Listen With Others

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin

Posts Tagged ‘Kruger’

Listener 4692 Whodunnit? by Kruger

Posted by gillwinchcombe on 8 Feb 2022

Whodunnit? offered a sushi train of delights. In the vanguard were the clues, ranging from the smoothly digestible (those for AIDE and DAYCARERS) to the distinctly crunchy (SITE, TEWHIT and OTTOS). I liked the way Mother Superior yielded THERMOS, and the well-hidden vowel change that led to SITE. And I’m relieved to see that AMARETTO is correct because I can’t parse it for the life of me. I’m sure someone can enlighten me.

Next appeared a lip-smacking jigsaw; luckily, the 9-long entries defined the structure, so construction was good fun and reasonably straightforward. This was followed by a sweet derivation of the message (which, having spotted 2 of the detectives, I’d guessed) and identification of the 4 detectives. Here I almost faltered; I was struggling to find the answer to “Piece removed from silk with special oils” (OTTOS) so almost stabbed at O’HARA for “About to eat the best part of tough roach”, before realising the entry had to begin with C. Now I have FROST, BACCHUS and TAGGART, so where is the 4th sleuth? WYCLIFFE of course! One of my first solutions, but not as I thought a Bible, but one of my favourite detectives!

I was delighted to see that replacing tecs with the corresponding actors’ names also resulted in real words; what a satisfying and enjoyable repast! Thank you Kruger, and please return sooner next time.


Posted in Solving Blogs | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Listener No 4692: Whodunnit? by Kruger

Posted by Dave Hennings on 22 Jan 2022

The first Listener of the year and we had a Kruger puzzle to solve. His last one was nearly five years ago and had Watford Gap and the North-South Divide as its theme (no. 4443, Not the Rockies). He has, however, been very busy over at Inquisitor and Enigmatic Variations in the meantime.

Here we had an alphabetical jigsaw in a 12×14 grid without symmetry. There were four wordplay-only thematic clues and nineteen others with a misprint that would enable us to “complete the puzzle correctly” — if only that was a certainty!

A first glance at the clues showed that there were an awful lot of 4-, 5- and 6-letter entries that needed to be slotted in, with only a smattering of longer ones. My first pass through had about half solved, including AMARETTO and DAY-CARERS although REPLETING would have to wait for the second pass (all that Christmas pud must have slowed my brain). I also got what looked like the thematic WYCLIFFE early on, although I had no idea what that referred to (Christmas pud again).

I always enjoy the teasing out of answers once the initial skeletal framework is in place. After a couple of trips through the clues, it was time for a bit of grid-fill if possible. Well it didn’t take long to put AMARETTO across with DAY-CARERS and REPLETING coming down, and I was off with a bang. Fast forward via the top right, bottom left and the bits either side as the remaining clues were solved.

It was only when FROST got solved that WYCLIFFE rang a bell, both being TV detectives. I had also heard of TAGGART, but had to google BACCHUS for details about him. The misprint corrections, once put in the order of entries in the grid, spelt out Actors to replace ’tecs.

Now I’m not a great fan of TV detective series (no, not even Morse) so needed a bit more googling to help with all but Jack FROST (ha, ha!) who I knew was played by David JASON. Thus we had Lee INGLEBY played John BACCHUS alongside Inspector George Gently, Mark MCMANUS played Jim TAGGART, and Jack SHEPHERD played Charles WYCLIFFE. It strikes me that writers show a distinct lack of originality in just naming the series after the leading character — even Taggart is still called Taggart although the character was killed off after McManus’s death in the early 90’s!

It’s always nice to see new words appearing as a grid-fill is changed, and here we had twenty of them. A nice start to the year, thanks, Kruger.

Posted in Solving Blogs | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Whodunnit by Kruger

Posted by shirleycurran on 21 Jan 2022

An alphabetical jigsaw for the first of the year (though I am not sure that I can see the reason for that – was it just to add difficulty for our fuddled celebrating brains?) and then we read that we are going to find misprints but that we have to read the correct letters ‘in normal order of grid entries’ in order to find what changes need to be made to complete the puzzle correctly. This is typical challenging Kruger and there is more to come. ‘Four thematic answers are clued by wordplay only.’ Fortunately, of course, those told us, ultimately, where we had to change four names.

A first read through the clues confirms that Kruger retains his place amongst the Listener oenophiles. I remember the very first time we met him at the Sheffield Listener Setters’ dinner many years ago, he had a glass in his hand and we were struggling with a Listener crossword of his that weekend. ‘Liqueur for two persons to be contrarily too much? (8)’ gives us just a couple of glasses of AMARETTO. A small start.

Fortunately things improve when we have understood that ACTORS have TO REPLACE TECS in the endgame. ‘Irish PC about to ignore one mail-coach (4)’ turns GARD[a] round to produce a DRAG which turns into a DRAM. Well it is Hogmanay! ‘Brat in question is to make a mistake (6)’ puts ERR into WHY giving us a WHERRY (a bOat rather tha a bRat) and that turns into SHERRY in the endgame. Who could complain. Cheers, Kruger!

Some tough cluing here but eventually the grid is full and TAGGART, FROST, WYCLIFFE and BACCHUS appear as the wordplay only clues. It takes the Internet to tell us what they have in common ‘TECS’ of course, and we learn that they were played by MCMANUS, JASON, SHEPHERD and INGLEBY. Thank you Kruger.

Our grid with colour-coding to indicate clue lengths.

Posted in Solving Blogs | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Not the Rockies by Kruger

Posted by shirleycurran on 14 Apr 2017

On first sight ‘Not the Rockies’ was rather daunting since it was almost carte-blanche except for those bars and the circles and we were given just the one clue number. I made myself a grid with Crossword Compiler and realized that the key to solving was going to be that one 12-letter word that actually broke the symmetry with a 7 and a 6-letter word sharing the other vertical edge. Oh dear! What a lot of 7, 6 and 5 letter words with just four 4-letter ones that might help us to fit our solutions in. Clearly we were in for a lot of cold-solving before we got anywhere.

Yes, I saw Mr and Mrs Kruger at the bar at the setters’ dinner not too long ago, so didn’t really worry about his annual admission ticket to the setters’ tippling club but he confirmed it anyway with ‘Gang drinks American bottle (5)’ What fun – we have CREW and US bottled as an anagram so we put an extra W in our coloured strip down the margin of our clues and mark CRUSE as the solution. So Kruger must have opted for the California reds – but no! ‘Clearly showed wine, and so on outside front of Education Department (7)’ gave us E[T]C + ED around some of the French stuff VIN = EVINCED. Well, cheers, Kruger!  See you at the next gathering.

Fortunately INEQUALITIES gave us our way in, ‘Ignore mass in principal characteristics putting Earth in deviations from orbital motion (12)’ MAIN less M(ass) with an A as the extra letter followed by E(arth) QUALITIES. (What a clever clue!) and we were able to begin a putative grid fill, with IYNX, YULAN, NITRIC, INYALA and so on obligingly filling that top corner. A probable message was emerging: ANSWERS CONTAINING N … TOP ..S TO THE BOTTOM seemed likely and the penny dropped.  We hadn’t made any use at all of that hint in the pre-ramble that ‘grid entries are clued in pairs. In each case, one answer from the pair must be entered somewhere in the upper part of the grid and the other answer in the lower part’ but now we realized that we had an N in all the entries in the top half and an S in all the others.  Even better, the letters D,W,R,T,F,A and a ? had filled our circles and we smiled as WATFORD was the obvious anagram (and put an O in the remaining circle.

Of course that gave us a smile when we realized that the word INEQUALITIES was appropriate in two ways. We northerners (or at least some of us from rural areas where there are very few or no public services) have a chip on our shoulder about the inequalities that mean that spoilt people in the south east seem to have cushy lives and all the facilities they could desire and more – inequalities indeed, and, in the context of the puzzle, what a splendid word that has its N in the north and S in the south.

Hah, the Watford Gap that we believe divides us! Wiki tells us all about it being the place where northern and southern English divide. And sure enough, DIVIDE fills the unclued light and with a bit of searching, we see that we have NORTH above it and SOUTH below it. How good to have an unambiguous end game. But did I say ‘end game’? With consternation, I realize that we still have unsolved clues and gaps in our grid. ?A?NOR is ‘Woman spotted locally playing horn (6)’. The woman must be GAYNOR with the H of ‘horn*’ as our extra letter so GAY must be a dialect word for ‘spotted’. The Big Red Book confirms that for me and I am left with ?SHMO?E and one remaining clue ‘Old antiquarian spy supports growth of hair (7)’  That leads to our last p.d.m. as we remember learning how the Ashmolean Museum burned or destroyed the infested remains of the last dodo. So ASHMOLE it has to be ([T]ASH + MOLE). Thanks to Kruger for an enjoyable challenge.

Ashmolean Hares

Ah, I almost forgot – the hares. They had obviously received the Ashmolean treatment this week and were rather mangled but they were there!

Posted in Solving Blogs | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

‘Not The Rockies’ by Kruger

Posted by Encota on 14 Apr 2017

Thanks first of all to Kruger for this enjoyable puzzle!

The pairing of the clues – i.e. knowing that one of each pair would be in the top (what eventually turned out to be the Northern) half and the other in the bottom half – was a clever and interesting technique, especially given its thematic relevance that was finally revealed to us near the end.

Fortunately (for me) I solved Clue 1 very early on, which hugely reduced the number of options available.

Ignore mass in principal characteristics putting Earth in deviations from orbital motion (12)

That looked like (m)AIN QUALITIES with E(arth) inside of it.  With the first A being the extra letter to be removed, that gave INEQUALITIES.  A quick check in the BRB confirmed deviations from orbital motion as a lesser-known meaning of INEQUALITIES and I was properly started.

It looked like the four 4-letter entries would really help next, given two of them started with the first I and U of INEQUALITIES.  I’d solved three of them but wanted the fourth to double-check I had them right and thus where they fitted in the grid.  I then twigged that Jock’s ankle was CUIT, leading to UNIT as one of the entries.

However, I didn’t spot what the hidden guidance was saying – namely ANSWERS CONTAINING N TO THE TOP AND S TO THE BOTTOM until I had perhaps only three left to enter into the grid.  Nonetheless it did still provide a useful cross-check of what I had entered.

And I spent a long while on my LOI, which was VILLOUS.  The definition was so accurate – with long, soft hairs – that I was almost certain of the answer very early on but I simply couldn’t make the wordplay fit.  Eventually I hope I got it right with VILL(a)[N]OUS, a spelling of VILLAINOUS of which I was not previously aware!

As we owned our first house in Watford, then the circled letters seemed to make sense pretty quickly – thankfully no relation to the ‘Watford Gap’ of Motorway (and childish but funny Roy Harper song) fame.

And the Title?  I am assuming that The Rockies are seen as the East-West divide in North America -and thus the ‘Not’ in describing this puzzle?  Though I may have missed a whole layer of thinking here – not entirely sure!

Thanks again – most enjoyable!

Tim / Encota

Posted in Solving Blogs | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »