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Posts Tagged ‘Hurón’

One or the Other by Hurón

Posted by shirleycurran on 19 Jul 2019

“A newcomer?” we mused, but it didn’t take us long to realize that this masterly set of clues was compiled by no newcomer. A friend has commented that Hurón is a subtle combination of the pseudonyms of the two setters but it is too subtle for me even though I know who they are. I can’t exclude these founder members from the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Outfit, even though I found not a drop of wine in their clues or grid – unless I can include the WHITE (the thermometer is registering 43 degrees here so that is the one to chill and drink!) It took us ages to suss the wordplay of ‘… in other words about the least reliable’ [I] E around WHIT giving ‘reliable’ which is a meaning of WHITE and producing the I that we needed for DRAW MIRROR IMAGE. They must have deliberately made that and the clue to FACES fairly obscure so that we didn’t cotton onto the theme too quickly. It was those two symmetrical entries that suggested the theme to us long before we found the RUBY VASE. Yes, I suppose that ruby is red, too, so I’m raising a couple of glasses – Cheers Hurón!

I wonder whether anyone else’s workings look like ours. I find it really difficult to decide whether letters are omitted from the wordplay or extra, produced by it, and have to colour code if I have any hope of performing the endgame. The task was not rendered easier by our initial mis-reading of the pre-ramble (yes it was a bit of a ramble but would have been kinder had it told us in simple words that one clue of each pair was normal). We spent our first hour of solving convincing ourselves that each pair consisted of a clue with a missing letter and one with one or two extra letters. “Read the preamble Numpties!”

When the other Numpty disappeared to cook something, I focussed on the words and saw why we had found no extra letters in the clues for CRASSER, ROBE, AGOUTA, CHEESE, INESCULENT, LASER, AMOEBAE,  etc. It was the initial letters of those last three that suggested DOUBLE-ACTING at 1 across, and our solve shifted into first gear.

The theme had to be a RUBIN VASE, though we didn’t know, until we consulted Wiki, that that was its name. I wondered why we were given that cryptic clue in the preamble ‘Leader of Whitechapel gallery fully into data processing’ (W TATE + UP in PP) but realised that we could have solved the clues in each pair in any order so that bit of extra help was needed.

I’ve had a number of people muttering to me about having to use up their blue pencils or highlighters for last week’s celebration of Scotland’s glorious midsummer victory – now they can mutter about the ruby! Lovely, thank you, Hurón!


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Listener No 4561: One or the Other by Hurón

Posted by Dave Hennings on 19 Jul 2019

Todáy, anóther new sétter hit ús and we were fáced with a Ríght and Léft puzzle. These are óften good fún, wíth the theme wórking round the 12-létter entrý across the tóp. I hoped that I wouldn’t fínd myself swimming too múch out of my dépth.

Leaving aside those ´s for a moment, time to see what the puzzle revealed. Each clue was really two clues side by side, one to the left and one to the right. One of these would either have an extra letter in the wordplay not entered or would omit one or two letters of the answer. The extra letters would give an instruction and a bit of drawing would be required in the endgame. My heart sank at this latter requirement — and not for the first time this year.

The clues were generally easy-going, and it wasn’t long before I could see that 1ac Hesitant about area coloured on left and right-hand side of puzzle, producing two outcomes (12) was DOUBLE-something. At first, I thought this might be DOUBLE-UNCHED, but the grid was perfectly constructed. Instead, with DOUBTING for the hesitant bit and with AC following PE or LE, DOUBLE-ACTING was soon uncovered.

Well that didn’t help at all! In fact, this was one of those puzzles where very little was revealed until all the clues had been solved and the grid completed. The extra wordplay letters gave us Draw mirror image. From the preamble, the omitted letters needed for our bit of artwork were given by ’Solvers must draw a curve through the centres of the omitted letters’ cells, in an order suggested by “Leader of Whitechapel gallery fully into data processing”’. All these letters were in the left of the grid, and it didn’t take long to see that this led to W + TATE + (UP in DP).

Even my woeful drawing gave a face pointing right, and drawing a mirror image gave the ambiguous image of either two profiles facing each other or a vase. RUBY and VASE were there in rows 5 and 10, and we were required to colour it appropriately. These days I rely on Microsoft Paint to do any highlighting or colouring in the grid before I print it out for filling. This is normally easier than using coloured pencils — although not this week, very fiddly. WHITE FACES at 9dn were what may be seen instead of the ruby vase.

Finally, a bit of googling revealed that Wiki thought this was developed by “Danish psychologist Edgar Rubin [citation needed]”!

Thánks for an enjoýable puzzle, Hurón. Í hope that JÉG could see through all the red sháding.

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