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Posts Tagged ‘Battleships’

‘Battleships’ by Paddock

Posted by Encota on 6 Jan 2017

First of all, Happy New Year to all in the Listener community 🙂

Bloomin’ ‘eck there were some tough clues in this one!  And I haven’t fully parsed two of them (17a & 24a) as I first start writing this – hopefully I’ll have got them over the next day or two.  Loved it!

Using the Battleships ‘board’ of, I suspect, many of our childhoods to provide the Theme for this puzzle was ingenious.  Achieving a nautical theme to such a depth throughout the large majority of the clues was very impressive and must have been great fun to write.  A super job – thanks Paddock!

For example, I think I spotted six different uses of ‘ship’ in the clues:

  • for HER as the Contents of a Container&Contents clue to form INHERE (26a),
  • S for ‘starter on SHIP’ to form part of (s)[T]RETCHING (4d),
  • part of an anagram in RAN SHIP (8d) which with [B]E formed PARISHEN,
  • to mean MAN (verb, to ship), part of a reversal to help form ENAMOUR(9d),
  • ‘ship’s capacity’ as the definition of TONNAGE (25d),
  • ‘record from ship’ for LOG (27d),

and that’s not counting the other boats, warships, cruisers, subs etc that make an appearance.

I’ll confess to one piece of stupidity on my part in one of the first clues I solved and one of my favourites:

         Mice etc at sea offering assistance to cat (6)

Rather than being a ‘pirate Jerry makes Tom look stupid again’ cartoon as perhaps the surface suggests, this was of course an anagram (‘at sea’) of MICE ETC, with one unrequired letter. As an aside, what a brilliantly deceptive definition in ‘offering assistance to cat’, where the ‘cat’ means ‘vomit’ and the answer is EMETIC.  So far so good…

Unfortunately I then spent half of Saturday, on and off, failing to spot that MICE ETC minus EMETIC actually ISN’T the letter M.  The time I’ve wasted trying to fit MUSTER* into the grid instead of CRUETS*  🙂   At long last the final Cruiser (CRU) and Submarine (S) had appeared and all was, at long last, solved.

There were several other constructions I loved.  One example,

Cloth either side of topgallant slashed (5)

with either side of T(opgallan)T (but not both!) combined with WEED to make TWEED.

And finally, you’ll most likely be pleased to know that I don’t intend to set any more hares running this week, hidden or otherwise.  Or (as I might clue in one of my technology-focused puzzles elsewhere), setting baud rate to zero.

cheers all,

Tim / Encota

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Listener No 4429: Battleships by Paddock

Posted by Dave Hennings on 6 Jan 2017

A new setter this week, but a game which, according to Wiki, dates back to World War I. In twenty-eight clues, we had wordplay plus a letter. I was a bit perplexed by the “in five separate groups” phrase, but felt sure all would become clear at the end.

listener-4429I started on the acrosses, but after ten clues with not a single entry, I decided to try the downs. However, that was not before realising that every clue had a nautical reading, and I can’t even guess how tricky that must have been… especially for a debut puzzle.

1dn Steel hull of Lance is at centre of furore (6) came to my rescue with TOLEDO followed soon after by 3dn In staying away from the drink, rear admiral had wavered (8) for TEETERED. I’m sure I wouldn’t have got that so quickly if TEETEE (for teetotaller) hadn’t appeared in another puzzle recently.

So, back to the acrosses, and with 1 TOOTER, 13 LAYETTE, 15 EMETIC and 17 DIVER, I finished the north-west corner much more quickly than I thought I would. RESEARCH enabled me to get going with the north-east corner, and it was only by solving 19dn It provides a boost to torpedo, about to be fired (5) as U-BOAT that I was delayed in getting PSYCH-UP at 21ac; 19 turned out to be UPPER ([S]CUPPER – C).

After that, the bottom of the grid filled out nicely, although it wasn’t a quick solve, not helped by 27dn WHILOM being a new word for me. In the end, the grid took just short of three hours.

My vote for favourite surface reading goes to 32ac One could be honking either side of Hawke with onset of nausea (4) for HORN (H OR [E] + N(ausea), extra letter [E]). The clue which made me smile was 40ac Recuperating man disheartened by what grog and womanising do (7) for MENDING (M(a)[N] + END IN G, extra letter [N]).

listener-4429-my-entryAnd so to the endgame. The five groups were just 5 or 6 letters separated by one or more spaces. In sequence, they were TEURSC, TCRENE, TEREN, TATLEB, NSREI. These had to be unjumbled to give real words and then fitted into the grid to make new words. The first looked likely to be CRUETS (it’s only as I write this that TRUCES becomes a possibility), but the second could be CENTRE (or CENTER), RECENT or TENREC. The third was ENTER, the fourth BATTLE and the last RINSE, RISEN or SIREN. A few choices needed to be resolved and it seemed like it was just a case of trial and error.

In the end, it didn’t take too long to figure it all out, perhaps 30 minutes. Of course, BATTLE ended up being BATTEL at 1ac, and ENTER was TREEN at 6dn, despite Paddock’s devious CRUES which looked like it would hold one of the cruisers.

Thanks, Paddock, for an excellent divertissement in the run up to Christmas, and congratulations on the nautical clues.

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Battleships by Paddock

Posted by shirleycurran on 6 Jan 2017

The elusive HARE four letters in a straight line!

The elusive HARE four letters in a straight line!

A new name with a title that immediately raises a smile (his pseudonym does too – that’s the name of the toad, the witch’s familiar, in Macbeth isn’t it? I was acting the second witch with her “Paddock calls, anon, anon” at just about the same time as we were habitually surreptitiously playing battleships when we should have been completing Latin exercises during ‘prep’). So Mr, or Ms Toad, what have we here?

Well, there’s no doubt that this new setter qualifies for the long night of tippling at the annual setters’ dinner as the clues are overflowing with alcohol. We start with ‘Subsequently getting still on board – kit necessary for an expected tot (7)’ (LATER around YET giving LAYETTE). Not content with the entire still, he/she is into port some clues later. ‘Wind isn’t blowing Australia to port (7) (AINT getting rid of A[ustralia] + PORT = INTWINE).

It’s rum next! ‘Sailor’s spirit ebbs, breaking while shut in the hulks? (6)’ (That’s RUM< in [T]IME giving IMMURE)

He subsequently discards the coaster so I imagine he’s into the pub now (I’m assuming Paddock is a he as it is statistically likely – we active lady setters of the Listener make up about two per cent of the total, I believe – a disturbing fact!). ‘Persuasive man on board stops sailor surrendering coaster (8)’. ELOQUENT fitted the grid that was steadily being filled but it was a while before we understood the wordplay and sorted out that extra letter. (mat)ELOT surrounded QUE[E]N). Yes, I suppose the Queen does count as a chessman but I’ll be defending women’s rights any minute now! Indeed, though, what a clever clue. Clearly we are not accustomed to Paddock’s setting style and we found a number of his clues tough but clever too.

Dare I admit, however, that we groaned about the next boozy clue. ‘Recuperating man disheartened by what grog and womanising do (7)’. We’ve encountered that clue, or a variety of it before. They END IN G don’t they – well with all that grog there’s likely to be some gloom or giddiness. But Paddock hadn’t finished, ostensibly turning TT but bringing in the RED. ‘In staying away from the drink, rear admiral had wavered (8)’ giving TEETEE’D around R[A] = TEETERED. No wonder he was ‘Straining to dispose of starter on ship? (8)’ S[T]RETCHING – a nicely &lit. clue using the ‘straining’ senses of STRETCHING and RETCHING.

The grid was full and it was clear from the preamble what we had to do but we, as usual, were challenged by the extra letters and still had a couple missing, rendering the final task daunting. As we teased out the E from the ELOQUENT and the A from the TEETERED clues (we had originally opted for an E) we saw with horror that those five groups of letters all yielded strings of anagrams:

TEURSC gave CRUETS, CRUSET, CURETS, CUSTER, ERUCTS (the most likely in view of all that alcohol!) and RECTUS



TATLEB gave TABLET and BATTEL or BATTLE (obviously a good candidate for the battleship)

battleships-by-paddock-001Then even worse, NSREI gave six anagrams, REINS, RESIN, RINSE, SERIN, SIREN and RISEN.

I was daunted and on the point of putting off the endgame till Saturday morning when a lucky dabble placed CRUETS. I suppose it was the obvious adaptation of ‘WORDAGE’ to ‘CORDAGE’ that gave the hint. The rest was plain sailing (or sinking) and I breathed a sigh of relief when the appropriate number of submarines ‘surfaced’. (Yes, and I did spot the elusive HARE in four cells that could be joined by a straight line. The other Numpty commented this week that Turner obviously knew what we were looking for in that famous painting of the hare racing along in front of the train.)

Welcome and thanks Paddock.

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