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Posts Tagged ‘Encota’

L4688: Harry East by Lath

Posted by Encota on 24 Dec 2021

An interesting chess-based puzzle that features perhaps the most famous checkmate there is, known as SCHOLAR’S MATE.

  1. (P)e4 (P)e5
  2. Bc4 Bc5
  3. Qh5 Nf6
  4. Qxf7++

In this puzzle the letters in the appropriate cells representing the pieces are, in order, S-C-H-O-L-A-R, so providing the answer to the hidden question WHOSE MATE IS IT?

I think that’s about it. My thanks to Lath


Tim / Encota

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L4687: ‘Best Practice’ by Ares

Posted by Encota on 17 Dec 2021

First of all, my thanks go to Ares for a fun puzzle.  I particularly liked the multiple BP references throughout. My initially filled rough grid looked like this:

With the help of Chambers I filled in the grid fairly quickly and fortunately guessed that the endgame’s BP just might be Baden-Powell.  And I think I found the right reference with:

‘What you should leave behind:

1. Nothing
2. YOUR THANKS, to God for the good time and to the owner of the land’

The only potential remaining issue to resolve now was the Preamble’s “to be carried out literally in the grid, involving ten cells”.  With there being 144 cells in the grid, does this mean only alter 10 of them?   Or alter (through deletion) all 144 to leave nothing and then put the ten of YOUR THANKS in columns 4 and 8 back into place?

After wondering if my bp was beginning to rise excessively, I decided to stay calm and go with leaving nothing in the grid but YOUR THANKS.

In summary, a well-created puzzle.   My thanks again to Ares.

Cheers & stay safe,

Tim / Encota

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L4686: ‘Dice Nets’ by Arden

Posted by Encota on 10 Dec 2021

Another beautifully constructed puzzle by Arden – delightful!

I do like it when a clue gives far more information than it appears to at first sight. Here’s one example: 11d’s “Twice a square”. Those familiar with number puzzles will be very used to pencilling in the unit digit of any square as one of 0,1,4,9,6 or 5. However, it was new to me that doubling all these gives the reduced set of possibilities of the unit’s digit being 0, 2 or 8. Combining that with the constraint in this puzzle that only digits 1 to 6 appear – and that final digit can be written in immediately as a 2. Only 79 cells left to be filled!

As a complete aside, seeing a mention of ‘nets’ brought back good memories of working closely with the setter Ploy, under the pseudonym EP. As some readers will know, we’ve created thematic puzzles for the excellent Magpie magazine. In these, so far at least, the grids were nets of some form of 3-D shape that could then be folded, built and then ‘flexed’ in different ways to display various thematic references, our last one being entitled (perhaps unsurprisingly) Paper Folding. In today’s puzzle from Arden the challenge was to find as many nets of a ‘standard die’ as one can. “Left-handed or right-handed?” I can hear some of you asking!

Unfortunately this week I seem to have forgotten to scan my entry before posting it off to John Green – it’s all been a bit of a rush recently – apologies for that.

At first I tried to work out what all the nets could be. I recalled that there were about ten of them. I found ten, then realised that I had missed one, the pure zigzag. All eleven appeared in Arden’s grid (with puzzles of this quality we would, of course, expect nothing less!) and the remaining unused 14 cells were arranged symmetrically, which added to the puzzle’s all-round neatness. Loved it – thanks Arden!!

Cheers all,

Tim / Encota

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L4683: ‘Diversions’ by Dysart

Posted by Encota on 19 Nov 2021

What might DIVERSIONS be hinting at? Aha! Various (‘DIVERS’) + IO (crosswordy moon word) + N-S. The puzzle is clearly about the various attempts to explore the Moon – both North and South.

In across rows I can find:

  • ZOND in Row 9. Zond 4 thru 8 were testflights for the Soviet Moonshot
  • TESS appears in Row 1, disguised as the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)
  • EBB, part of NASA’s Gravity Recovery & Interior Laboratory, that impacted the moon in 2011 is on Row 2
  • LADEE NASA’s 2013 craft is on Row 3
  • LUNA on Row 4
  • APOLLO of course on Row 5
  • ARTEMIS, the NASA 2007 ORBITER (see Row 11)
  • ISEE, which had several lunar flybys on its way to comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner

I am sure I must have missed some. I’ve read elsewhere that this might be something about Olympians but clearly those solvers have missed Dysart’s subtle misdirection. Errm … maybe 😉

Cheers all,

Tim / Encota

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L4681: ‘1 41 6:10’ by Colleague

Posted by Encota on 5 Nov 2021

My thanks to Colleague for an enjoyable solve.  My final grid looked like this:

Before I had solved 28d’s $BIRD, the Title took me longer to decipher than perhaps it should. I had replaced 41, 6 & 10 with their clue answers at first, leading to “ONE TIMOTHY UNFORTUNATE: STERN”.  I then tried to make sense of that perhaps reading ONE+TIM+(unfortunate)E. Was there a ONE-TIME PAD involved, somehow?  ‘DELTA’ in Row 13 looked possibly interesting (relevant), too.

I then spotted CENT.SIMO and decided it was a coin.  I did then briefly check to see if these had all been square coins – or coins with square holes in them – but couldn’t convince myself that either of these were true.  Nonetheless my highlighting gives square results.

I liked how ‘MONEY’ being the root of all coins resolved the ambiguity with DANDIPRAT / DANDYPRAT – that was a nice touch.  And 5a’s use of ‘toffy’ = U was something I hadn’t seen before and worked well in that clue.

My thanks again to Colleague!

Cheers & stay safe,

Tim(othy) / Encota

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