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Posts Tagged ‘Encota’

L4636 ‘Monkey Business’ by Skylark

Posted by Encota on 25 December 2020

If you wan’t some alternative explanation of this puzzle then read other blogs at this site. However, clearly – hiding behind the pretence of a theme of a novel by Gabby Gorilla or some such similarly implausible pseudonym, this puzzle is actually about writing in general, as one might expect from a setter with a background such as Skylark’s.

You don’t believe me? Then look again at the grid. Why else would one be able to find various papers, forms of paper, abbreviations for manuscript, items for letter-writing, proof-reading terms etc., so blatantly hidden?

I rest my case.

Cheers all,

Tim / Encota

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L4632:’Heads and Tails’ by JFD

Posted by Encota on 27 November 2020

I found this one quite tough, if I am recalling it correctly. Eventually I had the well-disguised message from the eight extra words: COLOUR THREE CHARACTERS AND DROPPED CLOTH CONNECTING THEM. My knowledge of this particular Shakespeare play, OTHELLO, is non-existent, so I had to look up what was hiding in Act 2 Scene 1: THAT IN WISDOM NEVER WAS SO FRAIL, and finish it off with TO CHANGE THE COD’S HEAD FOR THE SALMON’S TAIL. A simple C <-> N swap everywhere in the grid allowed the completion of CASSIO, DESDEMONA and HANDKERCHIEF, whereas the villainous IAGO seems to remain unaffected. Was that part of the plot?

Cheers,

Tim / Encota

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L4631: ‘Seconds Out’ by Stick Insect

Posted by Encota on 20 November 2020

Fun! But am I tempting fate?

[update] Re-editing this 2 weeks later and I think I’ve got the middle row right. Maybe …

Cheers all,

Tim / Encota

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L1001000010110: ‘Tip-top Condition’ by Twin

Posted by Encota on 13 November 2020

What a neat puzzle!  Thank you Twin

[add grid here]

The clues were accurate and generous, with very precise definitions throughout.

The most beautiful part of the puzzle was of course the definitions in 1 through 14 down.  Coming up with ways to clue the words in the form AiB and AoB, e.g. 11d’s RIOTED and ROOTED, with the same definition must have been great fun!  Those verbs where the past participle is unchanged came in handy of course helped – e.g. defining both SMITE and SMOTE using ‘Traditionally beat’!  But there were several delights that went beyond that!  11d’s ‘…caused radical upheaval’ for RIOTED (the behaviour of human  radicals) and ROOTED (the uprooting of plants) probably being my favourite.

Of course the fun in the puzzle didn’t stop there.  The first hint EVEN CLUES ENDS led us to looks at the last letter of 8a, 12a, 18a etc, which spelt out ODD CLUES OPENING LETTERS.  Then reading 1a, 15a, … it spelt out THE LISTENER NO. IN BINARY.  4630 in base 10 becomes 1001000010110 in binary, which then gets entered into Row 3.  Excellent!

As I say, all great fun – it was only a shame that it was over too quickly!  Please pass my thanks on to Twin.

Cheers & stay safe,

Tim / Encota

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L4629: ‘Right-wing majority’ by Ifor

Posted by Encota on 6 November 2020

I found by far the hardest part of this puzzle was making sense of the extra words.   And the second hardest was being certain I had all the right extra words!

The slightly strange outcome was that, having being able to identify which words must have something ‘addable’ to them, it soon became clear that the 2-letter additions were the 2-letter abbreviations for the right-hand column of the periodic table.  SO I could work out all the insertion points and I then assumed we were drawing the number 18 (given these are Group 18, I understand) through those points.  So I think I had completed the puzzle without making any sense of the extra words.  I am going to feel very foolish when it turns out that I’ve missed something entirely!

So on Saturday morning I returned to the puzzle – just because – to try and make some sense out of those extra words.  In 25a I wasn’t quite sure if it was ‘are’ or ‘advanced’, though hoped in either case it would simply deliver an ‘A’ in the wordplay & so wouldn’t matter.  And in 19a I wasn’t too sure if ‘frustrated’ or ‘moved’ was the anagram_indicator.

It took me most of the day – on-and-off – to decide that these must clue the ‘source’ of each elements’ name.  So SUN gave Helium, NEW gave Neon, RADIUM gave Radon, OGANESSIAN (the Russian physicist) gave Oganesson etc.  None of this changed what I had in the grid but was an enjoyable additional puzzle!

Cheers,

Tim / Encota

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