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Posts Tagged ‘Arthur Mailey’

‘Sharp Work’ by Puffin

Posted by Encota on 3 November 2017

Thank you Puffin for a neat and straightforward puzzle.  As usual I initially found the preamble baffling (that is more a comment about me, not the puzzle), so pressed on regardless.  Some of the extra inserted words were quite easy to spot, which helped.

The initial letters soon started to spell out SIXTY SIX near the end and something that could be WICKETS, so it looked like some form of cricket and 1066 crossover, given that two of the unclued words also looked suspiciously like WILLIAM and HASTINGS.  Once ‘ten wickets for 66’ became clear then it only took a little research to find Arthur Mailey and his autobiography “10 for 66 and All That”.  So I wrote “1066 And All That” under the grid.

That left the 12 cells to highlight, on the diagonal?  Is this ONE IN THE EYED?  I suppose it must be.  I tried to look for some preamble-based justification for highlighting the last letter of SWEYED to make the arrow-head symmetric, but without any success.  And 24d looks like it can only sensibly be DEPOSED, so I went with that!

2017-10-14 14.46.50 copy

Referring to my iPad version of Chambers I didn’t find the alternative spelling of TIGS as TYGS at 32a but did find it in Collins online.  When I re-checked the preamble and saw no mention of other dictionary sources I then checked the pristine new copy of Chambers – my prize from a Listener earlier this year and, sure enough, there was TYGS.  I’ll add updating BRB on iPad to my To Do list (that’s always easier than actually doing something, isn’t it?)

Good fun.  One of the easier Listeners of the year, which isn’t a bad thing – unless I have missed something significant (very possibly!).  Though, with a little trepidation, I suspect there’ll be at least a few very challenging ones lined up for the remainder of 2017 …

Tim / Encota

P.S.  Times Crossword Finals tomorrow – I look forward to seeing some of you there (Sat 4th Nov) or at The George, Southwark nearby.  Do stop and say hello!

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Sharp Work by Puffin

Posted by shirleycurran on 3 November 2017

Puffin seems to be a new setter but his promising grid and relatively short preamble caused us no initial concern. “Sharp Work” we mused. “Are we going to have a claimant who uses a spear to ‘press his claim?”

First of course, I needed to confirm that Puffin’s claim to a place in the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Elite is confirmed. “What are TYGS” asked the other Numpty whose grid was filling speedily. ‘On and off eyesight strained for old [Egyptian] cups with more than one handle (4)’ He had anagrammed alternate letters of eYeSiGhT to produce what the BRB confirmed were old drinking cups; but we still needed the evidence of ‘First person leaving [fond] farewell (4)’ to give AD(I)OS< = SODA. Assuming there is something with the soda, let’s raise a welcome glass – Cheers, Puffin!

We must have been lucky as WILLIAM soon appeared at 8d and HASTINGS seemed to be the most likely place that the most famous William chose to press his claim. That fitted the H?S?ING? that had appeared at 16d and it didn’t take us long to work out that he DEPOSED HAROLD. All we needed were 12 letters to make an arrow shaft in the obvious place and, of course ONE IN THE EYE was where we expected it to be, down the leading diagonal. But wait a minute – that’s 11 letters. Consternation: there must be something subtle that we are missing.

We are not very fond of the ‘extra word’ device. Of course, it is one of the easiest for setters but it seems to me to be a bit of a cop out (even if it does avoid the agony of attempting to find appropriate misprints); the late Mr Leonard actually refused to accept submissions that used it but he did also, many years ago, kindly prompt me “Leave the misprint device to the crossword stars; use an easier one that is less of a struggle!” Of course we are all weary of the extra letter produced by the wordplay, and so on, so perhaps, for once, the extra word is welcome. It did give us a rapid ARTHUR MAILEY’S TEN WICKETS FOR SIXTY-SIX and Auntie Google soon gave us all we needed to know. Obviously ‘1066 And All That’ would complete our grid.

Moribund hare?

Poat’s hare? Oh dear, oh dear! Puffin may be a newcomer but he seems to have dramatically put an end to the golden hare. There he was happily crossing the centre of the grid (admittedly in a rather cofused/jumbled state) only to be transfixed by a Norman arrow. Golden hare RIP.

Could the hare have survived? Watch this space!

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