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Posts Tagged ‘Encota’

L4615: ‘Ancient Mariner’ by Tringa

Posted by Encota on 31 July 2020

Eight entries to entered where they fit. Twelve clues each with a hidden word. Five unnumbered entries. And some asterisked cells. And four pertinent words to be found in the grid. Simple, eh?

This puzzle included my favourite clue in quite a while:

Romanticist’s prelude, composition for piano involving distinctive repetition at outset (8)

When I first parsed it, with very little personal classical music knowledge, I saw it as R + DR in PIANO* to form RAINDROP. I even wrote in the margin “Where is def.?”

I then mentioned it to a piano-playing son, who said, “But I’ve been playing this one on and off for years – I’ll play it for you” – and, sure enough, the clue’s description of this Raindrop Prelude by Chopin was perfect. When I showed him the clue afterwards, he asked, “But where’s the cryptic bit?” A pretty-much perfect clue – congratulations!

First and last letters of the twelve words provided one message and one author, thus:

All of which led quickly to the GK CHESTERTON quote, “I don’t care where the water goes if it doesn’t get into the wine”.

And, positioned without any overlap of the 8 types of water, the unnumbered entries can be added to create MADEIRA/ ARNEIS/ MALBEC/ CHABLIS neatly at the puzzle’s centre.

For completeness, the Ancient Mariner was NOAH and the eight forms of water: SNOWBALL, PERRIER, NILE, BROOKS, RAINDROP, PACIFIC, AMAZON and LAKE.


Tim / Encota

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L4614 ‘From Here to There by Shenanigans

Posted by Encota on 24 July 2020

A delightfully neat offering from fellow LWO blogger – thank Shenanigans!

A word needed to be shifted in roughly half the clues before solving, and it was the first letters of these that were to give us Solvers the hint of what to do next. I counted up the total number of clues (49) and realised that there were therefore 24 even ones and these were my candidates for the clues with moving words. Fortunately I had guessed correctly …

About two-thirds the way through, my first letters read:


I could readily make sense of the second half, so had a chat with Auntie Google about that book/film/whatever entitled “The Go-between”. But initially I couldn’t make sense of the first half. It looked much like the Author’s name. I checked out the O that I’d derived from 44ac’s clue

Oddly set upon in shout from excluded …

… and realised I’d moved ODDLY instead of EXCLUDED. That let me spell L.P.HARTLEY correctly and still gave me EUOI as a shout from the even letters of the fodder, which was good.

Eventually I twigged that O-Q was the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (ODQ) and felt a right twit! The most famous quote by a mile from the book’s Prologue is:
The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there“,
which seemed a great candidate for the puzzle.

With a couple of clues left to solve I had noticed much of ‘THE PAST’ on the trailing diagonal of the grid and wondered if it could be replaced with a country whilst still creating real words throughout. I spent a little while trying to shoehorn AMERICA into the spaces then settled on AUSTRIA.

That left the two unclued Downs at 14d and 24d. By this stage they read
H-STE- and -IGH-Y. Taking ‘THEY DO THINGS’ as the shared anagram fodder for these two gave a few options:

The only pair I could find to fit involved neither tights nor thighs, so HOSTED NIGHTY it was 🙂

A gentle puzzle, cleverly using an excellent quotation thematically: another classic Listener from Shenanigans: thank you!

Cheers all,


PS And do the ‘moving’ 24 clues ‘go between’ the other 25? Apologies Dave, I’d missed that nicety entirely!

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L4613: ‘Escape’ by Xanthippe

Posted by Encota on 17 July 2020

Lots of clues contained an extra word, which then needed to be suitably grouped together. This resulted in the following four phrases/riddles:

  • Always coming not arriving
  • Where Tom’s in work with Potter but clay never gets baked
  • Tall when young short when old
  • Barred cells here prisoners don’t enter

And the answers to these, TOMORROW, CHAMBER OF SECRETS, CANDLE and CROSSWORD spelt out the path that allowed the solver (U) to escape from the top NE quadrant and end up exiting the Southern door of the Escape Room complex.

A few of the extra words were quite tough to find but eventually they all dropped out. Thanks Xanthippe!


Tim /Encota

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L4612: ‘Family Man’ by Duck

Posted by Encota on 10 July 2020

Another elegant puzzle from Duck – I’d expect nothing less, of course!

  • All items to be highlighted symmetrically placed in the grid? Check
  • Low average number of words per clue? Check
  • Well-executed hidden message. Check

The hidden message read:
This was a clue in its own right for the 12 letter title BUDDENBROOKS, a book by Thomas Mann, who resides on the leading diagonal. [BUD + DEN + BROOKS].

My knowledge of Thomas Mann is particularly poor – I’d read ‘Death In Venice’ and heard of ‘The Magic Mountain’ but that was my lot. A quick check on the Internet found this one for me. It’s apparently about four generations of a German family, hence the Title of the puzzle – I think!


Tim / Encota

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L4611: ’24 Across’ by Merlin

Posted by Encota on 3 July 2020

What a cheerful theme! And spotting YELLOW SUBMARINE and CHICKEN SANDWICH as being ‘cryptically equivalent 15-letter phrases’ – excellent!

Here’s my attempt …

The hidden message, with my added punctuation, spells out:
“Does 8d [Eleanor Rigby] give hint to theme? The reverse!”

And when Yellow Submarine was published as a single in 1966 the flip-side was of course Eleanor Rigby.

I’m assuming that the pun in the Preamble saying that the lines – which reveal FILM – reveal something that could cover either phrase. A chicken sandwich in clingfilm & Yellow Submarine is a film – I think that covers it …

My last one in was RNLI at 29ac. The uncorrected clue read:

Who may save from sales return limited stocks (4)

I’d spotted the definition was ‘Who may save from gales’ by that stage but it still took me far too long to read ‘stocks’ as a hidden indicator and see ‘retuRN LImited’. D’oh!

Cheers all & keep looking after yourselves,

Tim / Encota

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