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Posts Tagged ‘Cordon’

Cordon by Colleague

Posted by shirleycurran on 24 August 2018

Sheep may safely graze

We are in the Yorkshire Dales where one is never far from a maaing sheep or a bleating lamb and I have the very enjoyable role of setting the weekly cryptic crossword for the Farmers Guardian and frequently do that with a favourite Bach adagio playing in the background so you can imagine my delight when SCHAFE KONNEN SICHER WEIDEN appeared in that fifth circle and the centre four letters were clearly going to spell BACH.

No, it wasn’t an instant revelation and I had already muttered my habitual imprecations against Colleague when I saw that word ‘jumbles’ in the pre-ramble. I always think it is a bit of a setter cop-out and would be happy never to see another jumbled solution in my lifetime, though, on this occasion, those words ‘no two adjacent answers having the same method of entry’ rendered those jumbles fairly a later stage in the solve and having set very many circular crosswords in my time with no jumbles, I know how frustrating it can be to reach word 36 or 48 and find that there is no possible entry.

I haven’t forgotten, even if Colleague is wandering in the pastures, that his/her entry ticket to the bar has to be confirmed. I wasn’t left in doubt for long! ‘Old-style white wine less likely at first to undergo diffusion’ gave us MOSEL less L(ikely) after OS = OSMOSE.(Actually we worked backwards to that one as BESOMED had already gone into the grid, confirming the B of BACH in the centre, and giving us the OSE of a word that had to go inwards or be jumbled.

Colleague produced the beer next (obviously a German speaker with his ‘Schafe konnen sicher weiden’ but he must have forgotten the German adage ‘Wein auf Bier, das rat ich dir. Bier auf Wein, das lass sein.’) ‘What the right arm may be used for – as in Special brew’ giving us UT in S + ALE, so SALUTE. Well, with that beer chasing the wine, I salute a rather drunken Colleague. Cheers!

Dales black-faced sheep grazing safely.

DORCAS was a lovely gift so we realized at once that the outer circle was going to contain a series of shepherds or shepherdesses and ABEL (the first), MOPSA (Dorcas’s ‘other’ in The Winter’s Tale) and GABRIEL OAK from Far From the Madding Crowd were likely candidates. Those four nicely framed the ones that were less obvious to me, OLD NOD (which produced a smile), CORIN, SILVIUS and DELIO. He was my very last entry into the grid and caused a bit of head-scratching.

WOLF was my first ‘sheep’. With all those shepherds around, I am surprised he snuck in (but, of course, he was in that part of the grid where ‘OLD NOD’ was on duty, so I imagine he is going to make a meal or two of the AMMON, the MOUFFLON, the SOAY, the SOUTHDOWN and the MERINO. DOLLY died, didn’t she? Sadly, as the Farmers Guardian campaign ‘TAKE THE LEAD‘ regularly tells us, it isn’t wolves so much as unrestrained dogs that are the menace. Well, there’s my bit of politicising, but it was prompted by a crossword that I thought was sheer delight. Many thanks to Colleague.

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Listener No 4514: Cordon by Colleague

Posted by Dave Hennings on 24 August 2018

Last year’s puzzle from Colleague was based on the BBC One sitcom Ever Decreasing Circles and the Oozlum bird. I think the Inquisitor is normally the place for TV programme themes, but it was a fun puzzle nonetheless.

This week we had a circular grid. Now, I must have blogged a dozen or so circular puzzles here at LWO. Between you and me, they’re not my favourite, just as others dislike puzzles with jumbles or Playfair. Still, my shoulders are broad.

Normally circular puzzles have a mixture of entries going inwards and outwards. Here, we had jumbles as well. (I bet someone was thankful that there weren’t a couple of Playfair entries as well! [Now there’s a thought. Ed.])

As I expected, this was tough. As well as all the 6-letter entries, each quadrant had a 7-letter one which strayed into the central ring, but we were told that wasn’t a jumble. In hindsight, I should have got 1 Not all in sea bottom cleared by a sweep straightaway, but I didn’t. In fact very few came quickly and there seemed like a lot of cold (or, at least, luke warm) solving. Being told that no two adjacent answers had the same entry method certainly helped.

With the grid about two-thirds full, I had SCHAF… in ring 5. It looked as though it could be German, and that idea was supported by “… in its original form…” in the preamble. A check with Google translate gave SHEEP, although it would probably end up being plural (SCHAFE). The first idea that came to mind was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but Ein Wolf im Schafspelz didn’t really fit.

Eventually, ring 5 spelt out SHAFE KÖNNEN SICHER WEIDEN which translates to Sheep May Safely Graze and I was surprised to discover that it was an aria by JS BACH, words courtesy of Salomon Franck. It didn’t take too long to work out that shepherds needed to go in the perimeter with sheep in ring 3, apart from the WOLF en déshabillé in the north-west quadrant.

The sheep were fairly cut and dried, with AMMON, MOUFFLON, DOLLY, SOAY, SOUTHDOWN and MERINO. All that was left was to finalise the shepherds, except that took an awful lot of googling. As You Like It provided CORIN and SILVIUS and The Winter’s Tale MOPSA and DORCAS. OLD NOD came courtesy of Walter de la Mare, GABRIEL OAK from Thomas Hardy, and ABEL from the Bible.

That just left one shepherd in the north-east quadrant to be tracked down. Eventually, after an awful lot of googling, I found him in The Seven Books of the Diana, “…a pastoral romance written in Spanish by the Portuguese author Jorge de Montemayor.” I must admit that seemed a bit like clutching at straws, but further research didn’t elucidate any other Delio, so I settled for that. Of course, I could have got something else wrong!

Oh, and BACH is in the centre!

In the end, this wasn’t as tricky as it seemed at first, although it was by no means a short solve. I’m still not sure about Delio, so I’ll just have to wait and see. Thanks, Colleague.

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