relatively exotic alcohol. Cheers! We had trouble finding the misprint there but at the very end of our solve, when we had BAILI? we found that RAKE can mean ROAM (the O of ouzo going into RAM, striking head).

DISESTEEMED ‘Wasn’t fond of …’ had been our very first entry in the grid but we had wondered how the wordplay gave us the last four letters. ‘….dodgy sites in Delaware (11)’ led to DISESTE. Now we could complete the word with ‘Runny’ or anagrammed MEDE, and as the eight words that were going to use this device were symmetrical we soon found MISDEMEANOUR, ADEEM, REDEEM, ACADEME, DEMENT, MADE MEN and EDEMA. KANG and FOHN, converted to KING JOHN, neatly placed at 12 and 15, giving 1215, the year of the signing of the Magna Carta. That left us a few gaps to fill and the thematic group to complete. OFFICER, COURT, BAILIE, ??NCHAUSEN and OF BEEF. Well it had to be MUNCHAUSEN and I found that an IMPOT can be a ‘huM’ giving us the M, and  SEA DOGS can be ‘hUsses’ giving us the U. What did all those have in common I asked myself. Of course, they can all be barons – how beautifully thematic the whole compilation was – not over-difficult, three relevant devices. Just the way I like my Listener crosswords. Thank you, Samuel.


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‘Agreement’ by Samuel

Posted by Encota on 6 Jul 2018

2018-06-18 09.19.10

A gentle yet accurate Listener – one of the best sorts, I feel – where it doesn’t feel like 15 rounds with Mike Tyson yet all thematically and satisfyingly hangs together.

Aside: there does seem to be something of a mixed metaphor, or something, there.  My current favourite is, “Let’s run Aunt Sally up the flagpole and see if she floats …”.

I do love the tougher ones – but without the kind of counterbalance this puzzle provides it would all begin to feel a bit too much of a slog, I think.

I’d like to claim I didn’t know who John King is, or that his birthday was on 15th December, but that’d just be puerile.  Slightly more seriously I do like it when the numbers in the puzzle play some role in their own right, so it was good to see King John featuring in 12 15 in this ‘Magna Carta, Runnymede & Barons’ puzzle.  Perhaps I am slightly biased, though, having been guilty of using the numbers in my previous ‘2001: a space odyssey’ and ‘Radios 1 to 4’ thematic puzzles in recent years!

Out of time today – thanks again to Samuel.


Tim / Encota

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Listener No 4507: Agreement by Samuel

Posted by Dave Hennings on 6 Jul 2018

Samuel’s last Listener was over three years ago with his Essentials and ORIENTEERING being highlighted in the shape of the letters M A P. Unfortunately, I made a silly mistake with one of the answers, RANGATIRA (a Maori leader or chief), entering it as RANATIRI. Hopefully, no such silliness lay ahead of me this week.

To start with, a thematic 9-letter place name could be used as partial wordplay for eight entries, with only the remaining wordplay provided by the clues. Other clues had a misprint in their definition.

As a setter, Samuel can be fairly easy-going or quite tricky. After about half-an-hour, with about a third of the grid complete, it became clear that this was one of his easier ones. It was entertaining nonetheless, especially with a good dollop of Samuel’s sense of humour. Misprints can either stick out like a sore thumb, or be nicely devious. Here, we had a mixture of both. I particularly enjoyed 22ac Like men leaving tailors sporting handy equivalent to ties? (8) where ties became toes giving DIGITALS, and (don’t ask me why!) 36ac Thong’s sex appeal: empty eroticism (4) for ITEM (thongthing).

Eventually, the grid was complete and the wordplay missing from the clues was an anagram of DEEM. I’m afraid that my first instinct was to look in the NW–SE diagonal and was rewarded with MAGNA CARTA. 7dn was an additional hint to the location we were seeking: Playing hard game in town adjacent to where parties made pence (5), EGHAM being next to RUNNYMEDE where parties made peace.

The corrections to the misprints in the clues spelt out types of baron: baron-officer, court baron, baron-bailie, Baron Munchausen, baron of beef. Magna Carta was forced on King John by 25 rebel barons. The final change in the grid was to turn KANG FOHN into KING JOHN at acrosses 12 15.

I know that some commenters elsewhere have complained about easy Listeners, and this was certainly on the easy side compared to the recent Sabre and Ifor puzzles. However, as a weekly blogger, it is a welcome relief to knock one of these essays out in an hour or so, rather than the 2, 3 or more hours they sometimes take. So many thanks, Samuel.

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