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Posts Tagged ‘Encota’

L4556: ‘Ambidexter’ by Opsimath

Posted by Encota on 14 June 2019

I may well have mentioned it before but am I the only one, when faced with the word opsimath, who thinks immediately of the introduction to Vivian Stanshall’s surreal piece of comedy, Sir Henry at Rawlinson End:

English as tuppence, changing yet changeless as canal-water, nestling in green nowhere, armoured and effete, bold flag-bearer, lotus fed Miss Havishambling, opsimath and eremite, feudal-still reactionary Rawlinson End. The story so far …

Ok, it is only me.  Moving swiftly on …

This puzzle was gentle by most Listener standards, with clever symmetry.

1 across gave a hint that it might have an Italian flavour to it:

One of 12 popes clapped more musically (3)

This was one of the clues with a misprint, and should have read

One of 12 popes clipped more musically (3)

… then simply being PIU(s), and so PIÙ, for the Italian musical term for ‘more’.

I liked 17d’s dialect indicator ‘out of society’, which could have been (mis)read as an ‘s’ deletion – that one was new to me.

32d’s ‘on’ as an anagram indicator seemed a little doubtful at first, but its meaning in Chambers of ‘on the way to being drunk’ seemed pretty conclusive!

I hadn’t quite realised that it was the Doge’s palace’s interrogation rooms (on the left) that were connected to the prison (on the right) via the Bridge of Sighs – the prisoner sighing as they most likely saw their very last sight of beautiful Venice through the Bridge’s windows before crossing into the state prison.  Quite an image 🙂2019-05-24 22.56.16

A gentle puzzle, well constructed – thanks Opsimath!

Cheers

Tim / Encota

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L4553: Inscription’ by Dysart

Posted by Encota on 24 May 2019

My only excuse for my feeble drawing here is that it was created, when taking some time off from relaxing, in my holiday hotel room after one too many of the local ponchas.  If I recall correctly.

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And when I compare this with the works of art created by other solver-bloggers at this site I almost left mine out entirely.  But take the rough with the smooth, eh?  Plus don’t we all like pictures of what appears to be a mutant jellyfish …

I always enjoy Dysart’s puzzles and this was no exception.  Clever clues, clever construction, great theme.  Thanks Andy!

Tim / Encota

 

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L4551: ‘Optics’ by Phibre

Posted by Encota on 10 May 2019

What a great puzzle – thanks Phi & Sabre!

[An alternative analysis …]

Given the title, ‘Optics’, this is obviously about alcohol.  Now what was that Graham Greene novel where they played a game of draughts, where the person capturing a piece had to drink a miniature whisk(e)y as a kind of handicap?  Was it Wormold and the one who fancied his daughter?  Or did I dream it?  Perhaps I can try the same with this puzzle – have a sipple (Chambers: a leisurely drink) after every clue solved.  I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

And yes, sure enough, in the bottom right corner of the puzzle, after a while I was definitely seeing double – a clear effect of the Chateau Paraffino.  It appeared that one’s eyesight started off reading the first few characters in each word as expected, e.g. the TREILLAG… of TREILLAGES but after a few one was seeing Double, hence TREILLAG-EE-SS.  It appeared the same happened after a bit of ALE, too (Adnams Ghost Ship out here in Suffolk, if you are asking, from the superb local Southwold brewery), resulting in A-LL-EE. And so on for the six other entries in this corner …  So seeing double (or drinking one?) appeared to be the first sign of being inebriated – but what was the other?

After solving many more clues (and naturally with the appropriate ‘alcohol-based penalty stroke’ imbibed after each clue solved), I could see – through the haze – that something strange was happening in Row 5 and Column 5 – there seemed to be more answers than space.  But hold on a minute – after involving the last one I solved, a sipple (or eight) – all the answers appear to be being slurred together – more drunkenness!!

Finally, I wondered if the ‘Examples:’ bit under the puzzle needed filling in but, when I read it, it already said ‘Examples:’ twice.  I must have filled that in earlier and forgotten.  It was at this stage that I lost CONTACT …

Cheers all,

Tim / Encota

 

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L4549: ‘From Where I’m Standing’ by Emu

Posted by Encota on 26 April 2019

I loved the 3-D nature of this puzzle!  A Ziggurat, eh!?

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Pulling a few strings with Lego I quickly got them to issue ‘The Eagle’ special edition of their 2009 Ramses ziggurat set and I was away (Yeah, right.  Away with the fairies, more like.  Ed.).

The extra eight words spelt out: LETTERS REPRINTED ON EVERY VISIBLE FACE OF BLOCKS – I think  I have that right!

The misprints in order spelled the following phrase: ZIGGURAT FROM WEST.  Hmmm.

Now imagine the grid to be in 3-D as a stepped pyramid-like structure.  Made of Lego, perhaps?

Then view said 3-D structure from the West (left hand side of the grid) and it spells out, row-by-row from top towards the bottom: ENDLESS REALM OF DAY …

This, in turn, proves to be part of a poem entitled The Eagle, by eecummings, or is that E.E.Cummings, depending on how early in his career he wrote it!? https://hellopoetry.com/poem/1572/the-eagle/

If you now view the top of the ziggurat from the North-East, doubling up each letter on its NE ‘ridge’ to reflect the fact that letters are printed on every open face and two faces are visible from that direction, then the puzzle cleverly spells out:

EE CUMMINGS THE EAGLE

A bit like this:

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What a great piece of work – that is a lot of information hiding in the one grid.  Great work, Emu.  The final highlighting might then be considered as the shadow of that bird on the ziggurat – Eagle, not Emu, of course 😉

Great fun – many thanks John!

Tim / Encota

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L4546: ‘Ripping Yarn’ by Nutmeg

Posted by Encota on 5 April 2019

2019-03-15 19.57.42 copy

Thanks first of all Nutmeg for a delightful puzzle.  It’s great to have a mix of puzzle difficulty in the Listener and the gentleness of this one was a welcome relief compared to some in recent months!  Easier – but not too easy.

I had the pleasure of meeting Nutmeg at an event in Manchester a year or two back and, like I said to her then, her puzzles are always a pleasure and, in my view, should be required study for anyone aiming to write “the perfect surface”.  If you don’t already, do look out for her regular publications in the Guardian, for example.

Two examples from ‘Ripping Yarn’ follow: ok, so the single misprint in each definition gives the setter an extra degree of freedom – but that extra wiggle-room was definitely made the most of in:

What might make Americans rude?  Trace of arrogance (7)

Where of course ‘Americans’ becomes the coffee ‘Americano’ and the answer is (ROBUST+A) ROBUSTA, a type of coffee.

Spooner’s to suggest protection for men facing enema (6, two words)

(yielding, in that, TIN HAT for protection against the enemy) …

… though I am still trying to recover from the mental images this surface initially conjured up 😉

I did experiment to see what other options there might be that satisfy the construct: ALengthOfTime around ATypeOfStitch.  I could only come up with:

“Stay In Tonight” or “Second kettles kettle” (no apostrophe), ”  Others involving the ‘screw’ stitch have naturally, for the sake of decency, been suppressed here 😉

Enough of my nonsense.  My thanks once again to Nutmeg!

 Cheers,

Tim / Encota

PS I have very few claims to fame but singing in the rabble-of-a-school-assembly in the first ever episode of Michael Palin’s Ripping Yarns, called ‘My School’, is one of them.  Amazing what trains of thought every Listener crossword can set running …

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