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Posts Tagged ‘Ares’

Cool Places Only by Ares

Posted by shirleycurran on 4 Dec 2020

When we are told that ‘The title crypticlly represents the theme’ we, of course, anagram the title and TEA obligingly told us that ‘Cool Places Only’ anagrams to ‘Colony Collapse’. What a fine hint! I wasn’t given much time to check that Ares retains his seat or place at the bar with the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Outfit, as the other Numpty was racing ahead and had already removed those poor bees from the first six clues and was filling the grid.

But then came ‘Dream of cocktail following major broad (7)’ We downed yet another poor bee and put a major road, AI, in front of SLING (the cocktail) and produced AISLING = a dream. I liked the next clue where ‘Terrier runs to hide in cabin (5)’ but yet another poor bee hit the dust and the R in CAIN gave us our CAIRN terrier. Then Ares earned his ticket with not just a cocktail, ‘Going west, sailor opening wine hamper (4)’ We removed the B from our AB (sailor) and put him into the RED (wine) – a whole ‘hamper’ of it! A drunken sailor? Ah well – the ‘hamper’ turned out to be DEBAR with the B removed but cheers, anyway, Ares.

There was a hopeful sign later on too: ‘Innings bordered local marker (7, two words)’ One more bee had to go and we ‘ordered’ or anagrammed theINNINGS to get the local marker we were looking for, INN SIGN. Nice one!

It was all rather sad for the bees but there were some amusing manipulations when they were removed. We smiled at BRAINSTORM becoming RAINSTORM, and SEBBAT/SEAT. When EDALE was the only word that would complete 4d we head-scratched to produce BEDABBLE (wet) and the Del (or NABLA ‘upraised’ producing ALBAN or ALAN with the poor bee eliminated) nicely completed our grid.

The resulting thematic group that we had to highlight after changing one letter had to be the APIS that appeared (surprisingly considering the rate at which we had been eliminating them) when we changed the R of LARIS to a P but we were halfway through dinner before we realised that those four letters appear in that order in ‘colony collAPse dISorder’. A gentle but enjoyable compilation on a sad subject. Thank you Ares.

 

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Listener No 4633: Cool Places Only by Ares

Posted by Dave Hennings on 4 Dec 2020

The first Listener from Ares was at the beginning of this year and was all about chemical symbols in Mendeleev’s Periodic Table. This week, the title cryptically represented what was going on with clues or entries.

From 1ac Guard thrown around Blake (6), the only Blake I knew was Blake Edwards, he of Pink Panther fame, so that didn’t seem unlikely. It didn’t take long to work out that Blake becoming lake was a possibility. 6ac Poems with bit added to depict port (6) was obviously ODES plus SA with SA being ‘it’, so again a ‘b’ was dropped in the clue. I must admit that the wool [b]eater in 11ac looked odd, but [b]lock, [b]ill, [b]road and ca[b]in all confirmed the B theme.

17ac Going west, sailor opening wine hamper (4) was the first one in which a ‘b’ did not appear, so that must mean there was one in the entry (DEBAR becoming DEAR). 18 showed that there could be more than one ‘b’ involved, grabby becoming gray. All fairly straightforward.

It was sometime during the across clues that I noticed that “The Chambers Dictionary (2016) is the primary reference” was missing from the preamble and what did that have… a ‘b’. And it was nice to see VANESSA making another appearance and also SARD (with EL), both in Shark’s recent puzzle.

Meanwhile, half my brain was trying to unravel the title, not that I’m any good at multi-tasking! My first thought was something like ‘No justice’ — ‘No, just ice’ — but that didn’t relate to bees. Unravelling the title was still outstanding once the grid was complete. In fact, it was still outstanding for some time. Looking up bee in Chambers didn’t help either. Only one thing to do… sleep on it. (Not just yet though as it was only 1pm on Saturday.)

Luckily, 6am on Sunday put the idea of anagrams in my head, but a quick doodle of the letters in the title didn’t help one bit. Fifteen minutes of trial and error was fruitless, so I’m afraid I used Tea and that obliged by giving colony collapse and Chambers revealed the anagram indicator as disorder. In hindsight, I really think I should have got the anagram from my doodling.

It has to be said that all that did was to confirm that bees were the theme of the puzzle so all the doodling was a bit superfluous. Oh well. All that was left was to find the one letter that needed changing to give the thematic group. Obviously BEES wasn’t it since that would put a solitary B in the grid but perhaps that could be the queen — although was she already in 1dn? No luck with BEES, nor with HIVE.

Apiary obviously crossed my mind, and Chambers gives the derivation as “[L apis a bee, and api\-arium a bee-house]”. Perhaps that helped me to eventually track down LARIS becoming LAPIS at 27dn but it was all a bit tricky.

Wiki provides a long article on CCD. The section on Europe includes a reference to the UK government’s National Bee Unit! Who’d have thought? And there’s a nice picture of an abandoned hive in “Bromley in London”. Thanks for all that, Ares.
 

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Listener No 4591: 1899 by Ares

Posted by Dave Hennings on 14 Feb 2020

The first new setter of 2020 this week with what looked like a date-related theme. Shows what I know! During a conversation with a popular setter at the quarterly Listener gathering, I was told that one look at the title/author told him everything. Poor solvers like me had to unravel the puzzle for a couple of hours before the theme was revealed.

A few days after I had sent my solution to St Albans, I was talking to a guy in my local pub. We had nicknamed him the Hapless Hare who was a bit like the Rueful Rabbit in Victor Mollo’s bridge books, a character who was always stumbling across the correct solution without really knowing why. I had only recently learnt that he was also a Listener solver and I asked him how he had got on with this puzzle from Ares.

“A bit of a doddle,” he said. “It was obvious fairly early on that some squares needed to hold two letters, and everything meshed together nicely.”

“But didn’t you uncover the thematic name spelt out by the initial letters of extra words in fifteen clues?” I asked.

“Oh,” he replied. “I wondered why a few clues were a bit odd. Unfortunately, as I was underlining what I thought were some relevant words in the preamble, my biro got a bit leaky and splurged some ink over it. Half the words became illegible. Serves me right for buying the cheap ones.”

“So you didn’t spot the ambiguity in the centre left of the grid where UNEASINESS/CHUBBINESS/UNDOCKS could be entered in one of two ways with either NE in a square or alternatively IN and UN?”

“’Fraid not,” he said. “With all that leakage, I was running low on ink, so I put everything in to use as little as possible. I also entered the second of the letters in the double squares in lower case, again to conserve ink, especially with the Ns and Rs. I didn’t think the checker would mark me wrong for that.”

And so, without identifying Dmitri Mendeleev and realising that all the double letters, and indeed all the single letters, had to be symbols for the chemical elements and entered thematically, he got home scot-free. He wouldn’t even have had to google the Ts double in a couple of squares which is Tennessine (atomic number 117) and not yet in Chambers.

Better luck next time in trapping the Hare, Ares!
 

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1899 by Ares

Posted by shirleycurran on 14 Feb 2020

Ares seems to be a new setter pseudonym and we muse about it. It anagrams to RASE, SEAR, ERAS and the Spanish word SERA doesn’t it? Later on, we muse that it is a combination of elements 18 (Argon) and 99 (Einsteinium). One friend commented to me that the pseudonym and title clicked immediately for him (and that it was a good thing that he or she didn’t entitle the puzzle 1834) but it took us the solving of several clues and the finding of DMITRI to produce the p.d.m. No, not Shostakovich, but MENDELEEV. From then on, the other Numpty completed the solving of the clues, while I tried to make the solutions mesh, putting some double letters in as their elements.

This didn’t prove to be as easy as I initially suspected – why? Well, I naively assumed that Ares was using the original Mendeleev table which I printed and scanned for Ra, La, and Es. But it was not to be. At last, the other Numpty opened Chambers on the Chemical Elements page and my task became easier – easier, yes, but how was I going to combine the Ts of INSISTs and SiReNSUITs. I struggled for a while before checking with my friend Wiki whether there was a new element whose symbol was Ts. Tennessine (element 117) he tells me, is the second heaviest element known. It fits three times into my grid and all is well.

And the alcohol? Wiki tells me that it is a popular myth that Mendeleev invented vodka but Ares has been indulging, anyway. I find ‘They wait on board ship to provide three pints(ish) in buoys. Not socially acceptable’. I have to work backwards from the CABIN BOYS who appear as my solution, to find that a CAB is an ancient Hebrew measure of ‘about three pints’ and that is IN BUOYS from which we remove the U (not socially acceptable). So cheers, Ares!

Most of Ares’ clues were more gentle than that and it was a sppedy and enjoyable solve for us, “Thank you, Ares.”  But I shall have to try my new words out this week: KIKUMON, IBIBIO, SCRAUCH, FASCIAL and YINCE. The family who are coming over to ski this week will suspect that I have been dabbling in a new language.

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