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Posts Tagged ‘Hare’

Game Box by Poat

Posted by shirleycurran on 21 September 2018

The other Numpty said at about noon, “What are we going to get tonight?” and with an uncanny premonition, I replied, “It must be time for another Poat crossword.” And there it was. Even as I printed it, I could hear the pad of tiny hare paws (hopefully not in the preamble!) That little HARE who appeared in the searcH AREa in the preamble of Poat’s last crossword has made Poat a Listener legend and caused disarray and desolation in over half of the solvers of that crossword. We have been pursuing him ever since (and he did appear in the one about the HS2, only to be then run-over by the train) but finally, in despair, we let him head off for his hols at the start of this year. (Blackpool, I believe!)

We start solving and there he is! Clue 2 ‘Hubristic racer to try finding energy at the end (4)’ That’s a reference to The Tortoise and the Hare fable, isn’t it? The proud speedy hare being defeated by the diligent, plodding tortoise, and ‘try’ is HEAR with the Energy moving down in the clue. So Poat is honouring his little hero – or is he?

And does Poat retain his admission ticket to the Listener Oenophile Outfit? Of course he does. We find three solutions to ‘Seen up in expensive bar venue, Frank’s wine spilt by queen with old love for romance (5:6:3)’. In fact that ‘bar’ seems to be a legal reference to VISNE which is reversed in expENSIVe, then WINE* with ER gives us WIENER, the German sausage, and the initial letters of With Old + O (love) produces WOO, for ‘romance’, and we’ll have to drink to the little hare’s safe return, so ‘Cheers, Poat!’

Of course that gave us 14 letters that would stretch right across the grid, as did ORA/IAGO/PARITOR, ETIOLATE/OCTETS and CITHER/LETRASET so we had a starting point for our gridfill. We worked out how to enter HASTEN/WOOLCOMBERS in a total of four different columns and established the position of our first obstacle. AERIEST and FLATTERING clearly had to go off at 90° angles and they gave us our second. And so it went on. With an almost full grid and a second putative HARE appearing at the foot of the tenth column, we sussed that THE FASCINATION OF SHOOTING was to fill those alternate perimeter cells. SURELY NOT! Was this going to be Poat’s attempt to wipe out, forever, the memory of the little beast? OWL and TERCELET had appeared. Was Poat going on a rampage ‘MADCAP POTS BAG LOADS’?

We have to express a strong objection. Such violence, together with scurrilous terms, sexual references and all the rest of the forbidden guff, should surely be banned from Listener crosswords!

With a full (or almost) grid, we had to fit those letters into the gaps and realised that, in order to place all 18, we would have to use the six cells containing obstacles. This was a demanding but enjoyable endgame to produce ten targets and at first the little HARE seemed safe as they were not animals at all but sitting ducks that appeared: SHIELDRAKE, SMEE, POCHARD, GOLDENEYE, SCAUP, SCOTER, EIDER, BALDPATE and wisely beating a retreat, one I hadn’t heard of, a GARROT. That made nine ducks. The potential HARE in column ten becoming just another duck.

Surely the goldeneye, scoter, eider and pochard are protected birds. Frankly, this will not do. Google tells me that the hare is only protected in Scotland. That doesn’t seem fair.

Number 10? What can I say? Mrs Bradford tells me that a HARELD is a duck, so Poat has brought the little fellow back, just to convert him into a duck and shoot him. Shame! I rest my case!

 

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‘The Owl, the Pussycat & Hares Galore’ by Chalicea

Posted by Encota on 28 July 2017

There are animals everywhere in this puzzle, ‘Difficulty’ from Chalicea: a TURKEY, LUPUS (wolf), the PUSSYCAT, a NIGHTBIRD, even ARGALI, TEAR A CAT and the GERENUK!   If only there’d been an opportunity to hide a HARE or two, or even other hare-like creatures.

But wait a moment, the Item to be added below the grid is enumerated (1,4) – it simply must be A HARE.  I’d thought initially the puzzle was themed on that delightful Edward Lear work, ‘The Owl and The Pussycat’ – what a fool I was!  See how easily the setter can divert you down false trails.  Or maybe the poem does mention a hare, let me think…

Many of you may recall that these hare-brained escapades all started with Listener 4422 by Poat, named ‘Buried Treasure’, in which the Hare of the Kit Williams book ‘Masquerade’ was found lurking not in the grid but in the Preamble, more specifically hiding in the searcH AREa.

Ever since, bloggers at LWO – especially Shirley Curran (Chalicea) – and other Listener solvers have been desperately on the lookout for that HARE in each Listener grid.

So, if I am right, we are looking for a HARE, presumably hiding in contiguous cells in the grid.  I thought, given the setter is Chalicea, then there’s bound to be one.

How wrong I was.

Because, at least by my counting, there are 26!  By which, of course, I mean 4! And 2!

Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 23.10.30

See highlighted grid (forgive my scribbling), with some overlapping. I make it:

  • DOE x8 (all entered as DE, of course, given the ‘Difficulty’ with the missing O),
  • MARA x6,
  • PUSS x4,
  • WAT x3,
  • HARE x3,
  • BAWD x1 and
  • PIKA x1.

I make that one heavy-duty grid – very, very impressive!!

And of course, we all know that poem word-for-word, don’t we?  It sits so firmly in one’s brain that it is impossible to misremember:

Pussy said to the Owl, ‘You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet and fair!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:

But what shall we do for a hare?’

All I need to do now is write ‘A HARE’ below the grid and I am sorted.

Cheers,

Tim / Encota

 

 

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‘Buried Treasure’* by Poat

Posted by Encota on 18 November 2016

*which could have been called ‘X doesn’t Mark the Spot’.
So there I was, armed with an earlier completed grid for Listener 4422, sitting on the Replacement Bus Service that forms part of the UK’s 21st Century transport network returning me from that day’s Listener quarterly update, staring at the darn thing, reading and re-reading …”Having followed the trail, solvers must highlight its ultimate goal in the search area (four consecutive letters in a straight line).”  What search area?  I think I laughed out loud when I saw it – esp. the ‘four consecutive letters’ sleight-of-hand wording.  Not too loud a laugh of course; only a few people quietly moved away 🙂
So my reading of the Preamble is that it is really saying: “Having followed the trail, solvers must highlight its ultimate goal in the searcH AREa (four consecutive letters in a straight line).
And highlight it in the Preamble, not in the Grid!  Let’s hope I am right, or this blog is going to look pretty dopey!  It definitely meets the ‘spec’ of the Preamble.
My next thought was for our esteemed marker.  As many of you will know he appreciates receiving puzzle entries as closely trimmed as possible to the puzzle grid edges to avoid him having to do the same many hundreds of times over – today that’s going to be tricky, I thought!
Back to the beginning.  This was a great puzzle – thanks Poat!  Whenever one reads ‘buried treasure’ or similar in a puzzle then it’s odds on that, in some way or other, ‘X’ will mark the spot.  Nothing wrong with that, of course, but what a delight when that isn’t the case.
And what a trail it was!  Firstly, organise clashing entries to make a phrase of interest: this gives READ EVERY THIRD.
Secondly, the Preamble says to apply this statement to the unchecked letters.  Highlight all such letters on my rough copy and the 3rd, 6th etc of them spell out: ONE OF THREE CLUE ACROSTICS.
Thirdly, acrostics.  I knew that sometimes these were messages sometimes spelt out with first letters and sometimes last letters.  Try both in each clue – nothing.  Try it across every clue, looking at the start of the 1st, 4th,… clues and it reads THIS GOES NOWHERE!
Now the 2nd, 5th,…: FALSE TRAIL AGAIN!  And the 3rd, 6th,…: CLOSE BY AMPTHILL.
So what does that mean?  Many of you will already have been aware of the late 1970s book ‘Masquerade’ by Kit Williams with a built-in treasure trail and real buried treasure.  If not then Grandma Google will help – what an interesting story!  But what was finally buried, close by Ampthill (the book’s final clue), was a (golden) hare.  So, back to ‘Buried Treasure’, and fourthly, now catch your Hare.
I started off assuming it must be in the Grid.  There’s lots of words for hare…
…and was 3/4 of every other known word for HARE, including HAR. somewhere in the grid?  I started checking through them and could find:

– BUC(k) in Col. 7,
– HAR(e) in Col. 6,
– MAR[E]A backwards in Row 4
– SCU(t) in Col. 7
– (h)A RE in Row 2
– HA(r)E again in Col. 6…
Is Poat teasing us?  I was almost disappointed that BAUD, BAWD, PIKA & PUSS weren’t there in 3/4 form as well!
But no HARE or synonym.  Now what?  And eventually I twigged – see Bus Service above!
-Tim/Encota-
P.S. Earlier alternative trains of thought included:
1) I guess someone out there might try and argue that ‘its ultimate goaL..’’ in the preamble referred to the letter L shape starting with Col6’s H then going down one and across right one.  Can’t see how to justify “(four consecutive letters in a straight line)” part of the Preamble there, though.  Discount.
2) Also, starting with the S at 4d one can spell out SEARCH AREA via a couple of routes thru touching cells, finishing on Row 6 heading left thru the double-entry at 24.  Might that be part of the solution, perhaps?  No straight lines again though so highlighting HARE around a reversed ‘L’ can’t count.  Discount this one too.
3) The hare in the original book was called Jack.  Could the J in Row 1 have some relevance? Could the Catherine of Aragon’s monument’s shadow from the original book somehow be recreated in the grid?  Surely too difficult to emulate ‘noon on the autumnal equinox’ in a grid.  Discount.

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