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Posts Tagged ‘Mango’

Movements by Mango

Posted by shirleycurran on 21 March 2014

Red priest 001Mr Lemon last week and Mango this week when they have just lost one of the three compilers. Well, with the genius of that team, this promises to be quite something. OMG, that preamble! One of the Numpties almost despaired on reading about numeric values O to d-1 and ‘base d‘. Even the more mathematical Numpty stomped off in a huff at first but was tempted back when I commented that the clues seemed to be remarkably approachable for a Mango compilation and that the grid was filling nicely.

No problem reaffirming the Mango affiliation to the Listener boozy club. ‘Maybe like a dingy old Australian claret (5)’ gave us O + A + RED, though why setters with such taste would be imbibing dingy old claret, I can’t imagine. However, there was ‘A Mediterranean vessel acting something like a small schooner (7)’ TARTANA (TARTAN + A) – maybe they resorted to something Mediterranean in that schooner.

We speedily latched on to what was happening with those clues that required movement of a special letter before solving (a thematic number quickly defined itself as 12 since we know how strictly Mango observe symmetry and each one we solved in that top section of the grid was going to have a partner at the bottom or vice versa).

RA and TE were gifts, weren’t they? ‘Sun god had to eradiate beams essentially (3)’ required us to shift the E, giving ‘Sun god head to Radiate + beAms (essentially)’ and ‘Note ten wives anew (3)’ had to become ‘Note ten waives New, so TEN lost its N’. Once we had the trick, the remaining ten were fun – except 43 across where we were somewhat perplexed even after we had established, because of the endgame, that M had to be the moving letter. It was only then that we saw that this was a delightfully hidden word; ‘Attention from aid inside mart (3) became ‘Attention from amid insidE ARt’. Delightful!

An almost full grid with only a couple of clues in hiatus. We were not sure about ALWIN at 31dn ‘Boy accepted fifty penny coin out of circulation (5)’ but the next p.d.m. confirmed that and showed us where we were heading. There, in lovely Mango symmetry were SPRING, SUMMER, AUTUMN and WINTER and we rushed to Wikipedia to see whether this was a Vivaldi anniversary. Surprisingly, the year wasn’t but the date was (almost – we learned that he was born on March 4th 1678, which of course, gave us values for SUMI) and we practically side-stepped the calculating of  those base 12 summations when we decided that il prete rosso was going to give us PRIEST as the word the seasons would add up to, and that he had to be RED.

There was a Numpty red-herring since I used TEA to find that word but, initially, wasn’t aware that PERP was a valid word. We knew Vivaldi was born in Venice but TRIESTE? (Of course, that didn’t work, as each letter could only appear once in order to leave six to be placed in ascending numerical order in the six spaces on the top row.)

Our calculations were now rendered somewhat easier, since, of the 12 letters that had been played with in the clues, only six were left and two of those were automatically assigned to Alarums and Ute, and M already establised. We had only G,W and N left. It was not an excessively difficult calculation to work out how each of those, added to the letter that had moved in the clue, totted up to 11 and we soon established that G had to be O, the first in an ascending series, with W as 2, and N as 10. Even I enjoyed the maths – and this crossword in its entirety. I wonder how many more Mango crosswords are in the editors’ files. Lots, I hope! Many thanks to Radix and the other Mango men.

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Nuts and Bolts by Mango

Posted by shirleycurran on 11 October 2013

Numpties were travelling again so we didn’t see this till Saturday and then could hardly believe our eyes. What a preamble! We read it – and reread it – and re- reread it then simply decided to mow the lawn, do the laundry and mull over whether this was our Waterloo. One of these days, we have to return to the easy clues coffee-break (‘Stripey horse (5) Z???A’) crossword that is our natural level. There was just one niggling problem – that word MANGO at the head of the crossword. Who can resist a mango?

William Tell first 001All day long, as we caught up with essential tasks, one or other of us dabbled hopelessly, solving the odd clue and finding some astonishingly generous and all, as usual with Mango, impeccably set (with, natually proof of Mango’s membership of the Listener tipplers’ club – ‘Visitor sustained by a tickler — a colourless liquid (5) – must be vodka? No it’s Poor ET getting a thorough drubbing with a CANE = CETANE).

IONOSPHERIC was the first clue that we solved. ‘Hot pecorino is lambasted from on high (11) (H + PECORINO + IS*) Dilemma! Which way do I enter it? Across comes naturally so I entered it that way. Thinking retrospectively, this had the advantage that the IIIIIV that joined up to make a reasonable image of an arrow was fairly evident when all those letters appeared one after the other. But, of course, it was the wrong grid orientation for the final submission.

A clever friend tells me he simply completed two parallel grids. Why, oh why, can’t I see the obvious short cuts like that? Well, maybe the next time we have a Listener that could clearly be oriented in either direction. Yet another clever friend has pointed out to me that there was a clue which told us unambiguously which orientation to adopt.  AVIATE ‘Raised cheers in a contest to fly a kite (6)’ (TA< in A VIE) was obviously a down clue (even I know that I can’t raise things in an across clue). However, in my defence, I have to say that CHYLDE and AVIATE were almost the last solutions that we entered, so the damage was done.

We had almost completed our grid, with a fairly sound inkling that clues A, I and L were the ones with wordplay only. ‘Things Roman go wrong’ didn’t seem to have much to do with IIIIiVAP?LE that had appeared in our grid and ‘Queen accepted two bishops? No good — people of fashion’, with my rather careless solving, seemed to point at QUARRINGTON, a type of red apple (though there was an I missing and apparently an extra B or RR) At this stage, I couldn’t make much of ‘Edward Lear’s ultimate couple, the owl and cat getting hitched (11) – and even when I had realized that all three wordplays led me to apples, I thought this was CHARLOTTE (THE O[w]L CAT with an extra R for the W misprint) when, of course, all three apples had 11 letters: LEATHER-COAT ([Le]AR THE O[w]L CAT with an extra E for the W misprint). This one, in typical Numpty style, we worked backwards to, when we had spotted WALTER TELL, found his father and seen that the apple had to sit neatly on his head, with that arrow piercing it.

William Tell finalOf course, GRANNY SMITH produced the missing O when we knew that the device to propel the arrow was likely to be a BOW (THINGSR[o]MAN with Y for that O*)

With a full grid but not much idea what we were doing, I fed my top row of letters into TEA and was delighted to be given two choices: GRAVITATION and WILLIAM TELL. Light dawned (Well, I lie, it was almost midnight!) A TEA search produced ISAAC NEWTON at the other end of my grid, so clearly that apple I had falling at this mis-oriented stage (how clever that the core P was missing – clearly years of work have gone into this!) was landing on his head.

There was WALTER TELL, lying prostrate alongside the apple. Oh dear! The whole thing had to be swivelled and WILLIAM TELL placed on the left. So that was what that curious display of the unch letters was telling me. W[illia]M Left, N[ewton] Right? HELP! (an instruction to consult the help line; something was awry, as we were clearly told that we must use the ALTERNATIVE CHOICES (my caps) depicting the earlier event).

The earlier event was the legendary Swiss event (on home ground here, though last time we were in the Grutli meadow, I was aggressively pushed out by the resident cows – fierce brutes that think they own the place!)  On the right side of my grid I now had ? [SE] [AR] ? [CH] [NE] [ER] ? [TA] [ON} ? and had to use the letters MNR and H to find some way of identifying the other ‘passive participant’. It had to be GESSLER, that dastardly Bailiff and a visit to Wikipedia confirmed that he was HERR HERMANN GESSLER.

What an amazing feat! No, I don’t mean Tell splitting that apple. Nuts and Bolts was a remarkable construction with every stage of the solving producing more gasps of amazement. I now know that Newton lived part of his life not far from Quarrington – that apple might even have been a Quarrington – at least the one that fell in the more recent event. Many thanks, Mango.

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