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Posts Tagged ‘Harribobs’

L4609: Where Next? by Harribobs

Posted by Encota on 19 Jun 2020

What a construction – congratulations Harribobs!

With the ‘after cycling’ pun at the start and the complexity of the rest of the Preamble that followed, this looked like it was going to be tough.

Stage 1: The entered clues with ‘most answers initially entered after cycling’

Fortunately most of the clues were gentle, otherwise this would have been particularly taxing!  After filling out almost all of the first grid, I wasted a bit of time by stupidly counting down the columns rather than across the rows and only realised my mistake when the first destination didn’t fit in the circle – a very useful check, by the way!

Having filled in all but the last 30 cells, I am not quite sure how I managed to solve it but it only seemed to take a little bit of jiggling and the missing two places jumped out.  I went along the slightly wrong route to begin with, trying to shoehorn SHEPHERDS BUSH into the gaps … but soon found SHEPTON MALLET, and BUDLEIGH SALTERTON followed almost immediately afterwards.

Stage 2: After re-filling!

Thanks again to Harribobs for a very cleverly constructed crossword!  I still can’t quite see how you did it, which has got to be the mark of an excellent puzzle!

Cheers & keep safe all,                   

Tim / Encota


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Where Next? by Harribobs

Posted by shirleycurran on 19 Jun 2020

A tour of Britain, I read, then such a complicated set of instructions, including one to erase my completed grid fill, that I am tempted to throw in the towel, put my bike in the shed and pour a stiff double. Still, I check through the clues to confirm Harribobs’ right of entry to the Listener Oenophile Outfit and find that his clues, at least, get beyond the M25 (which seems to be a limit for rather a large number of crossword setters as far as ‘Britain’ is concerned). He gets to Wallsend, Leeds, Oldham, the Border, A6, St Albans, ‘Wales every now and then’, Luton, the Fens, Hastings and Halesowen (wherever that is). The Irish and Scots amongst us might be slightly miffed but sobeit.

Alcohol? Well, we are told how to get our port. ‘For port, take motorway through Oldham in westerly direction bypassing centre (5)’ We suss that Harribobs is sending us to MALMO for our port. Alcohol is pretty expensive in Sweden (we frequently visit a friend who lives close to Malmo) but ‘Cheers’, anyway, Harribobs.

The grid filled with ease and lucky links early on when DUSTMAN, OUTGAS, JINGO, WALNE, SANTA, INLY and SWANAGE were achieved without cycling, made our initial cycling tour not too strenuous. However, I found that I had to visit THETFORD, EDGWARE, SWANAGE and ST DAVID’S and went onto Wiki to find out where these places were. A stern warning appeared that ‘Owing to Corona Virus, travel restrictions may apply’. It was worse when Harribobs made that token visit north of the border to GLASGOW. “Is your journey really necessary Mr Harribobs?” I heard a reminiscent little wartime voice muttering. (At least he avoided Durham and Barnard Castle and having to face a Cummings-style witch hunt.)

The other Numpty (the Irish Glaswegian) had done his share and solved most of the clues so disappeared to cook the supper and left me to erase my grid and perform my cycle tour via the letters of the across clues doing those mathematical calculations each time. Yes, I managed to miscount more than once and landed on a cell I had already filled and had to backtrack – rather like our usual numerical performance (Ed. No, I assure you, this is a verbal crossword). However, I finally got to the outskirts of St David’s and with 30 empty cells had to get out my map. Where Next? indeed.

We had meandered around the south of England. I gather that there is a St David’s at the tip of Wales as well as the Exeter one, and there had been that rather surprising visit to Glasgow (I suppose that is north for a southerner though a Shetlad friend once told us that she had had to go south once and had visited Aberdeen!) so I guessed that our remaining cells were going to take me somewhere interesting like Stornoway or Limerick – but it was not to be.

After an immense struggle I reached WHERE? SHEPTON MALLET and BUDLEIGH SALTERTON. (The other Numpty commented  that this is probably a Covid 19 ‘Staycation’ prompt for those of us who have always felt an irresistible urge to explore the exotic vistas of Shepton Mallet and  Budleigh Salterton – so on my bike. Thank you, Harribobs. We do wonder how you managed to create first the cycled grid and then that astonishing compilation with the numerically spaced words.

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Listener No 4609: Where Next? by Harribobs

Posted by Dave Hennings on 19 Jun 2020

Harribobs is a fairly new kid on the block, but has had puzzles published in all the major thematic series. What’s more, this would be his fourth Listener in just over two years, the previous one requiring a major colouring exercise to depict the flags of twelve countries. No such artistic works here, but quite a long preamble instead.

On first reading, “tour of Britain” and “cycling” immediately brought to mind the Monty Python episode featuring Mr Pither (as in Brotherhood but with P-I instead of B-R-O and no HOOD). He was on a cycling tour of North Cornwall although most of the places where he fell off his bike were in Devon and Somerset. Time would tell where Harribobs would take us.

As the preamble said, most of the entries were entered in cyclic fashion with the across clues in an order that would prove useful later on. The clues were a bit tricky in places, and there were some unusual words for me like AMOMUM, FANGOS and BLAER. My favourite clue was probably 28dn Dickens’s name arises, he of many gifts? (5) (SATAN with N moved upwards).

The five wordplay-only destinations were the last five across entries and required us to start on the south coast (SWANAGE), head into London (EDGWARE), bomb up to Scotland (GLASGOW), back down to Norfolk (THETFORD) and then cross over to Wales (ST DAVIDS). Where Next?

Getting another copy of the grid, the first letter of 14ac (the first clue printed) went in the top left square with every following letter in the printed order of clues going n letters forward, where n was the value of the letter just entered. (Understood?) I only had to go back to the beginning once after ending up on an occupied square; I suspect others had a few more mishaps!

So where next? Luckily we were given the square with the fourth letter of the first destination. I wondered if Harribobs originally withheld that help. It took a few tries before I tried SHEP, which worked, and SHEPTON MALLET immediately came to mind. It was enjoyable finding that it could be entered in the grid’s empty squares. Shepton Mallet is a town in Somerset. BUDLEIGH SALTERTON came next, and that is a town in Devon.

So we were following Pither’s somewhat wayward ride round Cornwall after all! Thanks, Harribobs.

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L4571: ‘International Standards Organisation’ by Harribobs

Posted by Encota on 27 Sep 2019

That infamous quote: “The great thing about International Standards is that there are so many to choose from”  seems to apply here.

One might of course claim that the appearance of those standards body abbreviations in the grid were coincidence – but we solvers of course know better:

British Standards Institute (BSI), Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN) , Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and even ISO itself all feature in contiguous cells.  [I had thought for a moment that Flags were going to be involved, then realised my mistake …]

Well, there are twelve of them in this case, to be precise.  I’m hoping my tablet-based flag sketches meet the ‘only enough detail to be recognisable’ criterion in the Preamble …

SCAN0633 copy

After weeks of tedious IT issues (that I won’t bore you with) I have at last managed to get scans back into LWO & take copies of my Listener solutions – yay!

Great Standards pun, great puzzle, great fun drawing & colouring – thanks Harribobs!

Tim / Encota

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International Standards Organisation by Harribobs

Posted by shirleycurran on 27 Sep 2019

It is only now, on typing that title, that I realize its significance. Of course, we have created an array (or organisation) of international standards (or flags) and we needed those three letters, too, in the clue for COSINE ‘Function of national standards body in Europe revoked (6)’ By the time we got to that clue, we had the message the extra letters were producing (FLAGS REPLACE TWELVE NATIONS IN ARRAY) and knew that we didn’t need an extra letter, so it had to be that N + ISO in EC revoked, or returned.

There was some most satisfactory cluing here (but what do we expect? Harribobs was last year’s Inquisitor top setter wasn’t he?) Of course I checked the grid to confirm that he retains his right of admission to the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Outfit and he almost slipped up. I had to read a long way through his clues before finding ‘Sadly Ruby leaves constabulary, moving to the seaside (7)’ We spotted one of a number of subtractive anagrams and removed RUBY* from CONSTABULARY* producing COASTAL – I suppose that is port in a couple of senses, so ‘Cheers, Harribobs!’.

Superb clues and a fairly speedy solve for  us, though we struggled with our last three solutions. It is rather comical for us, living in France and speaking French, that clues that use French tend to cause us trouble. I suspect that we compartmentalise languages to avoid the mental chaos that thinking in the wrong language can produce in a crossword, so although ‘French author somewhat looked up to in Paris (4)’ was leaping out at us, as a hidden word, HAUT was almost our last entry. GENET was all too familiar too after years of French homework (why was that always the one that the boys left till last?) and in this case it was how it produced the Y that we needed for ARRAY that puzzled us. ‘French author often inside yearning has to see outside (5)’. It was the ‘often inside’ that we were attempting to fit into the wordplay – but, of course, it was part of the definition. Wiki tells us that GENET was initially a petty criminal, so ‘often inside’ and we have to simply fit {Y}EN into GET.

And finally there were the APPLES. A bit sneaky, I think, to use Cockney rhyming slang, ‘London flight dismays touring European (6)’. ‘Apples and pears = stairs’ so we extracted an A from APPALS and put that European into it. Hmmm!

But no complaints really. We were told how many words were entered in reverse and how many clues had extra letters and given plenty of room about how to submit our grid with those people who fuss about having to get out the children’s colouring pencils the option of resolving those twelve texts in words. (I did that as well in order to avoid putting one of those flags in the wrong place!)

Was I the only solver to wonder about ROMANIANS – they are a nation too and ROMANIANS anagram to SAN MARINO, which certainly has independent country status. Oh the pitfalls of Listener solving! But many thanks to Harribobs – what a delightful compilation.

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