Listen With Others

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin

Posts Tagged ‘by Aedites’

Travel Guide by Aedites, The Clockwork Orange.

Posted by shirleycurran on 4 March 2011


Compilers must have very unusual synapses operating. Do you think that while I am hunched into my coat, clutching that polystyrene mug of coffee and gazing at the gobbets of discarded gum on the platform, Aedites is thinking, ‘Now if I subtract Etruscan from Buchanan Street, I get Theban’. One of the numpty team travelled to and from Glasgow Academy on the Clockwork Orange via Buchanan Street station every day for six years without coming up with that inspiring snippet.

But familiarity does help. Yet again, that Listener deity is smiling on us. That word ‘Kelvin’ (‘Kelvin series acquires right marker’ (5) leading to LINE + R) alerted us to the fact that, for the sixth time this year, we were on home ground.

As soon as the misprints had spelled out UNDERGROUND CIRCLE, we knew where we were heading. (Of course we had to resist the urge to select the correct letters – the habit has become so deeply ingrained!)  We had a hint of trouble finding the second C of circle. Wasn’t that cleverly disguised? ‘Child’s cot among choices less wobbly with two equal sides’ (9) ISOSCELES was the obvious solution to that clue with the rather odd surface reading, but we had to work backwards to see that we were using the C of COT, which had to become NOT – so we were removing the CH(ild), leaving ‘OICES LESS’ to be anaground!

Home territory indeed, though THE RIVER CLYDE doesn’t actually flow in a straight line – but it does flow through GLASGOW, the city so helpfully spelled out for us by those intriguing little crosses, when read in the order they appear in the grid.

All that was left to do was put together the 35 extra words we had highlighted. While one numpty reminisced and made irrelevant comments like, ‘Do you know it’s the only railway in the world with a 4 foot gauge and the third-oldest underground railway in the world?’ ‘It had to wriggle around so much to avoid old mine-shafts’, and ‘Aedites should have required solvers to launch the QE2 at Govan by cutting a QE2 hole in their grid!’ (I ask you!) the other was busy combining those words. This was great fun:

OX + RIB = IBROX, GO + VAN = GOVAN, TAP + RICK = PARTICK, HALL + KELVIN = (can’t work this one out!), ILL + HE HAD = HILLHEAD, BRED LINK + GIVE = KELVIN BRIDGE, GORES + GETS CROSS = ST GEORGE’S CROSS , COWS + DANCED = COWCADDENS, ETRUSCAN + THEBAN = BUCHANAN STREET, COST + HEN = ST ENOCH, BRIDGET + TREES = BRIDGE STREET, WE TEST + REST = WEST STREET, SHALE + SORDID = SHIELDS ROAD, RANK + PINK GIN (aah- the oenophilic Listener compiler touch!) = KINNING PARK, COCKS + SEN = CESSNOCK.

What a fine puzzle – this one goes onto my list of favourites. Many thanks, Aedites.

Posted in Solving Blogs | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Question by Aedites (or when is a campanile not a tall building with a tower and bells?)

Posted by shirleycurran on 9 October 2009

The answer would seem to be (according to Chambers), when it is a tall bell tower detached from a church. I imagine this is going to be a very vexed question in three weeks’ time, since, if one hasn’t encountered George Crabbe’s, ‘What is a church?’ – Our honest sexton tells, ‘Tis a tall building, with a tower Champex Eeyore 044and bells.’, one could argue that a campanile is a building in its own right, with a portico, as well as its tower and bells. Hands up those who wrote ‘Campanile’ underneath this grid! The campaniles around us, here in Europe, are not merely towers!

This was only one of the problems besetting the junior easy-clues 8X8 team this week. We set off at a fine lick and had half the cold-solving done by noon on Saturday when disaster struck. It seemed fairly logical to assume that when letters met at intersections, we could allocate them to the same group. With our Scrabble alphabet in place, we were doing brilliantly. Then we encountered that easy clue, ‘Oblong coin masked by iroko banisters’ (5). Did Aedites put that in there deliberately to confound us? Every solver has heard of the OBANG and the OBANI hasn’t he? We ploughed on and letters began to fit into two different groups at the same time – so much so that we started to doubt our solving method.

Champex Eeyore 045Of course, our wise friend suggested that there might be a KOBAN – and we were on track again – for almost 24 more hours before we had cold-solved all but one clue! That was tough going for the team! We are beginning to loathe (with an e!) Spenser with his GRAPLE and TROW and host of other weird spellings. REAME was that elusive last word – why couldn’t he say realm? (And what’s the betting some tricky setter out there is compiling one entirely made up of Spenserian spellings?) Honestly, there are times when we are very nostalgic for the days when crossword solving meant working out ‘Stripey horse’ (5) Z???A

We were not clever enough to work backwards from the changes to the letters, but we did have an almost complete grid to give us our answer to the question. It was something with a ????? and bells. We slept on it and the other half of the team woke up muttering ‘Tall building with a tower and bells’. 

QuestionQuestion ChurchRinging the changes proved to be far easier than we had been expecting and two blocks of permutations appeared. It looks to us as though this is not just a concatenation, but also a sort of perpetual motion, as the last change leads back to the very first of the twenty. So here we go, ringing bells forever. Highlighting the lightest (G) bell seems to give us a couple of question marks – back to that vexed question.  Do we rely on what Crabbe’s sexton tells and write ‘CHURCH’, or do we go to Chambers (the primary reference) and find that a CAMPANILE best fits the definition, ‘Tall building with a tower and bells’? Well this is only a blog, so I can sit on the fence and put both! – and return to my Zebra crossword, with warm thanks to Aedites for entertaining us for almost the entire weekend and teaching us about bell ringing. We liked this one very much.

Posted in Solving Blogs | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »