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Posts Tagged ‘Difficulty’

Setter’s remarks – Chalicea’s difficulty

Posted by shirleycurran on 30 Jul 2017

Clearly a ringless review’s required – which is difficult since it was the chief Ed’s idea (Mr Phillips) that put clues in a single list thus bypassing the unwanted letter in clue lists, and he suggested disregarding a Chamber’s reference this time – the credit is his. Tester and vetter Artix came up with many brilliant tricks excising that banned letter as well. Thanks, Artix! Chalicea has really appreciated all the tributes that came via Mr Green, and appeared in the Answerbank and TSTMNBM – sad that a grumpy and pernickety pair esteemed it singularly easy – hard cheese! The Listener needs a range between stinkers and gentle rambles (at least, that’s what I think).

Publishing the Listener statistics in the reviews is against Mr Green’s rules but he has said that I may publicise the fact that a centenarian Cdr. D P Willan  (RN retired) submitted a flawless entry – the first, we believe, by a centenarian – a fine achievement!

The setters’ drinks club? Membership assured by clue 3: ‘Dead trendy drink, perhaps deficient in temperature (4)’ [LATTE less T = LATE = Dead]. “Santé!” See all the mates at the bar at next year’s setters’ dinner in Paris (merci à Sylvie Vartan!)

Terrified hare fleeing nightbird and pussycat

Hares? Dave drew a few fine hares and they appeared in capitals as well and I see that Tim highlighted them all [surely rather inventively? Ed.] but the terrified little running hare at the left-hand edge was fleeing the pussycat and night bird (it was certainly eaten anyway – that’s the way it is in nature).

Ah, what a remarkable thing – just seen that he is alive and well and finally appearing as was rightfully expected a fair while since (December last year!) in 4 letters in a straight line in the grid, starring centrally in Serpent’s baldy thingummy (a zebra as well – Serpent has made my day!)
















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Listener No 4458: Difficulty by Chalicea

Posted by Dave Hennings on 28 Jul 2017

Here we had one of our more prolific setter’s, both under this pseudonym and others, as well as in cahoots with cohorts of other setters. The first thing that I noticed was that, like some early Listeners, the preamble needed to have a lot of clue numbers replaced with their entries in order to make sense. The second thing that I noticed was that “The Chambers Dictionary is the primary reference” was missing from the preamble. Shock! Horror! We’ll be having indirect anagrams next!

And so, having earmarked my Big Red Book for the charity shop as no longer required [You’ll be sorry. Ed.], I set to with the puzzle. But first, I had to check Chalicea’s membership of the Hardened Alcohol Requirement Entourage, and was shocked to find Steeped in beer, elderly beau died dancing (7).

Reading through the single list of clues in sequence, the earlier ones were a tad slow in coming and I wondered if Chalicea was testing us with one of her trickier oeuvres. Luckily, the bottom half of the grid was more forgiving and it filled out nicely. Working my way back up the grid, LEAR at 12 got slotted in within the hour. This was followed by the OWL (here entered as NIGHT BIRD) and the PUSSY CAT at 15dn and 36ac. They SET SAIL in a boat (green) and took some money, honey and a guitar to which the owl sang “O let us be married, too long we have tarried; But what shall we do for a ring?” But ring had they none, and the grid was equally bereft of Os.

Everything was resolved with the ring-nosed PIG selling his ring for the princely sum of a shilling, and A RING being entered below our grid. All was done and dusted, but…

Hasn’t there been an Edward Lear puzzle already this year? Indeed there has, with Dysart’s Jumblies going to sea in a sieve. Nobody can say that Lear didn’t repeat his themes. (Nor, it would seem, the Listener Editors!)

A careful checking of the grid was required to ensure that all the Os in the perimeter quotation had been omitted correctly. But wait! A finally scan of this puzzle revealed that not only was the grid bereft of the letter O, but so was the preamble and, even more amazingly, all the clues. And, of course, that explained why “The Chambers Dictionary” was missing from the preamble and why there were no Down clues.

Retrieving my Chambers from the bag destined for the charity shop [Told you. Ed.], I marvelled at this puzzle’s construction and hoped that I wasn’t required to write this blog without an O.

Excellent entertainment again from Chalicea, thanks.

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‘The Owl, the Pussycat & Hares Galore’ by Chalicea

Posted by Encota on 28 Jul 2017

There are animals everywhere in this puzzle, ‘Difficulty’ from Chalicea: a TURKEY, LUPUS (wolf), the PUSSYCAT, a NIGHTBIRD, even ARGALI, TEAR A CAT and the GERENUK!   If only there’d been an opportunity to hide a HARE or two, or even other hare-like creatures.

But wait a moment, the Item to be added below the grid is enumerated (1,4) – it simply must be A HARE.  I’d thought initially the puzzle was themed on that delightful Edward Lear work, ‘The Owl and The Pussycat’ – what a fool I was!  See how easily the setter can divert you down false trails.  Or maybe the poem does mention a hare, let me think…

Many of you may recall that these hare-brained escapades all started with Listener 4422 by Poat, named ‘Buried Treasure’, in which the Hare of the Kit Williams book ‘Masquerade’ was found lurking not in the grid but in the Preamble, more specifically hiding in the searcH AREa.

Ever since, bloggers at LWO – especially Shirley Curran (Chalicea) – and other Listener solvers have been desperately on the lookout for that HARE in each Listener grid.

So, if I am right, we are looking for a HARE, presumably hiding in contiguous cells in the grid.  I thought, given the setter is Chalicea, then there’s bound to be one.

How wrong I was.

Because, at least by my counting, there are 26!  By which, of course, I mean 4! And 2!

Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 23.10.30

See highlighted grid (forgive my scribbling), with some overlapping. I make it:

  • DOE x8 (all entered as DE, of course, given the ‘Difficulty’ with the missing O),
  • MARA x6,
  • PUSS x4,
  • WAT x3,
  • HARE x3,
  • BAWD x1 and
  • PIKA x1.

I make that one heavy-duty grid – very, very impressive!!

And of course, we all know that poem word-for-word, don’t we?  It sits so firmly in one’s brain that it is impossible to misremember:

Pussy said to the Owl, ‘You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet and fair!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:

But what shall we do for a hare?’

All I need to do now is write ‘A HARE’ below the grid and I am sorted.


Tim / Encota



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