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Posts Tagged ‘Engineers’

Skywriting by Donarino

Posted by shirleycurran on 22 Nov 2019

I download this puzzle by a new compiler (but after solving am pretty sure that Donarino is no newcomer – clearly a wolf or two lurking under a new coat) and I gasp in horror. Can this be serious? ‘All entries are entered JUMBLED’. We almost abandon at once but then pour a stiff double and check whether Donarino earns (or retains) his Listener Oenophile status. I find ‘Reviewing case of addiction, you drink (5;1)’ and Chambers tells me that ANYOU* (Noyau) is ‘a liqueur made from brandy flavoured with bitter almonds or peach kernels’. Well, that allows me to enter only one letter in this most original method of compiling – the N – but I raise my glass anyway. Cheers, Donarino!

Solving proceeds oh, so slowly, ‘Somebody involved in gathering liquid from broken ribs? (7;2,3,7)’ gives us a smile as we put ONE into BOIL and can enter the O,N and L into our grid. We attempt the clues that allow us to enter several letters, ‘So police returned, concerned with probability of a recurrence (7;1,2,3)’ gives us ERGO + CID< (ERGODIC), and we can enter the ERG. There is a complete word we enter, ‘Tara’s shot Myrtle’s cousin in Dunedin (4;3,4)’ RATA must be entered ARTA if only the last two letters remain in place. Another of those, ‘Highland cattle, no trouble elsewhere (4;2,3)’ allows us to enter TOWN, since NOWT retains only its second and third letters and, slowly,some cross-checking appears and allows our grid to progress with HOTPOT, NACHO and FOLATE (we have a ‘Goose’ there ‘half-heartedly’ = FO[o]L ‘swallowed salt (6;1,3)’ with FOLATE producing F and L. What a goose, when there was that NOYAU available!)

HABITS at 1dn gives our first penny-drop moment ‘IT HAS BEEN SAID …’ and we have an inkling of ‘ANY FOOL CAN …’ in the third column from the end, so we suspect that the quotation is appearing in columns as no coherent words have yet appeared in rows. Of course Wiki comes to my rescue. IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT AN ENGINEER IS A MAN WHO CAN DO FOR TEN SHILLINGS WHAT ANY FOOL CAN DO FOR A POUND.

I loved A TOWN LIKE ALICE as a child. No Highway, On The Beach (which was made into a haunting film), and SLIDE RULE are on our booksheves so our filling speed now increased. SHUTE, of course, completed the last column and the other Numpty knew he was Nevil Norway Shute so we could complete NORWAY and now knew that we were hunting for engineers. We have a bit of an obsession for BRUNEL’s achievements and BAIRD, DIESEL and NOBEL were not difficult to spot but I was somewhat bemused to see two other potential engineers HILL and OTIS. Edwin Hill’s creation earned him recognition in 1851 at Crystal Palace. Do I highlight him?

No, our setter(s) has seen and excluded that possibility: ‘Separate from all of these items (the quotation, the Shute autobiography, and Town Like Alice) are a six-letter last name and five other examples of the subject (engineers)’. So I highlight OTIS and marvel at this astonishing compilation. Thank you, Donarino.


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