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Posts Tagged ‘Jago’

Listener No 4483: A Little Ray of Sunshine by Jago

Posted by Dave Hennings on 19 Jan 2018

Some solvers will always associate some setters with a particular puzzle. Poat will, in many eyes, always be remembered for that bloody hare (RIP!). Jago, more fondly (?), for his Origami wren. There didn’t seem to be any folding required here — that was Zero’s prerogative last week — and it seemed very unlikely that a wren would be lurking in the grid. [Hold that thought. Ed.]

Here we had a grid where some cells needed to accommodate two letters with a diagonal line separating them. It turned out that there weren’t as many of these as I had expected… only eight. 1dn 26dn and 20 were unclued thematic entries referred to in the preamble. Once these were revealed as WHITE LIGHT and PRISM, it didn’t take long to spot the colours of the rainbow in seven columns to the right of the prism.

I seem to remember some time back being in a quandary over exactly what colours to use. Blue and Indigo have always confused me, and don’t mention Purple, Violet and Mauve! Anyway, I think that JEG is fairly tolerant when it comes to that sort of thing.

This turned out to be a very gentle solve for the last Listener of the year. Forty minutes saw everything fall into place. Thanks, Jago.

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A Little Ray of Sunshine by Jago

Posted by shirleycurran on 19 Jan 2018

Just what we needed after catching a very crowded train from Euston to the north with a range of wet and snowy conditions. Naturally I started my solve by reading through all the clues to confirm Jago’s continued membership of the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Outfit (though as, for years, he has organised the Setters’ dinner, there could be little doubt – even if this year he is having a break and the dinner is performing some sort of Frexit to France). I hunted vainly for those telling clues only to have to resort to the RED in ‘A subject of severe doubters making another attempt (4)’ The red was hidden there wasn’t it – and yes, hidden even more effectively in the final grid – there was the RED, so cheers Jago!

The other Numpty was solving so quickly that all I could do was wield the pen and soon the right hand side of the grid was full and we still hadn’t found a single pair of letters that needed to share a cell but he then suddenly announced ‘It’s going to be WHITE LIGHT down the left’, and, of course it was. PRISM quickly followed  so that we realized that those split cells had to form two continuous lines. We were lucky to be given that anagram ‘At back of theatre agitated prude becoming distracted (5)’ PRUDE + (theatr)E* leading to EPERDU and the EP and ER were candidates for cell sharing, as were the GO of EGOS, the FU of FUERO, the TE of TASTES, KI of KISAN, AS or FASCI and UB of YORUBA. How clever to have made those tally with across clues that used the pairs of letters in the other direction: HOGWARD, TREETOP, PER PRO, LYOMERI, GRASSUM and HUBCAP. Neat setting!

We spotted our prism and wondered ‘Is that all?’ but, of course, it wasn’t. How had I managed to fill the grid without spotting a single one of the rainbow colours that the prism was splitting the white light into? Nice one Jago.

Did someone mention Poat’s hare? There was one cavorting round HAWES (just a few miles from here) in Jago’s grid but I am afraid it is RIP Hare – he is clearly not going to appear in a straight line in four letters in the grid.

We’ve had a touch of friction in the family. As I buried him, the anguished other Numpty said “You can’t do that to him! Why not just send him off with a little suitcase and a label ‘Please look after this hare’ or something like that.” So I passed him the pencils and there’s Poat’s hare off on his hols, heading in a straight line to the beach.

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Edit by Jago

Posted by shirleycurran on 16 Sep 2016

We were at Riederfurka in the Swiss Upper Valais. It does have WiFi (though the rich aristocrats the banker Sir Ernest Cassel Jago Edit 002and his distinguished guests who summered up there above 2000 metres at the Villa Cassel would probably never have envisaged such a thing) but the little Riederfurka mountain hotel has no printer, so I was obliged to download the Friday Listener on my iPhone and reconstruct the grid with paper and pencil.


Healthy dose of vitamin C!

What would we have done if last week’s  Nod numerical had reached us in that way? Abandoned all hope, I think. What a relief it was to see ‘Edit by Jago’ above that 12 X 12 grid. With no disrespect to Jago, who always provides us with an entertaining couple of hours, his are the crosswords that probably encourage newer solvers to persist; a crossword that we could attack with pencil and paper. Here’s my proof IMG_4459– our grid with almost all the clues cold-solved as we sat on the bales of straw covered with sheepskins enjoying the apéritifs and overlooking the sadly receding Aletsch Glacier.

Did I say apéritifs? Of course I didn’t need to confirm Jago’s membership of the Listener Setters’ Drinkie Outfit as it is Jago and Jan who, ever year, devote so much time and energy to organising the Listener Setters’ Dinner. However, a check was in order and, as the other Numpty happily solved, I scanned the clues, finding ‘Ornamental holder of container with pie cooked inside (6)’ TIN round PIE* giving us TIE PIN. From the pie, Jago moved on to a Japanese tea ceremony or tea party (5)’ CHA + DO and was clearly fancying his G & T, ‘Wanting nothing but pleasure, naughtily hides tonic (10)’ HIDES TONIC* = HEDONISTIC. Hmm; things were looking worrying.

Jago Edit 001However, all was well. 1d gave us ‘We burp drunkenly, emptying beers in places where they’re very local (8)’ WE BURP + B[eer]S* giving BREWPUBS – so we had a drunken, burping four-O-clock finish (as usual – Cheers Jago!)

This was a fine set of clues but they were not difficult and we soon had enough to attempt a tentative grid fill. Of course, the word lengths of the lights had prompted us that something was going to be omitted from each solution, and we had been told that there was a ‘deficiency’ (my italics) associated with each of the four quadrants. It was fun to fill the grid with the letters that intersected from the different solutions and fairly straightforward to establish that we were omitting the Bs from the first quadrant, the Is from the second, the Ds from the third and the Cs from the fourth.

I was slightly nonplussed when the unclued light (which was to be entered normally) seemed to produce GOITRE. Isn’t that indicative of a deficiency of Iodine? Aaah! The penny dropped with a clang. So we were entering BERI BERI in the first quadrant (vitamin B deficiency) RICKETS where the vitamin D was deficient and SCURVY, of course, where the vitamin C was lacking. (Weren’t we taught at school that Captain James Cook was the genius who insisted that his crew consumed lemons and limes to cope with that blight caused by vitamin C deficiency?). This was a beautiful, consistent piece of setting – thoroughly enjoyable. Many thanks to Jago.

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Edit by Jago

Posted by Encota on 16 Sep 2016

I’ve recently been encouraged by shirleycurran to post a few thoughts on this blog.  I’ve taken up more seriously trying to solve The Listener just this year – and if I get more than half right in my first year will feel I’m doing very well!  This is my first published post so forgive me if it doesn’t goes 100% smoothly.  I am trying to write it more as a supplement to that posted by Shirley and Dave – so I will try to avoid covering the same ground if at all I can.  FYI, as well as being a keen solver, I’m also beginning to get a few puzzles of my own published here and there – with hopefully many more to come – under my pseudonym Encota.

First of all, many thanks to Jago for a gentle, cleverly constructed puzzle.  Showing my ignorance, I had to look up GOITRE to confirm it really was the result of Iodine deficiency; the other three (rickets, scurvy and beri-beri) were better known to me.  I thought the entries that crossed quadrant boundaries were particularly neatly constructed.  CHADO was also new to me but very generously clued, so easy to find.

As usual, I spent a little while try to read more (too much?) into the Title* but with little success.  EDICT with a (vitamin) C deficiency reduced to EDIT perhaps?!  No.   After that I was struggling.  Perhaps the TIDE is turning, given the occurrences of at least one of these deficiencies aboard ship??   No.  Hmm…  Am I missing something?

Overall, I love the variety of difficulty in The Listener and on balance prefer the harder ones; nonetheless this was great fun to solve – and reduced my excuses to avoid the dreaded ‘To Do’ list on home DIY (for which I think I am grateful!)

Tim / Encota

* With examples of Titles in 2016 including ‘Cycle 20% More’ and ‘Stomach’ I hope I am not the only one to find sussing the Setter’s train of thought here almost irresistible?

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Tour de Yorkshire by Jago

Posted by shirleycurran on 25 Jul 2014

Tour de Yorkshire 001Spotting the theme before we enter a single clue is getting to be a Numpty habit. Well I am Yorkshire Dales born and bred and we have been living with the hype for the past few weeks with several friends who live overseas, like us, going back specifically for the big Yorkshire event. Still, it could have been about Wimbledon (and Jago, by giving us a twenty-minute solve allowed us to watch Roger Federer win his semi-final). Roger is such a decent fellow and so popular over here where we live.

Yes, the Yorkshire Dales are all set for tomorrow’s departure and Holme Moss, where my sister lives, has been giving helpful advice to the cyclists who are heading their way.

We were so busy slotting in YORKSHIRE, GRAND DEPART, TOUR DE FRANCE CYCLE RACE, LEEDS, HARROGATE, DALES, RIPON and YELLOW JERSEY that I didn’t have time to scan the clues to check that Jago was maintaining his place in the Listener setters tipsy club (as if I had any doubt) but when, after completing our grid, I did a quick check, I found a surprising quantity of bananas, Ecstasy, sausage, headless kipper and pork but not much drink to accompany that queer diet.

Yes, these were very easy clues but, in a sense, they had to be, as so much of the grid was unclued. When I find myself highlighting 70 cells before even beginning to fill a grid that only has 150, there is almost a sigh of relief as the clues ARE going to have to be easy to permit solvers to complete the grid. And we do still appreciate a really easy solve from time to time. About five years ago when we first attempted a Listener crossword, one like this would have encouraged us to have the confidence to continue – or at least to have a look at them each week.

I am adding to that last comment twenty-four hours later. I invariably go to read the thread on the Answerbank when we have completed our solve. I know it isn’t approved of by the purists but there is considerable restraint demonstrated by the people who visit it and share their views and it does give a forum before the official one that appears on the Crossword Centre’s message board three weeks later. It is, I know, visited by some compilers who can test the air about their new creation (or newly published creation) as the reactions appear. There are a few almost rude comments appearing this week (Ho ho – you might be eating your words if we are treated to a Sabre’s Knights’ moves style treat next week or another Klein Bottle) but there is also the more thoughtful comment that a few new names have appeared on the thread – people who have been encouraged by the comments on the thread and who have braved the Listener for the first time. I believe this is what we are all hoping will happen and, (dare I be political without getting my hand smacked?) that the extra money The Times is netting as of this week, with our raised subscriptions, is going to the Editors and not into some obscure Times black hole.

Were there any difficult clues? Well we had to check on “Exotic timber found on the reverse of a watchcase (4)” to make sure that the hidden reversed word was TAWA (did you know that it is also ‘a griddle used in Indian cookery’?) and that “A sort of flowering plant, or type of tree, chopped back (5)” was OR PIN[e].

So thank you Jago – for giving Yorkshire a Listener mention too.

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