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Posts Tagged ‘Larkin’

Round Table Man by Banjaluka

Posted by shirleycurran on 12 Nov 2021

Banjaluka? A new name to us and it didn’t really suggest an old hand using a different pseudonym. There were rather a lot of Round Table Men so, though we suspected we might be going to find Arthur or Lancelot, we didn’t linger long over that (and didn’t think of anagrmming it until we were given a hint by the extra letters emerging from the clues – that was a couple of hours later): ‘ENDS OF FOUR VERSES; NOVEL TITLE’.

Yes, a novel, or anagrammed title produced AN ARUNDEL TOMB and, after a lot of bungling with the simple mathematics involved in the letter equivalence we had finally found LARKIN and a space (yes, it took me forever to understand that T + Y would equal R and not T, when we adjusted our calculation to include the space, and we had ignored that instruction initially and produced a most peculiar set of letters!)

The ends of the words that gave us those letters spelled out SHADE AREA BOUNDED BY THEME RED and we knew that would affect 103 cells (leaving 53 unshaded – that was some shading!)

When we found Larkin’s poem on the Internet we realized why extra words had spelled LITTLE DOGS, HAND HAND, and LATIN NAMES but were rather puzzled by LESTER, FANNIE, SIEGMUND and LAETITIA.The COUNTESS and THE EARL (with that space) appeared symmetrically in the grid and the little dogs, PEKE and PUG were at their feet with the Latin names, TITUS and NERO below the tomb but we had to somehow use those namesand produce 47 letters of thematic material.

Penny-drop-moment! It was the fifth verse ‘The endless altered people came’ that told us to use those names with their last letters removed and ‘altered’ or anagrammed. This was clever compiling! We still had to use the two HANDs to create the final image. I fiddled for too long attempting to use that TTITU (in diTTIT U sanko) to fulfil the words ‘Only an attitude remains’ but, of course, the ‘attitude’ was the love still apparent between these two stone effigies, represented by the heart we coloured red.

‘RED’! Have I forgotten something? Does Banjaluka earn his place at the Listener Setters’ Oenophile bar? Obviously yes, with so much red, but I had also noted earlier that ‘I, as Morse, torn for second day, did scotch in Bunnahabhain (6)’ (We removed the R and replaced the second D(ay) of DIT DIT with T(on) to give DITTIT – what a word for ‘scotched’!)

Bunnahabhain! We have visited that Islay distillery. Apart from the lovely malt (not too peaty) with the pale blue label, my richest memory is of the seal. The fishermen were feeding it leftover fish and it was leaping out of the water to catch them. It’s a lovely place (Port Askaig) and well worth a visit.

Cheers, Banjaluka!

With all the red, the Bunnahabhain single malt and the Scotch, we have to say “Cheers Banjaluka! and congratulations on a brilliant first Listener – if it is a first.

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Are there 3Ms in Trammmp?

Posted by Encota on 11 Nov 2016

What a superb theme from Tramp this week, combined with some kind clues.  Having solved the majority of the clues fairly quickly, Philip Larkin’s Annus Mirabilis soon came into view and I find myself highlighting the beginning of the first line ‘Sexual intercourse began…’ in the grid, along with the CHATTERLEY BAN and the Beatles’ first LP, described here as PLEASE TWICE ME.

With this one I felt as if I’d got the beginning right (filling out the grid), got the end right (highlighting the two key rows LADY CHATTERLEY BAN, PLEASE (PLEASE) ME and the number 63 in the centre, based on Larkin’s first line ‘Sexual intercourse began…’ but took longest time joining the two up – ensuring that I found all the missing 22 letters from the appropriate clues.

It’s so easy to be wise after the event when realising the wordplay would cover all letters apart from those in the ’63’ single curved line.

My usual rule with Listener preambles had applied again – I had understood the words but not the sentences!  As part of this I hadn’t cottoned on to there potentially being more than one letter deleted from any given clue, so I’d finished everything required for submission without having all letters found in the clues – and only having .ARKIN as the source of the poem.  I knew the L was there somewhere hiding in the last few clues – no idea how I missed it!

So the deleted words in reverse order were:

homIly and

…and my second favourite librarian LARKIN came into view (yes Karen, the person who introduced me to Philip Larkin, it’s you 🙂  ).

So what’s with the Title ‘Post-It Note’ this week?  I can find the (rather depressing) quote from John Larkin, the Australian author (born by chance in 1963): “Despite the post-it note with her phone number on it, she’s already little more than a fading memory.  They all are.”  That’s not relevant.

Then I thought for a moment that there were 3 Ms in the puzzle as a nod to 3M, the famous patent holder of the Post-it note.  But no, I make it at least five.  Discount that one too.

Aah, got it: ‘Post-it’ in the sense of ‘not ante-the other’.   I did spend a few minutes looking for a suitable (or unsuitable) Carry On-style double entendre that used the word ‘it’ to add here but failed miserably.  [All suggestions welcomed]  I may go looking for it later (oh dear…).

Finally, as a bit of pointless trivia (and as the Queen was saying to me only last week, “Tim, never name drop”), in the very early 1980s I was introduced as a 20-ish year old at college – “you simply must come and meet him” – to  John (JAT) Robinson.  In 1960, as the then Bishop of Woolwich and a leading theological thinker, he had spoken for the defence of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, describing it as ‘a book every Christian should read’.  I didn’t know much of that then but, having just solved Tramp’s delightful puzzle, it seems somehow more significant now.

And I don’t own ‘Please please me’ – bit too ‘poppy’ for me, sorry – but I may, in respect to this enjoyable puzzle, just go and put on the Beatles’ White Album instead…

Tim / Encota

PS The man himself can be heard speaking the poem currently at


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