Listen With Others

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin

Posts Tagged ‘Encota’

L4560: Midsummer by Chalicea

Posted by Encota on 12 July 2019

The title reminded me that my puzzle featuring Nick Bottom the weaver featured in this same Midsummer slot last year – at least I think it was last year!  And 1ac’s clue reinforced the Shakespearean play link:

Destroys reputation of essentially naive Bottom chasing donkey after donkey (12)

Knowing Chalicea of course, these hints to a Dream on a Midsummer’s Night were more likely to be red herrings than not – and so it proved!  In the case of this clue it parsed as ASS+ASS+(na)I(ve)+NATES, defined as ‘Destroys reputation of’.  A great start to a puzzle!

L4560

I was educated during the period when knowing dates was seen to count as knowledge.  So knowing that Bannockburn was fought in 1314 came quickly to my mind, even if I was much harder pushed to know who actually fought who, and why, and who won!  And I hadn’t known the Midsummer link – it was fought on 23 and 24 June, it transpires.

So I did check what was at clues 13 & 14 – The Battle of MinnockBumbag.  Hmm.  No, that doesn’t sound quite right.

The hidden letters in some clues spelt out WHERE DID BRUCE WIN, so that answered one of my questions above.  The answer, included twice in the grid on the diagonals, spells out AT BANNOCKBURN.  My suspicion is that the details of Bannockburn feature more highly in history lessons in Scottish schools rather than English ones – but what do I know!

Unclued 39d was after solving checking clues, looking like B.UE.   And colouring all but the diagonals in Blue, as the Preamble demanded,  ended up with the Scottish flag (the saltire, or saltier) – very neat!

There appeared to be a Nina, or rather a NINA, in Row 6 – intriguing.

And as for Chalicea’s clue at 10d:

Floppy genitals, and away they dangle (7)

Fortunately the answer was AIGLETS, things that dangle, an anagram of GE(n)ITALS after the ‘N’ (and) was deleted.  Very funny 🙂

Cheers all,

Tim / Encota

 

Advertisements

Posted in Solving Blogs | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

L4559: ‘G’ by Xanthippe

Posted by Encota on 5 July 2019

How might one clue the letter G in Wordplay?  A bit of grit, perhaps?  Aha!  A touch of glass – that sounds more like it!

We have seen Trigger’s Broom in thematic crossword-land in recent times, and Only Fools and Horses – written by John Sullivan – appears to be a good source of material, as is shown in this puzzle by Xanthippe from the episode A Touch of Glass.  As successful solvers will already know, it’s the one where Grandad unbolts one Louis XIV chandelier from the floor above, whilst Del Boy and Rodney await below on stepladders, with a blanket outstretched between them, ready to catch this chandelier.  Of course, it’s the other one at the far end of the room that falls.  Available on YouTube, of course (what isn’t?).

As usual I managed to get delayed by some of those short words or abbreviations: pu=pulled up (horse racing), Et.=Ethyl (chemistry), en=nut (printing).  I must find a way to remember some more of those.  All tips welcomed!

Cheers all,

Tim / Encota

Posted in Solving Blogs | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

L4558: ‘A Moral Story’ by Aedites

Posted by Encota on 28 June 2019

A gentle well-constructed puzzle – thanks Aedites.

SCAN0614 copy

There was some tough vocab, of course, but with Chambers by my side that was fine.  I fell for the RHINE/RHEIN trap at 14ac initially, even with the big ‘hint of Cologne’.  And I had a less savoury alternative at 5d which I thankfully quickly discounted.

The added letter per clue meant that the Title of THE WATER BABIES – A FAIRY TALE FOR A LAND BABY appeared fairly quickly.  The K of KINGSLEY on the leading diagonal helped me confirm DAK as Indian mail, which was new to me, as part of the wordplay for 10d’s KNEAD.

And if I had a pound for every time I forget and re-discover ENS as meaning existence (33a) … I’d have about seven pounds 🙂

Cheers,

Tim / Encota

Posted in Solving Blogs | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

L4557: ‘Choice Words’ by Serpent

Posted by Encota on 21 June 2019

For several years I have exchanged birthday cards with a brother, where the aim is to send the naffest card one can find.  This allows a whole year for browsing to find something that is really ghastly, or at the very least memorable in some way.  It becomes quite addictive …

This year he recently sent me a card (available from O’Neill Classics) with a picture of an empostered Ford Anglia, alongside Margaret Thatcher campaigning in Finchley for the 1964 General Election.  So the theme was timely – for me, anyway!

2019-06-10 10.53.14 copy

I could of course claim an almost complete lack of FMC knowledge and declare it a Ford CorTINA …

I really enjoy the accuracy to the definitions in the BRB in Jason’s clues – there is something so satisfying stumbling across the appropriate one.

I haven’t seen the gimmick using aORb words before – a great idea!  EN-OR-MOUS as the answer, for example, but where either EN or MOUS is only entered into the Grid.

With the phrase THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE arising from jumbling together of the discarded parts from across answers, that simply left TINA to be found as its acronym in the grid – upwards in Column 4, if you are asking.  And the equivalent jumbling from Down clues gave, of course, MARGARET THATCHER.

I did try hunting for some alternative jumbles.  Across clues could fancifully describe her supporters, with A ROSETTE IN THEIR NAVEL.  And Down clues couldn’t possibly be complete without THAT GREAT CHARMER.

Cheers,

Tim / Encota

 

Posted in Solving Blogs | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

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

Posted in Solving Blogs | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »