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Posts Tagged ‘Apt’

Ahead of the Game by Apt

Posted by shirleycurran on 1 May 2020

It is Easter weekend so we were vaguely expecting something Eastery – eggs, rabbits, chickens, say and after a very speedy solve (the other Numpty was solving so fast that I could barely keep up with filling the grid and colour coding which clashing letters were down and which were across) he disappeared to cook supper and left me working out the endgame.

I admit that I did that, as I so often do, in reverse, spotting the rabbit in the top row, so hunting for a symmetrical animal in the bottom row and, of course, finding the duck, which rang a bell and sent me to Wiki where I found what I was looking for.

It that point, I had a strange MOUKED at 15 across which clashed with SHMEK at 15d but didn’t quite produce the rabbit I was trying to draw and the letters didn’t anagram to the two phrases we needed. Of course, the Pet was ‘Hon’, giving HONKED, so all was well producing letters that spelled A QUICK PLUNGE for DUCK, and TALK AT LENGTH for RABBIT. Thank you Big Red Book, why didn’t I go there straight away?

When I could catch my breath, I had naturally spotted that Apt was doing his best to retain admission to the Listener Setters Oenophile Elite, producing a barrel and a vat: ‘Space either side of barrel with a decoration inlaid (7)’ giving us B(arre)L with EM on each side and A for EMBLEMA, and ‘Unfinished metal vat is not so watertight (7)’ givng LEA(d) + KIER = LEAKIER. Cheers Apt!

My only doubt was whether I should join the first and last letters of those two messages, making a line that looped its way round the duck/rabbit’s head, or do what some of the examples on the Internet do and leave both ends of the line dangling. I decided that either way had created the rabbit/duck and the word ‘through’ in the pre-ramble suggested that the line had to pass through the cells – so I joined them up.

The title made sense now, if you consider rabbits and ducks to be ‘game’.

Of course ‘i’ suggested an eye so I added that finishing touch. Very nice, Apt, thank you.

There was one lovely Easter egg. We had no doubt at all that the little fellow disguised as a rabbit was our old friend Poat’s hare back from rather lengthy hols in Blackpool and despite Poat’s attempt to shoot him last time he appeared in one of  his grids. Welcome back, little hare!


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Listener No 4602: Ahead of the Game by Apt

Posted by Dave Hennings on 1 May 2020

Last January, Apt gave us an extract from The Merchant of Venice and asked us to fix examples of hypercorrection. This week we had some clashes to identify, then doodle a line through and finally highlight what was represented.

The clues were relatively straightforward despite having clashes lurking. Once again, foreign solvers may have been confused, this time by 4dn Amateur conducted Jones in choral singing (4) for ALED, referring to the Welsh Aled Jones, he of The Snowman fame.

Apt seems to like alternate hiddens. 7dn Periodically inspected airshow bears less traces of upheaval? (8) gave ISOBASES — (a)I(r)S(h)O(w) B(e)A(r)S (l)E(s)S) — and the slightly sneakier 29ac Regularly ruin a beurre noir that’s primarily not spoiled by heating (7) for UNBURNT — (r)U(i)N (a) B(e)U(r)R(e) + N(oir) + T(hat).

Finally, we had the thirteen clashes, and it was evident that that the clash where one letter was filled in as hinted at by the other was the O/I at 20ac/dn with the O becoming an eye. The remaining across clashes gave LNTEKALAGTTH and the downs PUKLICUQNGAE. Doodling the letters initially gave get tall thank and quick ape lung before ending up as Talk at length and A quick plunge. Tracing those letters out in the grid revealed what looked to me like an eagle!

Looking for the ten cells which required highlighting, it took a few minutes to see RABBIT in the top row and DUCK in the bottom. These were of course defined by the two phrases just revealed by the clashes. Whether we were expected to see the illusion before these two words, I don’t know, but I needed to google it to reveal Wiki’s German original, Kaninchen und Ente.

Thanks for a splendid construction, Apt, with not too much artwork required. Nice title too.

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L4602: Ahead of the Game by Apt

Posted by Encota on 1 May 2020

The Listener can sometimes be a world of illusion – you think you’ve discovered something – only to find out it was, or might be, something different entirely.

In this week’s puzzle this took the form of the famous illusion of a head of a duck … that could be a head of a rabbit. Or was it the other way around? Definitely a head of (the) game, anyway.

More info on its history can be found at:–duck_illusion

The neatest feature of this puzzle was that, in 12 cells there was a clash. If you read one set of 12 in the correct order it spelt out A QUICK PLUNGE, which pretty much means Duck. The other set of 12 was TALK AT LENGTH, which is Rabbit, as any Cockney will tell you.

The clues were fairly gentle, so this one all slotted in nicely. “Should the path be closed or not?” I suspect I wasn’t the only one asking myself. “Leaving it open can’t be wrong“, I thought, so that’s how I left it.


Tim / Encota

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Listener No 4536: Meowed by Apt

Posted by Dave Hennings on 25 January 2019

Eighteen months ago, Apt’s first Listener had Hofstadter’s Law as its theme. This basically says that things take longer than you think, even when you take that into account. I think some Listeners fall into that category for me. This week, Apt had the honour of providing first Listener of the year.

Apt chose to slot an extra word into each clue, the first letters of those in the acrosses giving a phrase from a play and some of those in the downs giving definitions of new entries which needed to appear in the grid.

Apt’s clues were fairly forgiving, and the grid was completed in shorter than average time. My favourite was probably 34ac Fly [economy], or part of “jet-set” section (6) which was a simple hidden TSETSE. Actually, ‘simple’ didn’t describe it for me, since it completely passed me by on first reading. Perhaps it was the quotation marks that boggled me, since 5dn Strike [tendentious] passage from translation (4) gave me no such problem.

The unclued entries were easy to complete, and together with the first letters of the extra across words gave “All debts are cleared BETWEEN YOU AND I” from Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice. I won’t say that it is top of my pet hates, but ‘between you and I’ instead of ‘between you and me’ is pretty high on the list.

Once I had dispensed with the extra down words that were definitons of words revealed by changing all the Is in the grid to MEs, the first letters of the remaining extra words gave R P R T C E E O R I H C O N Y. ‘Incorrect hopery’ was my first guess, and HYPERCORRECTION was second — or was it third, which was lucky because I’d never heard of the word before.

Thanks to Apt for a gentle introduction to the year. Probably got it wrong!

For those of you who may have been wondering what is top of my list of pet hates, it’s people who, normally in text messages, use ‘should of’ instead of ‘should have’, as in “I should of known better”!

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Meowed by Apt

Posted by shirleycurran on 25 January 2019

“Meowed? Something about a cat”, we mused, as we began our pencil and paper solve driving down from a week at 8000ft in the Sierra Nevada. Of course I checked to see whether Apt retains his membership of the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Elite and he didn’t score too well with just ‘port’ towards the end of his clues ‘Heading north skinned fish departed port city (6) ODESSA went in there (Was it (p)ASSED O(n)

I’m jumping ahead. We read a clear preamble that led us to a play (“Probably Shakespeare, we said – maybe poor Tom is the cause of the Meowing.”) and a ‘purported’ error that we were going to rectify in the final grid. Extra words were going to be used in three different ways. Initial letters of those in across clues would give us words of a speech. Some in down clues would define the words created by the rectified ‘purported error’ and the remainder would give us letters to anagram, together with the circled letters, to form a term for the error. Nothing daunting there, and, after all, this was the first crossword of the year so we were expecting a gentle one.

Solving was speedy and by the time we reached Silicon Valley we had a full grid with just one doubt and a familiar phrase: “ALL DEBTS ARE CLEARED …” “BETWEEN YOU AND I”, I completed. That oh-so-magnanimous declaration of Antonio in The Merchant of Venice, when he is about to give his pound of flesh for Bassanio. “Sweet Bassanio, my ships have all miscarried. My creditors grow cruel. My estate is very low. My bond to the Jew is forfeit. And since in paying it, it is impossible I should live, all debts are cleared between you and I if I might but see you at my death. Notwithstanding, use your pleasure. If your love do not persuade you to come, let not my letter.”

We have that comical little book of English grammar ‘Between You and I” on the shelves at home and are well aware that the term of fussing about this traditional  use of the nominative after a preposition is considered to be ‘HYPERCORRECTION’ so it was an inverse solve to work out which of the extra words of the down clues were definitions of the Is that were to be changed to ME. RAMESES gave PHARAOH, MESHES gave NETWORK, GAMELY led to WILLINGLY, SMEGMA had to be SECRETION, HUMMED gave HOAXED, SMELT was the FISH and EMMETS areTOURISTS somewhere in the south-west. Nice, Apt.

Our missing letter was in E?EA ‘Less than half of tuition that’s on the web site for philosophers. Was this E-TEA(CHING) or E-LEA(RNING)? We needed Chambers to tell us that ELEATIC referred to ELEA, a gathering site for philosophers. Of course there was no Poor Tom – just ME OWED. Many thanks, Apt.

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