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Posts Tagged ‘Follow-My-Leader’

Follow-My-Leader by Harribobs

Posted by shirleycurran on 13 Oct 2017

Nothing untoward in the preamble. Harribobs was telling us that some words were going to have several letters entered in a single cell and that these were going to clash with crossing ones. We would have to anagram all those clashing letters to produce ‘members of a group’. Clearly, the word lengths in brackets told us where words had extra letters in one cell (or more than one cell as occurred in 11ac). Nothing to do but solve.

Well, I did have to check that Harribobs retains his membership of the Listener Setters’ Drinkie Club and he began well with ‘Exotic dame – she’s loaded (7)’ (DAME SHES* producing SMASHED with an extra E. I had to read a lot further to find ‘Doctors other half and Lord Lieutenant quaffing Roman mead (8)’ which gave Dr Jekyll’s ‘other half, HYDE round LL and ROM giving HYDROMEL with an extra L. So we had a lady ‘smashed’ on mead – not totally convincing. However ‘Served up eggs and beer for protein (7)’ set things right with ALE< and NITS< giving ELASTIN. Cheers, Harribobs!

We solved steadily and very soon had a set of crossing, clashing letters in PEBAS (‘HQ south of Peru armed American natives (5)’ PE + BASE with and extra E) and STRANDWOLF, ‘Scavenger’s run back behind stone ridge in the Drakensberg (10)’ (ST + RAND + FLOW<). These produced an anagram of BRANDT so we mused about German chancellors and whether Germany was to be written below the grid.

However, we had several tussles with clues before the first of these musings proved to be fruitful. ‘Basil perhaps holding Henry the fifth down (4)’ produced a smile when we worked out that SERB at 5 down was giving us an extra S here in 35d as we needed HERB and 5d was holding H[enry]. Clever stuff, even though we particularly dislike clues that refer to each other. It was fairly subtle here, wasn’t it? KISLEU seemed to be the solution to ‘A month before University, all within capital’s borders must go back (6)’ but we took ages to work out the brilliant wordplay. [H]ELSINK[I] was reversed before U, with an extra N that we needed for the message that was emerging. USE BOTTOM ROW AND LEFT COLUMN AS INDEXES, we were being instructed.

Eight chancellors had by now appeared: Adenauer (with that lovely use of LAUNDRESS), Erhard, Kiesinger, Brandt, Schmidt, Kohl (that one must have taken some head-scratching to fit into the grid), Schröder and Merkel and now we attempted to apply the instruction but with Numpty incompetence took the chancellors in the order in which they appeared in the grid – and got a gobbledygook location. Of course, to produce the PALAIS SCHAUMBURG, they had to used those grid coordinates in date order. What a clever piece of setting. Thanks to Harribobs.

The Poat hare? Of course I had to hunt for a German Hase again and sure enough, he was there, cavorting with the local hare at the foot of the grid.

A post-script – we watched the conclusion of the German elections last night and saw Mutti retain her top place. I wonder whether this one was scheduled for this weekend in view of the German elections – Probably!

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Listener No 4469: Follow-My-Leader by Harribobs

Posted by Dave Hennings on 13 Oct 2017

The previous Harribobs Listener had us spelling out “What hath God wrought” in Morse code. Before that was the Game of Life created by John Horton Conway. This week, no highlighting to perform, just a location to find, perhaps GCHQ.

There were clashing squares here, initially with several letters in each cell. They would eventually be replaced by their first letter. Meanwhile, there were 34 extra wordplay letters to find.

1ac Mascots set problems (7) looked as though it should be easy, but wasn’t for me since I always spelled it telly when I was growing up — TELE (set) S[U]MS. Luckily 6ac Force redistribution of wealth (6, two words), devoid of an extra letter, came to the rescue with THE LAW.

I decided to tackle the acrosses in order, and was happy to get a dozen or so. These were followed by significantly fewer than a dozen downs! That pretty much determined progress from then on, and that wasn’t helped by failing to get more than one clashing entry for a cell until very late on.

The first of these clashes to reveal itself was GOSSAMER ([B]OSS in GAMER) and MILKERS (MI [C]LERKS*) where I had never realised the word could refer to the cows not just the humans. Unless there were two clashes lurking here, the letters looked like MER/LKE, and it took no time to spot Mrs MERKEL. So European leaders, perhaps?

The next one out of the box was ESKI/REIGN, which looked like it should be Henry Kissinger, but wasn’t. Then it was EA/AUNDRE’s turn. Don’t ask me how I saw his name, but ADENAUER (who always reminded me of the most draconian of school headmasters) soon appeared, although I’d forgotten he was a Konrad. A bit of a google, and Kurt KIESINGER was next. We were obviously dealing with German Chancellors.

Luckily I’m old enough to remember a few more of them, specifically Ludwig ERHARD, Willy BRANDT, Helmut SCHMIDT and Helmut KOHL. Don’t ask me why, but Gerhard SCHRODER (Merkel’s predecessor) eluded me, as had Kiesinger earlier.

My favourite clue was 34ac A month before university, all within capital’s borders must go back (6) for KISLEU. Who’d have thought that most of the capital of Finland could feature so prominently in a clue?!

So what next, apart from just entering their first letter. Well, the extra wordplay letters finally revealed themselves as Use bottom row and left column as indexes. I went from top left to bottom right, listing the coordinates of each Chancellor, and got APAHALGRMUUBSICS. [I can’t believe you didn’t give up after 3 or 4 pairs. Ed.]

I started switching the pairs round, but gave up after PAHALARG. [I should hope so. Ed.] “In order” from the preamble now obviously meant chronological order, and all was made clear with Palais Schaumburg, according to Wiki the residence of the Chancellor of Germany from 1949-1999 and now the secondary official residence of the Chancellor.

This wasn’t a quick solve, but entertaining and nostalgic nonetheless. Thanks, Harribobs.

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