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Posts Tagged ‘Llig’

Listener No 4474: Rock Group by Llig

Posted by Dave Hennings on 17 Nov 2017

It had been two years since Llig’s last puzzle, with its Psalm 139 theme (Whither shall I go then from thy presence?). That one was fairly straightforward, so I hoped for a similar one after the previous week’s tough Ifor puzzle which I didn’t blog (slap wrist); however, there were two excellent blogs from Shirley and Tim.

Here we had a misprint in the definition of one word in each row and some jiggery-pokery with six down entries. I was pleased that the first scan through the clues enabled over a dozen entries to be slotted in. I didn’t know whether any of the downs would soon be changed thematically, but so far everything fitted together.

However, GROUNDHOG, BEAR PIT and SKINFLINT soon came to the rescue, with HOG, PIT and FLINT appearing to be superfluous to requirements. If only I’d known that EPITASES were “the main actions of a Greek drama leading to the catastrophe”, the whole thing might have slotted into place sooner, since the clue Actions before dramatic Greek catastrophe sees a revolt (8) only had wordplay for EASES ([SEES A]*) with the PIT omitted.

Of course, it wasn’t obvious to me at this point what HOG, PIT and FLINT had in common. That would have to wait for the message spelt out by the corrected definition letters: Sisyphean toil. I was slightly held up with this, having the wrong definition at 17ac Furs and wines returned (5) where I had Fuss rather than Fury for STROP.

I knew that the Sisyphus was a fairly arrogant, sadistic and generally-not-very-nice Greek who was rewarded for that by being forced to roll a huge boulder up the side of a hill, only to have it roll back down and have to repeat the task. In Llig’s puzzle, however, he got off lightly, having much smaller stones to push uphill!

Nevertheless, this was an entertaining puzzle with some enjoyable clues. I particularly liked 38ac Gauche character thus exposed by French department (5) if only for reminding me of the fabulous Jaques Tati, aka Monsieur Hulot.

Thanks, Llig.

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Ego-trips by Llig

Posted by shirleycurran on 23 Oct 2015

LligiWe immediately notice that blocked off cell in the centre of the grid and the preamble tells us that it is to be used ‘possibly’ to provide the answer to a question that will appear in those extra letters – that gimmick again! We draw our highlighted line along the side of all those clues (for those letters) and I scan the clues to check that Llig hasn’t retired from the Listener setters’ oenophile society.

No need to read very far. In the very first clue, he is in ‘Manuel’s Bar‘ ‘A lot of money brought in by “faulty” soap. Manuels Bar (6)’ (SOAP* surrounding [W]AD gives POSADA). Alcohol must be flowing in the posada, as we find ‘Higher alcohol playing role that dogs drunkard (6)’ (S[O]T ROLE*) and ‘Gym with informal drink to follow day’s march in Bordeaux (5)’ ([P]E + TAPE]). Shortly afterwards, the ‘Party gathers to consume stale bread (6)’ (S[E]CT around EAT = SCEATT) and ‘Noisy reveller wrecked storey – engineers going up twice (9)’ (STOREY* + RE R[E]< + ROYSTERER).

This is proving to be a very boozy crossword as mixed drinks follow. ‘Secretive type upset a bit of lager in brandy (4)’ (MAR[C]< round L(ager) giving CLAM) – and with those solutions in place we are speedily filling the grid.

There’s a generous splashing of anagrams and we are maybe lucky in that we almost immediately spot that the clue to REALITY ‘Truth literally lost without Low Latin (7)’ is leading to a six letter word (LITERALLY less LL* = REALTY) though the given word-count is (7). Of course, we put the I in the centre cell, and that is confirmed when 25ac leads to MARRIED/MARRED, 5dn leads to GENTILE/GENTLE,  and the fourth clue, completing the set of ‘four normally clued answers’ gives us SIERRAN/SERRAN.

In the meantime, we have found most of the question produced by the extra letters and a quick Google hunt completes the question and its source, WHITHER SHALL I GO THEN FROM THY PRESENCE? PRAYER BOOK.

Our grid is full and four ‘I’s have moved. Is that it? I wonder, but then realize that those were the only letter ‘I’s in Llig’s grid, and, indeed he needed to remove them from the relative words to create a kind of unity. One could probably solve the entire crossword without spotting the lack of the letter I, so, in a way, Llig has created a task that is tougher on the setter than the solver.

Thank you Llig for a relatively gentle and enjoyable solve. It left us time to enjoy a beautiful autumn evening.

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Shrive by Llig

Posted by shirleycurran on 5 Dec 2014

LligI was just commenting that Llig’s offering didn’t look too threatening when there was an ominous explosion and my computer screen died instantly – a real black screen of death – and I hadn’t even printed the grid! We live quite a way from the nearest place that sells replacements and it was dark and raining, so the Listener must be important to us, as, about ninety minutes later, with a new screen in place, we were underway.

What a relief, then, to find that this was not the dreaded crossword where ‘all the letters are misprints to be converted alphanumerically to a code that will give a Greek proverb and then encrypted via a Playfair square to give a popular nursery rhyme … etc.’ In fact, the difficulty of the device meant that the clues had to be fair and relatively straightforward, and, within an hour, we had an almost full grid.

With such an eventful start, I hadn’t even skimmed through the clues to confirm Llig’s membership of the Listener Tipplers Enclave but, on checking now, I find some entertaining surface readings like the ‘not very intellectual’ person making ‘animal noises at gallery’ and some ‘outwardly obese’ person ‘pursuing virtually every purgative treatment’ … and not a trace of alcohol. Oh dear!

We had found a few of the pairs of extra letters before I read the preamble carefully and noticed that word ‘unchecked’. That made things so much easier. We were looking at only the clues that had two or more unchecked letters and our thirteen anomalies had to be among those. By this time, when we found an X in EXPECT or EXPERT, a Z in AZONAL and a probable J and Q in JACQUARD, it was a bit like playing Scrabble. Clearly, those thirteen pairs were going to add up to the 26 of the alphabet and each would appear only once.

Lovely wordplay that gave us, for example ?END? (last of payload in pursuit of space), ?RIN? (fashionable under river) and RE?A?D (one covered in colour), so that we had soon used all our letters except for M,N,P and K, and had only two definitions to explain, ‘Groom’ and ‘put back in can’ – obviously PRINK and REMAND.

Just my level of crossword – sufficiently challenging with no desperate grid-staring at the end. But the other Numpty said “In what way do the unchecked letters considered as pairs have alphabetical significnce?” That gave us a lovely little penny drop moment at the end, when we realized that, if we worked outwards from the MN in the centre of our alphabet line, the letters paired off, with Y partnering B and Z finally marching off with A in AZONAL. Now that was clever and must have taken lots of thought (and, of course, that makes sense of the title: S partners H, R partners I, and V and E go off together – could have called it LOVE couldn’t she/he?). Many thanks, Llig.

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