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Posts Tagged ‘Encota’

L4571: ‘International Standards Organisation’ by Harribobs

Posted by Encota on 27 September 2019

That infamous quote: “The great thing about International Standards is that there are so many to choose from”  seems to apply here.

One might of course claim that the appearance of those standards body abbreviations in the grid were coincidence – but we solvers of course know better:

British Standards Institute (BSI), Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN) , Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and even ISO itself all feature in contiguous cells.  [I had thought for a moment that Flags were going to be involved, then realised my mistake …]

Well, there are twelve of them in this case, to be precise.  I’m hoping my tablet-based flag sketches meet the ‘only enough detail to be recognisable’ criterion in the Preamble …

SCAN0633 copy

After weeks of tedious IT issues (that I won’t bore you with) I have at last managed to get scans back into LWO & take copies of my Listener solutions – yay!

Great Standards pun, great puzzle, great fun drawing & colouring – thanks Harribobs!

Tim / Encota


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L4568: ‘Howsat!’ by Skylark

Posted by Encota on 6 September 2019

I think I can find 24 out of 42 entries with something of a ‘blue’ theme involved – especially those featuring sea, sadness or colours.  Definitely more that 21, so they are in the majority …

Was it only me that found it took ages to nail down the final few parsings?  I had a tentatively filled grid after about 20% of the time, then spent most of the rest of the time trying to make sense of around ten clues.  1d and 2d were the final two of these, where I’ve assumed that DOWN = ‘in flood’ (the BRB’s nounal definition 7 for ‘flood’ = ‘any great inflow or outflow … e.g. …of tears’ seems to support this) and that LOOS is a Scottish word for ‘loves’ (ah, I’ve just found this meaning of LOO in the BRB!).

Of course the theme was 1970s rock albums.  David Bowie’s LOW appeared on Row 2, Neil Young’s HARVEST on Row 12.  There was even the Pink Floyd Track DOGS (from ‘Animals’) on Row 5.  So, given many of the clues seemed to have a Blue tinge, then the missing album is clearly Bob Dylan’s TANGLED UP IN BLUE.  Not quite sure whether I need to call him BOBBY DYLAN or R ZIMMERMAN as the Creator to make it 10 letters but I’m sure JEG will be lenient.  Won’t he?

Or, alternatively, I submitted this.

SCAN0626 copy

Finally I tried for a while to makes sense of the Title – then thought ‘So What?’.

Joking apart, a fun puzzle from Skylark – many thanks!

Cheers all,

Tim / Encota

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L4567: ‘Going Concern’ by Hedge-sparrow

Posted by Encota on 30 August 2019

Another neat puzzle from Hedge-sparrow.  This is my rough version.
Of the extinct creatures I could find HUIA, BAIJI, AUROCHS and QUAGGA evenly spaced around the grid.  The means of determining which letters were involved made for an unambiguous and quick endgame – which I think makes a change from some recent puzzles.  No requirement for Highlighting, too 🙂
Were the four extinct creatures purposely picked to be of lengths 4, 5, 6 & 7 to match the Puzzle number (or vice versa)?  I am assuming Yes.  At least I do hope so!!
SCAN0624 copy
Instead of the unchecked letters in the eight endangered ones I knew [really? Ed.] Hedge-sparrow would be hiding something in the checked letters.  These turned out to be the LOWER CASE letters left in the following:
kaKApO sAOlA FOssa AXolOtl KAtIpO saigA bOnObO rHiNo

So I went for, as Hedge-sparrow did, a range of rarer species.  Jumbling these other letters together, and the result? “Becoming ever rarer in our towns & countryside, forests, plains, oceans and mountains: BATS, POLLS, OKAPI, LINGS … and T-BARS”.

It was all going so well but I definitely went downhill after the last one.
Tim / Encota

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L4564 ‘There and Back’ by Stick Insect

Posted by Encota on 9 August 2019

Picture the scene.  You are catching up on those episodes of Killing Eve that you’ve been meaning to watch and hear all their talk about ‘The Twelve’.  Who can they be?  Then you pick up this week’s Listener crossword and – perhaps – all is revealed.

Given it was 50 years on this 20th July, it would have been a missed opportunity if The Listener hadn’t featured a Moon Landing Puzzle.

This one was delightful in that it included all Twelve U.S. astronauts to have walked on the Moon’s surface – in order of touching its surface, I think.  ARMSTRONG and ALDRIN were gently hidden on Rows 1 and 2, right through to CERNAN and SCHMITT on Rows 11 & 12.

My favourite clue was (before and after one letter was deleted):

Aptness of Bill Sikes’ girl following pro(f)’s contrary church rule (11)

… for CONCERNANCY, with its split of definition and wordplay in the middle of Bill Sikes – very neat!

Tim / Encota

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L4563 ‘Odd One Out’ by Sabre

Posted by Encota on 2 August 2019

What did we do before the existence of VLOOKUP in Excel?  Another of those ‘First World’ problems, I hear you say.

For those who don’t regularly use it, imagine having a built-in lookup table that can be used to automagically update the rest of your spreadsheet.

So, if after realising the answer to the disguised clue

Frequency modulation of modems is folly (7)

must be FOPPERY, and you (rightly) assume that Sabre has disguised an anagram of OPPERY* as modems, and that ‘modems’ should really have read ‘pyrope’, then …

… simply add M alongside P in a Lookup table, D alongside R etc. and have Excel do the heavy-lifting for you.  A bit like this:

L4563 Sabre example 2

I always love it when I see Sabre’s name at the top of a puzzle, as it means we are in for a treat.  And sometimes they appear to have been much harder than this one – he has let us off lightly, I think!  Some of his trademark encoding, which must have been fun to create!  No knight’s moves this week, though!

Anyway, back to the plot.   There were five clues with one word (such as MODEMS<->PYROPE, above) encoded.  How are we going to spot those?

After a few checkers were in place, then the clue

Medals for a dill wine (11)

looked almost certainly to be SCUPPERNONG, a wine.  I can see PER for ‘for a’, and NONG for ‘dill’ (an idiot), but how does SCUP derive from Medals?  Looking up SCUP in the BRB shows it to be a fish, the porgy.  And an alternative spelling for that is PORGIE.  We already have M<->P and D<->R and E<->O and S<->E, so this looks right.  We now have letters for MODESA and L in our lookup table.

18d’s Dye unevenly, in play, half of shirts (6) looks like the answer must be KAMELA, so the letters -ELA must come from ‘half of shirts’, thus SHIRTS must be the encode version of a word beginning ELA-.  Our list so far tells us the word must be ELA..E, so we now have two more letters, R&T to add to our list.

The fourth encoded word was hiding in

Fiddled with an arresting power (6)

This looked like wordplay for ARM in {W AN}, i.e. WARMAN, so how does the definition come from FIDDLED?  Previous decoded letters give us .ARRIOR, and WARRIOR it is.

Finally of the five, 22d’s Colleagues in the army secure good buy (7) was clearly going to be WINGERS.  I could see WIN+G(ood) in the wordplay, but how did ‘buy’ become ERS?  The BRB yielded that definition for ERS – the bitter vetch, which the dictionary helpfully tells you is a ‘vetch’, which isn’t hugely enlightening.  Er, so how does this work? Um, got it!  So BUY<->UMS – sneaky!

So chuck them all in one’s lookup table – or the pencil-and-paper equivalent, either is fine! – and attempt the second half of the Preamble, i.e. which of the Answers/Entries might successfully decode to other English words.  There were several blanks to fill in but a consistent set soon allowed the words TORNADO, TYPHOON, BAGUIO, CYCLONE and OBOE to be found.  All connected by Wind, and one a clear Odd One Out.  I wrote OBOE below the puzzle.

A bit like this (note the VLOOKUP syntax in the function field, for those of us that need reminding) …

L4563 Sabre example 1

I did like finding that, at one stage of solving, one five-letter word appeared like it might decode to BACON – I had BACO- in place, I think.  Googling Bacon and Wind, I found ‘History of the Winds‘ by Sir Francis Bacon, which diverted me for a bit!


Tim / Encota

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