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Posts Tagged ‘Follow the directions’

Follow the Directions by Artix

Posted by shirleycurran on 24 November 2017

Artix’s crosswords are usually very challenging – none of the ‘Stripey horse (5)’ clues for him, but this week’s clues were not desperately difficult and we soon had a complete grid. It was not the grid fill so much as the wealth of material that was hidden in that apparently innocuous little 12 x 12 grid that was exciting.

Of course I started with that check that he retains his entry ticket to the Listener Setters’ Topers Outfit, though I didn’t really need to check, as, since we are members of the Rasputin setters trio, we are usually at the same table at the setters’ dinner and share our taste for the fine reds. I had to read a long way down his clues before I reached ‘Sensational bit of aroma overlooked by winemaker (4)’ A confession here, this clue gave us a slight advantage – Artix lives on the south side of Lake Geneva and we can see his dwelling place from our north side and what is the local red wine? Gamay, so we removed just the bit of Aroma from that and had GAMY = sensational.

‘Making tea in bar, we’re all but rejected (6)’ (and so we should be!) We turned round PUB and WE’R(e) and got BREW UP. More alcohol to come: ‘Strict limits for women lapping left over Scotch up (6)’ That was entertainingly deceptive as we had to reverse the limits of WomeN around (lapping) ARRO, also reversed, giving NARROW. So “Cheers, Artix. A Paris!”

It wasn’t the grid fill so much as what followed that had the Artix touch. The other Numpty confirmed that there was only one ‘heptagonal’ shape that would leave pieces that could be reassembled to form a second heptagonal shape that was a reflection of the first, and that that was an arrow. Therefore, we had an arrow shape, heading west that encompassed the hero, and, sure enough, there we found, heading west, AMYAS LEIGH. First pdm. The theme  was Westward Ho (second pdm – the title said ‘Follow the Directions’ – we were indeed doing that but so was he – going WESTWARD HO) We had to check with Auntie Google and she told us that his first love was ROSE SALTERNE (4,8). Cutting that initial arrow from the grid did indeed ‘break her up’ but not so evilly as the Inquisition in the novel who burnt her at the stake!

We fiddled with those left over pieces to create the second, reflected arrow and found, to our delight, that ARROWHEADS now appeared in our grid, crossed by WESTWARD HO. Fortunately, I was using an eraser pen as Amyas Leigh’s second love, AYACANORA was in our re-constructed grid, but with a U that needed to be adjusted with love (O) to give her correct name. What’s more, like Rochester in Jane Eyre, Charles Kingsley’s s hero is blinded at the end of the novel. It must be some quirky form of romanticism that thinks that the heroine will be blissfully happy with a blind husband. However, we had to obey instructions and remove him  ‘as on his journey he has become unsighted’.

Truly an astonishing construction and great fun. Congratulations to Artix!

The golden Poat HARES? I wouldn’t expect to see many of them off the Caribbean coasts of Venezuela even though Amyas Leigh was apparently seeking gold there but, sure enough, there was a veritable chain of the beasts, with yet another becoming ‘unsighted (well, decapitated!) when we blinded Amyas Leigh.

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Listener No 4475: Follow the Directions by Artix

Posted by Dave Hennings on 24 November 2017

Last year’s Artix had Hamlet’s “These are but wild and whirling words” theme. This week, we had a bit of cutting and pasting in store, not seen since Flying Tortoise’s Galileo puzzle. Artix is normally one tricky cluesmith, but this week’s grid was finished in a little over an hour. (Or did I not read my timer correctly?)

So you know what came next? A bit of grid-staring, of course. I suspect that anybody who’s a competent mathematician probably knew what sort of 7-sided shape we must be talking about. It was obviously not restricted to the lines of the grid as that would, I think, always produce an even-sided figure.

I was beginning to toy with a sort of diamond when I saw the ARROW of NARROW at 28dn, and there at the top of the column was HEAD + S leading to ARROW-HEADS. Kerching! It didn’t take long to see WARD and HO crossing that description of the arrow-shaped figure, and WEST was at the end of row 3.

I decided to park that idea for the time being and see if I could find the hero and his first love. I got slightly side-tracked by SALEM, USA in row 5 and PONGO in column 2, but LEIGH in column 6 looked promising. However, AMYAS seemed a bizarre first name, so I continued and found ROSE SALTERNE in column 11.

Never having read the novel, it was time to resort to Google and check to see if those two characters meshed with WESTWARD HO by Charles Kingsley. And so they did. And so also did he have a bizarre first name (much like today’s celebrity offspring).

After that, it was straightforward to cut up a copy of my grid, create the two arrow shapes, and then stick them together to form a ten-sided figure with AYACANORA visible, once AURA was changed to AORA.

Thanks for an entertaining puzzle, Artix. It’s always nice when some detective work is required to find the correct solution.
 

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