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Posts Tagged ‘Honest Grey Maker’

Listener No 4454: Honest Grey Maker by Augeas

Posted by Dave Hennings on 30 June 2017

Army & Navy: Postscript

If you haven’t read Shackleton’s setter’s blog, then I highly recommend it. It shows a level of sophistication, cunning and expertise that I cannot recall in any recent puzzle.

I like to think that I can learn something from any Listener where I have completely failed, or have not fully appreciated when sending in my solution. With this one, it was only when writing last week’s blog that I pondered two elements of the preamble that might have helped.

Firstly, “letters in the first row must be replaced using code options” should have indicated to me that the individual letters had a significance and were to be encoded one by one.

Secondly, the position of that instruction in the preamble was strange. In hindsight, I wondered why it was so near the beginning, whereas my identification of Fram and all the subsequent internal wrestling came at the end. In effect, I think we were being told that “Dot and Dick dash to the pole” was all that was required to do the coding, well before identifying Arthur Ransome and Winter Holiday from rows 2 and 9.

Thanks again, Shackleton.

I can’t believe he won’t win the AGC… again!

Honest Grey Maker

Hopefully an easier puzzle from Augeas this week. His last was based on Mrs Campbell and her beds, and before that the Mallard (loco not bird).

Four clue types this week (although only three in terms of solving). At least they were in groups of four (one of each in each group) rather than being scattered willy-nilly throughout the clues. I couldn’t solve 1ac immediately, but 5ac GAPES enabled the top right corner to be completed fairly quickly, with PEROGI (Polish dash dish) being the last one in. Back to the top left corner, and 1dn STIGMA enabled that to be polished off quickly as well.

All this meant that two of the unclued entries read T•LIE•IN and •EST. I couldn’t fit anything that I knew into the first, whereas there were at least 13 that could fit the second. It is worth mentioning that I had already spotted the slightly unusual wording at the beginning of the preamble stating that the unclued entries accounted for (my italics) three of the subject’s works.

After about an hour and a quarter, I had a finished grid, apart from the unclued entries. The third of these was •A•LINGWA•E•, and FALLING WATER seemed distinctly possible. And so I had three unclued entries that meant nothing to me, but at least the message spelt out by the clues should help: Highlight the man and his main innovative style.

Still nothing! I examined all the diagonals. That’s normally where things lie, but I couldn’t see anything obvious. How about the rows… nope… and columns… not really. Yes, I saw FRANK in column 1, and wondered if there was a FRANK ANGLIA (from column 2). Why, oh why, did column 4 elude me for another half hour?!

Before I saw that, I wondered if the title was trying to tell me something. And of course it was: the man we were looking for was THE MASONRY GREEK! Not quite, but Honest confirmed FRANK, and a bit more grid staring finally revealed LLOYD WRIGHT. A check with Chambers appendix showed “Lloyd m (Welsh) grey” and Wright was obviously the Maker.

All that was needed now was a bit of background reading on the architect partly from Wiki but mostly from The latter was the real help with TALIESIN and TALIESIN WEST (hence the preamble wording) and confirmed FALLINGWATER, his “crowning achievement in organic architecture”. His PRAIRIE style was the last word to be highlighted.

Thanks for an entertaining puzzle, Augeas. What a treat to see some of Wright’s stunning architecture.

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‘Honest Grey Maker’ by Augeas

Posted by Encota on 30 June 2017

A great tribute to the architect Frank Lloyd Wright, whose birthday was the 8th June, born 150 years ago.

Well, first the Title.  Synonyms word-by-word perhaps? For the famous architecturally-sound barrel-maker, Candid ‘Cheerless’ Cooper?  No, as HONEST GREY MAKER is an anagram of ‘HE RANKS GEOMETRY‘, it clearly points towards a male architect who rates angular design.  Doesn’t it?  And perhaps (another anagram) THE GREEK MASONRY is relevant??  Oh, and HONEST could be FRANK…

After a few entries were in place, it looked like the first unclued entry was going to be Taliesin.  I thought this was a Welsh poet of the 6th century and his work, so spent a few moments checking him out with Auntie Google, though it soon didn’t seem very likely.  If only he had had a Welsh word for ‘grey’.  What’s that?  Did I hear someone say LLOYD…?

The overlaying of TALIESIN and TALIESIN WEST as two of his works in Row 2 might have slowed some solvers up for a moment or two; and FALLING WATER was the third of his creations featured.  This last one is well worth a look online if you haven’t already!


The clues were generous and the clue types very clear, especially given they were grouped into quartets (more poetry, perhaps?) containing one of each type.

After the grid was filled, the message needed to be decoded.  It soon became clear that it read:


So the only things to double check were (a) how much of his name was required to be highlighted and (b) which of the styles that he was famous for was being included:

For (a), one could plausibly argue that simply highlighting WRIGHT in Column 8 was enough.  And perhaps at least one solver will try to do so!  I found that one first but soon happened upon FRANK and LLOYD in earlier columns so thought it best to highlight all three.

For (b), I only had the source of all knowledge and wisdom. – i.e. Wikipedia – to go by; it appeared to credit FLW with the Prairie style, Textile style, Organic style and Usonian style.    Of these I could only find PRAIRIE in the grid, already entered at 12a, so that one got the highlighter pen treatment.

And finally, the usual check for any hare-like creatures hiding in the grid.  As usual none – but there was another creature – A RAM – hiding in reverse at 15a.  One day, there’ll be a hare, one day there’ll be a hare,… 😉

OK, joking apart, a great final touch – thanks Augeas!


Tim / Encota


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