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Posts Tagged ‘Lionheart’

Listener No 4743: Season’s Greetings by Lionheart

Posted by Dave Hennings on 13 Jan 2023

This was only the third Lionheart Listener, his previous being a year ago (no. 4691, Something in Common). That had “one song to the tune of another” as its theme, which is a game from I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, the radio game show that has been going since 1972. This week’s preamble made me wonder whether Lionheart had opened a pre-Christmas bottle of Malbec a bit too soon!

It stated that every clue contained one of five mistakes, including “answer not in standard dictionaries”. See what I mean about Lionheart being on the sauce! In fact, it reminded me of one of my early Listener mistakes — no. 4231, Vera by Elfman back in 2013. That had clues supposedly from three contributors, one who always told the truth, one who always lied, and one who alternated. Thus half the clues had a mistake in them (as did lots of entries).

Anyway, back to Lionheart and his mistakes: factual errors, forgotten line(s), extra words, wrong number, and bizarre entries. Apart from anything else, these would lead to a novel coding where the pairs of mistake would enable a message to be revealed.

Luckily, the enumeration in brackets was for the clue answer rather than its associated entry. In many cases it was therefore easy to spot these clue types. I hoped that the other clues would give a framework to the grid that would enable these to be eventually slotted in their correct positions. Thus, my second clue solved — 16ac Fish (not bass) in stream (4) — gave RILL [BRILL – B] which had an entry length of (9). That had come after 13ac Approves of heading off Reds (5), which had a factual error — Reds for Whites. This was turning out to be fun.

All in all, the wrong number clues predominated with 18, thanks to all the Ns, Ps and Ss in the final message (of which more later). Next came factual errors and extra words with 11 each, bizarre answers with 6, and forgotten line(s) 4.

The bizarre answers (my way of descibing “answers not in standard dictionaries”) were REKILT, LEONEIST (fan of the spaghetti western director, Sergio), EALER (Ealing inhabitant!), AVE JOE, I-SHARK (a fish from Apple) and MOOER. The forgotten lines were in 5ac where mousse should have been mousseline, 28ac with cabal for caballine, 12dn with SA for saline, and 39ac, which I think needed Put on the becoming Put on the line.

Eventually, the coded message gave Happy Christmas Denis Norden. I wasn’t really surprised that this had escaped the editors of the ODQ. A bit of googling, however, soon revealed the source of the quotation, and there he was in the bottom line. It transpires that when RIK MAYALL and Ade Edmondson fluffed lines when recording their off-the-wall TV series, Bottom, Mayall would turn to the camera and say the above (often with swear words inserted). I think I got the cryptic representations correct, with OKAY/DARK, SO SO/ EVIL and DECENT/SORROW.

Thanks for a bit of festive fun, Lionheart.


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Something in Common by Lionheart

Posted by shirleycurran on 14 Jan 2022

Somewhat naïvely, as today (Christmas Day) falls on a Saturday and there will be no Times until Monday, I imagined there would be no on-line crossword yesterday and was rather surprised when ‘Something in Common’ appeared. We put to one side the test-solve we were engaged in and began what was clearly a Christmas crossword when three clues suggested that they were carols (‘At Christmas time sing this’, ‘Old Carol…’ and ‘festive strain’).

In fact, we interrupted our solve to listen to the Christmas Carols and readings from Kings College Chapel and gained a few hints but ‘Joy to the World’, ‘It Came Upon a Midnight Clear’, and ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ didn’t fit into the spaces reserved for them in the grid and instead we began to see a series of letters. Our first notion was that we were going to find A,B,C,D, etc. J K but No L (Noël) but Lionheart was more subtle than that.

After that, we had the awful thought that those were the notes of those carols but that we had to ‘substitute’ ONE SONG TO THE TUNE OF ANOTHER, since that was what the extra letters were spelling out for us. Surely we not very musical solvers (the other Numpty plays the bagpipes – that’s about it) didn’t have to annotate and insert a different carol?

METRE, we were told, was common to those three clues and the hint we were given was CRANBROOK. Fortunately a name appeared in 18/12 – HUMPHREY LYTTELTON and the Internet (our great solving mate) told us what it was all about. The other Numpty was busy attempting to fit the notes of ‘On Ilkley Moor Baa t’at’ into those cells as an Internet example suggested that Humphrey Lyttelton’s game consisted, for example, of singing ‘While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night’ to our Yorkshire anthem (and it really works – I went to bed singing it – to his horror) but light dawned. It was the words that went into those cells – great relief and what a fine idea.

Of course I had scanned the clues for evidence that Lionheart retains his place amongst the Listener Setter Oenophiles and there was a disappointingly TT set. The completed grid gave a touch of hope. ‘Shrub hurt, put over rash (7)’ gave us ALOE and SOR[E]< producing ROSEOLA. Rosé is a favourite French summer drink, not brilliant here just now where we still have heaps of snow on the ground but “Cheers, Lionheart, anyway.”

Ah, but then I spotted that Lionheart had made room for the little Listener hare – at least its ear had managed to creep in, ‘Make haste and smoke the plant (8)’ (HARE and SE[G]AR) – a reassuring Christmas visit from the little Poat character – so Lionheart compensated for that second-rate rosé. A lovely Christmas treat. Thank you Lionheart.

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Listener No 4691: Something in Common by Lionheart

Posted by Dave Hennings on 14 Jan 2022

This was only the second Listener from Lionheart and he’d been chosen to fill the normally empty gap resulting from Christmas Day being on a Saturday. His first puzzle, only seven months previously, was fun with every clue containing a word that looked as though it was English but was in fact German and needed to be translated before solving. The week we had three normal clues with the rest containing an extra letter not entered in the grid.

We started off swiftly enough with 1ac Old man in red cloak follows son (5) gave SANTA [S + (m)ANTA] and 5ac Some films to increase thrills (9) for ACTIONERS [(TO INCREASE)*]. They were followed by what appeared to be the first normal clue: 11,17 At Christmas-time sing this dear child, with shape made newly, Lord (13, four words) which made it seem that we were in with a Christmassy theme. Of course the ‘(13, four words)’ was misleading since the two entries had fourteen cells.

Testing the down clues, SCOW, ABAS and NAKED went in. At least I thought they went in but 11ac starting CBA made it look odd. Unless… well time would tell.

It wasn’t long before it was confirmed that the answers had to be changed to the musical notes A–G, at which point my heart sank. I remember tnap’s Musical Box puzzle at the beginning of the year, where I found that tracking down the exact notes for Ring a Ring o’ Roses was easier said than done!

I decided that the normal clues would need a bit of unravelling, so I decided that they could wait till the end, hopefully helped by the message provided by the extra letters. It wasn’t too long before the grid was filled and those letters gave:

(a) what is common for the answers to normal clues — METRE;
(b) a description of a substitution — ONE SONG TO THE TUNE OF ANOTHER;
(c) a hint for what to use for the substitution — CRANBROOK.

Given (b) and the letters I had for 18 12 (unclued, for which Lionheart apologises — is this the first time a setter has apologised in a preamble?) •UMP•RE• •Y••ELT•N was an obvious reference to ISIHAC and its long-time host of the past HUMPHREY LYTTELTON.

Next came some googling to inform me how Cranbrook fitted into all this. It was a late 18th century tune by Thomas Clark, a cobbler from Canterbury and is the tune to which On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at is sung.

I tried to unravel the three tune clues on the basis that they were Christmas carols:

  • 11,17 At Christmas-time sing this dear child, with shape made newly, Lord (13, four words)JOY TO THE WORLD [JOY + TOT + HEW + LORD*]
  • 37,41 We left the moonlit black hotel, troubled by festive strain (22, five words)O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM [(WE LEFT THE MOONLIT + B + HOTEL)*]
  • 22,31 Old Carol met with death on plain at end of horror film (24, six words) [Haven’t a clue.]

I also tried playing the notes that I had into the virtual piano provided by, but I failed to produce anything tuneful. Obviously some words had to replace all the notes I had, so I erased them completely and just put in the crossing letters of Humph. It struck me that solving the tune clues was somewhat superfluous, unless I’m missing something!

I spent a short while trying to fit lyrics from Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at, both in the Yorkshire dialect (that’s English??) and the standardised version, which actually sounds quite morbid. Getting nowhere with that, I revisited the Wikipage and found that the tune was also that for While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks [by Night], much more Christmassy and it fitted nicely.

Back to the leftover Christmas pudding now. Thanks, Lionheart.

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One Across by Lionheart

Posted by shirleycurran on 18 Jun 2021

Lionheart seems to be a new Listener setter. We read his preamble without too much anxiety, noting that there were 42 clues and half of them would have one word changed according to a six-letter adjective ‘which also describes the thematic material’. The other half would contain an extra letter. Those, once removed, would describe four pairs of names.

Of course I read through the clues to establish Lionheart’s eligibility for the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Elite and he quickly earned his place. ‘Bier included in funeral expenses (3)’ We live on the Swiss border where Bier is provided at most events, so, without a second thought, I entered ALE and then the penny dropped with a clang, as two clues lower down, we saw ‘See livers retain bubbly (6)’. This bubbly was an anagram indicator for NERITA and, of course, in English, they live in the sea. Nothing to do with livers storing alcohol but with the beer and bubbly, Cheers, Lionheart!

That’s Mont Blanc seen from the terrace last week looking across Geneva.

This crossword was particularly suited to us. Covid has prevented us from visiting our German grandchildren but I compensated by revising some languages and German was the first – and here was a fine test. Half of the clues had a German word in them:

FAST = ALMOST, GRAB = GRAVE, BACH = STREAM, TAG = DAY, DICK = FAT, KIND = CHILD, MAN = ONE, HERD = STOVE (Yes I had to get the dictionary out to find where we were cooking our HOTPOT) BOOT = BOAT, NUN = NOW, MUTTER = MOTHER, BIER = BEER, SEE = SEA, DIE = THE, ROT = RED (yes, confirmation of Lionheart’s LSOE entry ticket) BRAND = FIRE, ALT = OLD, ELF = ELEVEN, GIFT = POISON, GUT = GOOD, and ER = HE. How well these words were disguised in the clues.

The other 21 clues spelled out for us THREE CROSS, ONE PARALLEL and we soon found ORESTES crossing PYLADES but we needed Chambers to tell us that GERMAN means ‘having the same parents or kin’ to make sense of the others that appeared after an Internet hunt. We remember how JANE EYRE avoided marriage and life as a missionary with her RIVERS relative but we hadn’t a clue about TOM CRUISE’s MAPOTHER origins or that there was an actor RIP TORN SPACEK. I’ve said it before, we usually learn something from a Listener crossword. Thank you, Lionheart.

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L4661: “One Across” by Lionheart

Posted by Encota on 18 Jun 2021

If you struggle to differentiate your Second Cousins from your First-cousins-once-removed then the link to this chart from wiki may help:

My struggle solving this puzzle was simply my ignorance. Cousins-German are one’s First Cousins, apparently. I never knew that! In a family tree that makes them ‘One Across’ and hence the excellent Title.

Twenty-one of the 42 clues had one word ‘covertly’ included in German, for example:

  • Last line of elf in book amid fantastic lore (6)

… hides XI or eleven as ‘elf’, to clue LIBERO, a footballer who plays behind the backs, with free movement, a sweeper, with wordplay (IB) in LORE*

When I saw CRUISE and MAPOTHER across the centre of the completed grid, I wrongly suspected this was going to be a family name vs stage name puzzle. Close but no! The puzzle actually featured four pairs of famous first cousins, or COUSINS-GERMAN:

  • RIP TORN and (Sissy) SPACEK, actors
  • (Tom) CRUISE and (William?) MAPOTHER, actors
  • (Jane) EYRE and RIVERS in literature, &
  • ORESTES and PYLADES in mythology

I sat there on & off for almost a day with a fully completed and highlighted grid, with COUSINS scribbled in the top left of the page and GERMAN in the top right before realising what I had missed. D’oh! That’s the second time in recent weeks where I have fully completed a puzzle and not really known why! [SAUSAGE MACHINE, anyone?]

Finally, on a related topic, I’d like to take the chance to thanks everyone who sent in such kind feedback on our recent ‘Paper Folding’ Magpie puzzle, jointly set as EP with (Encota & Ploy), in the recent Magpie magazine. Apparently it has been completed and constructed on at least three continents (three confirmed ones, anyway), which is a delight in its own right!


Tim / Encota

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