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Posts Tagged ‘Folio’

Listener No 4565: Folio by Nebuchadnezzar

Posted by Dave Hennings on 16 Aug 2019

Nebuchadnezzar’s first Listener was nearly two years ago and was based on the Dudeney/Lloyd nine dots puzzle which was great fun. This week, zigzagging answers in a grid that had left-right mirror symmetry and an endgame that seemed to indicate more drawing!

Fitting all the entries in was very enjoyable and basically involved working from the top down. I wondered at first whether “… zigzags either left or right and down” included, for example, left–down–right–down–left, but plumped for it only meaning an entry could go left or right but not both.

Progress was fairly slow, but I got there in the end via some fun clues. These included 11 Satyrs reviewed drinks menu, wanting case (6) for SILENI ((w)INELIS(t)<) and 20 Appropriate cover of toaster catches fire (7) for TROUSER (ROUSE in T(oaste)R). I was somewhat suspicious of Nebuchadnezzar’s sense of humour with 20 Getting intimate, vocalise with others? (6) for COSING!

I’ll confess at this point that I was miles into the solve before I realised that the grid was 12×13 rather than standard 12×12. As a result, my nine cells omitted by wordplay which were “symmetric in a diagonal axis” were constantly moving!

On to the endgame, and I was faced with adjacent segments of 3, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 1 and 5 cells being the full text of a work. This seemed totally confusing until two of the four empty cells in the bottom row could be completed to give CUMMINGS. I thought it a shame that Neb couldn’t fix the bottom left corner to give EE rather than TE. Except of course he did… but not just yet!

All I had to do now was find the relevant poem, and the symbolic brackets in rows 1 and 6 were obviously relevant. I’m afraid that I couldn’t see what it was, but a carefully crafted google revealed the poem to be (rejigged): “l (a leaf falls) oneliness”. With SOLIDUET changed to SOLITUDE at the bottom of column 1, EE was complete.

All that was left now was some drawing. As far as I’m concerned, 2019 will go down as the Year of Listener Drawing. This time, it was a leaf drawn through the letters omitted from the wordplay.

Bingo! Except not! A final read of the preamble before putting my entry in its envelope and I saw what I had forgotten — the entire grid had to be written in LOWER CASE. I don’t know whether JEG would have accepted a post-it note attachment asking him to treat the grid as such, but I felt confident that he wouldn’t. And so, the entire grid — leaf and all — had to be redone.

Thanks for some good entertainment, Nebuchadnezzar.


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Folio by Nebuchadnezzar

Posted by shirleycurran on 16 Aug 2019

I have memories of Nebuchadnezzar’s last spectacular crossword which was a tough one to solve so I open this with some trepidation. I am expecting a fair splashing of alcohol to confirm his membership of the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Elite – and there is: ‘Satyrs reviewed drinks menu, wanting case (6)’ gives us (w)INE LIS(t)< (SILENI), and with that wine list to hand, he chooses a vintage, ‘French vintage and its vessel? (5)’ CRU + ET. Here is someone with taste – none of that ASTI that appears in so many crosswords. “Cheers, Nebuchadnezzar!”

What a long pre-ramble. “Almost as long as the clues!” someone commented to me, and it had so many ‘stages’ in it that it was somewhat disconcerting. I should have spotted what the ‘work’ was straight away wth that division into segments 3 2 2 2 3 1 and 5 cells, but must admit that our grid was almost complete and we had T E CUMM N S on the bottom row before the penny (Ed. Don’t you mean ‘leaf’?) dropped.









Yes, I admit that the title had led me to expect something from a Shakespeare Folio, even though ‘the full text of a work’ was rather a give-away (and the e e cummings poem is yet another that I have studied with students).

It took us a while to catch on to the fact that the use of left-right mirror symmetry in the grid was the key to entering solutions. ‘Every answer zig-zags either left or right and down’ led to attempts to enter letters diagonally – which got us nowhere at all, and we had cold-solved all but about ten of the clues before a real grid fill began.

There was some very subtle cluing there too but fortunately, once a solution was entered at one side of the grid, it was possible to find a skeleton of the matching solution on the other side. Grid almost full with T E CUMM N S on the bottom row and four more instructions to obey. Clearly we can give cummings his I and G, and if we assume that DUET at the left has to ‘interchange three letters’ it can create SOLITUDE (which I believe is the theme of his poem) and give him his e.

We have the nine letters of LOWER CASE appearing (or not appearing – omitted by wordplay) in sixteen clues – that was the difficult bit of the solve. I have to draw a falling leaf through those letters, and, of course, submit my entire grid in lower case. What a spectacular compilation! Many thanks to Nebuchadnezzar.

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