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Posts Tagged ‘Encota’

‘Lost in Translation’ by Ottorino

Posted by Encota on 17 August 2018

The big hint this week was the pair of initials NT in Column 2: New Testament, perhaps?  And so it proved.  [Really??? Ed.]

The biblical theme was hinted at in 18a and 22a – ESAU and REBECCA – characters from the Old Testament – presumably to throw us off the scent.

Those with a strong knowledge of the New Testament will already know that it contains ~37 ‘books’.  Of these 37, there are 21 LETTERS, many written by Paul, to various parties.  These include two letters to the Romans (Rom.), two to Timothy (Tim.), one to Titus (Ti.), Colossians (Col.), Ephesians (Eph.), James (Jam.) and more.  These abbreviations all appear in the grid – I presume – I’ve highlighted a few here to show the principle, along with the answer to Clue 21: LETTERS. Simple, eh?  The hidden message had instructed us to INSERT ONE CLUE NUMBER – so I picked 21 to fit with this NT theme.

2018-08-01 14.46.56

[surreal mode off]

OK, the Italian language has only 21 letters, as it has no requirement, except in foreign words, for W, J, X, K & Y.  These were neatly stacked in Column 6.  Changing them to ITALY (a translation of ITALIA at 9d) allowed real across words to be maintained.  My finished puzzle actually looked like this.

2018-08-01 14.41.06

Great fun – thanks Ottorino 🙂

Cheers all,

Tim / Encota

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‘Putting the World to Rights’ by Charybdis

Posted by Encota on 10 August 2018

I think this excellent puzzle from Charybdis let me set my personal record for the number of copies of the grid I needed to complete it – in all I used five.  Two I binned but the other three feature here.

Early on the jumbling meant that many cells had multiple options in them during the earlier phase of solving.  Here’s an example where I had made some progress …

2018-08-01 15.14.58

Finally, once all clues are solved, I make it 21 cells that are unchecked by down clues – marked in green in the attached.

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Of these:
  • 4 are already identified
  • 6 more are identified by adding MERE ANARCHY from the poem, at 1d
  • and the remaining 11 are found from the (inferred) requirement for all final words in the grid to be real words, each one using one of the options in the green cells above.  Why the inference, you may ask?  Well, I couldn’t see any reason for 17ac to explain that GAND is a word, the French version of the place-name Ghent, unless all Across entries are words.  Am I missing something?

And finally it looked something like this rough copy:

2018-08-01 15.12.46


A bit more background.  It’s all based on W B Yeats’s poem “The Second Coming”
The instructions to change cells in the centre turned CENTRE into The falcon = GENTLE

And the phrase to be higlighted with a smooth curve, from the poem, was:

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre”

Aside: haven’t we seen GENTLE in another 2018 Listener (or did I dream it)?

25d includes a nice hint with ‘Gyring bird …”

In 24d I’d initially picked the wrong word to delete, resulting in ROUGH BEAST WAY NO HEART

Messages:

  • UNJUMBLE ALL DOWN ENTRIES, and
  • ROUGH BEAST WHY NO HEART, …

  • … the second of these might be parsed as {BEAST W(h)Y}*,  resulting in the poet W B YEATS

And ‘Gand’ is the French form of the placename Ghent, or so I read.
Phew – a tough workout!
Tim / Encota

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‘Death in the Afternoon’ by Little Hare

Posted by Encota on 3 August 2018

Clearly this week’s Title or Title Plus Setter contained secret messages, in jumbled form:

1. To those who thought they’d recovered from the nightmare of a previous Listener: “No, not the defiant Hare!”

2. A passing reference to the World Cup final on the weekend of publication: “The Football entertained any hither”

3. What happened after the attempted escape from Crete, from the wings‘ point of view: “Rent, their Athenian boy fell to death”

4. Heartless newspaper headline the following day: “The lofty Athenian – no terrible death?”

Or not.

2018-07-16 08.31.00

Cheers

Tim / Encota

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‘Vexatious Lipography’ by Pock

Posted by Encota on 27 July 2018

The ultimate PDM (Penny Dropping Moment)!!!  Tennyson’s “That eternal want of pence” pointed the Solver to a clever mix of missing D’s.  Very clever to have real words throughout – thanks Pock 🙂

And, to align with the terseness of the Preamble (the shortest I ever recall seeing), that’s quite enough from me.

Cheers

Tim / Encota

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‘Disappearances’ by ‘Eck

Posted by Encota on 20 July 2018

A clever puzzle from ‘Eck – many thanks!  I particularly liked the Symmetry of the final eight thematic appearances in the top half of the grid – very smart!

The letters from the Clues provided ALTERNATING HITCH STITCH and IN HIS THIRD SPEECH.

And “Alternating hitch stitch”: I don’t know categorically what that is but I think I can guess, based on the puzzle.

I had some vague recollection of Shakespeare with the phrase, “Hell is empty and all the devils are here” but when I Googled ‘Third speech’, was I the only person for whom the first item to appear was General S. Patton’s rousing – though uncensored speech – to the Third Army?  And there, on rows ten and eleven in the completed grid, in a kind of upturned army hat shape, was PATTON.  Surely The Listener wouldn’t be containing his somewhat unsavoury language?  So I checked on Rows 5, 8 & 9, then gulped.  OK, these must be from the ‘cleaned up’ version – surely TOOL, BOOBY and ANUS weren’t in Patton’s original speech?  I knew he used some language that could be described as ‘anatomical’ but ….???

Enough puerile nonsense.  Great puzzle – many thanks!

2018-07-05 21.22.46.jpg

Tim / Encota

 

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