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Posts Tagged ‘Morse’

The Gaudy by Paddock

Posted by shirleycurran on 8 Nov 2019

I was all set to mutter about a setter expecting us to write our own clues (though, come to think of it, that is not such a bad idea – I have an inkling that the majority of setters prefer creating the grid to setting the clues – I remember how we smiled when one budding setter announced that he had some great grids drawn up but was looking for a co-setter to do the clue-writing). However, when I read through Paddock’s clues, I was speedily distracted by the alcohol absolutlely dripping through them and forgot that we had some clue writing to do.

‘Trump’s restricting acceptable drinking vessels at Turnberry (5)’ “Ah, that’s a Scottish indicator isn’t it?” I asked, and the other numpty confirmed that we needed a Scots word for those vessels CUPS around A giving us CAUPS. ‘One may scoff at returning wine bottles (5)’ We decided that the RED was the returning wine and that that bottles (contains) AT = IN, so it was a DINER at Trump’s golf course doing the scoffing and emptying of the bottles. ‘Scots lament only drinking in moderation (5)’ (Depends what we are drinking doesn’t it – it’s a shame to drink one of those fine vintage Taliskers that we were drinking on Lewis a couple of weeks ago in anything other than moderation!) However, we put HO (‘moderation’, as well as an unspeakable US variant) into ONE (= ONLY) and had our Scots lament, OHONE. Paddock hadn’t finished: ‘Titled soak knocked back “medicine” (6)’ One has to wonder what he was drinking but we reversed RET, added MED and entered TERMED. What can I say? Cheers, Paddock!

Those clues we had to partly write ourselves took us much longer than they should have done to twig. ‘Felt revulsion at shifting [3.4] bodies about (5)’ gave us HATED and suggested THE DEAD, but that led me on a wild goose chase. Teaching James Joyce’s The Dead is not one of my most memorable educational experiences but that seemed to be a likely candidate, and a number of other authors (Agatha Christie, Stephen King …) produced likely candidates for our author and series of novels, but it wasn’t until OF JERICHO appeared (Brave Joshua’s first to come out [2,7] after collapse (6)’ [J]ERICHO* less J, that we finally saw the light. “It’s Morse!”

Wiki kindly provided a list and we saw Last Bus to Woodstock, The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn, Last Seen Wearing, Service of all the Dead, The Dead of Jericho, The Riddle of the Third Mile, Death is Now my Neighbour and The Remorseful Day. All that remained was to fit those extra letters DE that had been omitted from the clue to CODEX into another word to produce that penultimate title. There was only one place to do that and we converted LOATH to DEATH then saw, with delight, that DEATH was now the neighbour of our setter PADDOCK.

We had two new words, DEATH and FLEURY and when we extracted their letters from THE REMORSEFUL DAY, what did we see? MORSE, of course. We had to place him somewhere else in the grid and CODEX was the obvious location and produced only real words. A fine achievement, Thank you Paddock.



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L4577: ‘The Gaudy’ by Paddock

Posted by Encota on 8 Nov 2019

I don’t know about you … but for me the theme for this neat puzzle by Paddock dropped out quite quickly. 14ac read:

Brave Joshua’s first to come out [2 7] after collapse (6)

… where the square bracketed part was explained by the Preamble to be part of a novel’s title. What with ‘Heroic’ being a synonym for ‘Brave’ then it looked very much like JHEROIC* being part of the book title and that looked very much like Jericho. But isn’t that part of a Morse novel’s title &/or part of Oxford? Ah yes, ‘The Dead of Jericho‘. After that the others soon became clear.

15ac originally solved as CODEX, with this being the one clue where the wordplay omitted a consecutive pair of letters. It transpired that two meanings of ‘consecutive’ applied, with the missing two letters in the Wordplay being the D&E of CODEX.

As an aside, I did wonder if I could spot a hint of COLIN DEXTER hiding in this part of the grid, that finally got changed to MORSE? Perhaps coincidence?

13ac’s WOX to mean WAXED or and old word for GREW was a new one to me and an intriguing word! I wonder if I’ll remember it when it next turns up in 1000+ puzzles’ time? Knowing me, probably not!

The one clue I failed to parse properly was 27d’s:

Felt revulsion at shifting [3 4] bodies about (5).

At this stage I had HA.ED and so it was hard not to jump to the conclusion that the answer was HATED, defined by Felt revulsion (at). But [3 4] had become ‘the dead’ from the relevant Morse novel. It almost felt like the missing D&E from 14ac had reappeared here with HATED being derived from {THE (de)AD}*. No other HA.ED possibilities seemed to make sense, so HATED I entered into the grid. Don’t you just intensely dislike it when that happens? I always feel that, if you can’t parse a clue in the Listener then you may well have the answer wrong. I await the solution with interest!

I also failed to get the full significance of the Title. Auntie Google noted that The Gaudy was an Oxford college celebration of some sort and referenced one Morse story and also Dorothy L Sayers. But that is as far as I managed. ‘Enigmatic death guy‘ or similar as a description of either Morse or his creator? At this point I will stop clutching at straws!

Many thanks to Paddock (& to the editors) for another classy puzzle!


Tim / Encota

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‘Dah-di-dah-di-dah’ by Harribobs

Posted by Encota on 16 Dec 2016

Start copying…

A very gentle puzzle this week.  As an aside, given the emergence of a Grade E and F (yes, F!) difficulty puzzles appearing in the splendid Magpie magazine this month then, from my point of view at least, thank goodness for that – I am not sure I could have coped with much more!

The clues started off nicely with:

                  Dead body covers wallet with contact info (8)

Ok, that’s D in CARCASE, I think.  CARDCASE.

Then:     Woollen cloth placed on horse (6)

Looks like SAT + ARA[b], with this being the first of the 41 clues with an extra letter from the wordplay.  Double-check SATARA in the BRB and yes, there it is.

With the choice of title and 18 signposting Samuel Morse, all was becoming clear.

One of my favourites was:

Spinoza was one, but if Descartes was, then so am I (8)

i.e. a Dutchman.

The 41 extra letters ended up spelling out:


I did like the ‘letters in Morse code’ double meaning.  When I first started blacking out the letters M, O, R, … etc wherever they fell in the grid, then there seemed to be a pixellated number 8 appearing in the top left of the grid.  Did this mean something?  [Answer: No.]  But row by row there were black dots and dashes becoming visible – that’s more like it…

Samuel Morse’s famous demonstration phrase, that I understand is from Numbers 23:23, “What hath God wrought” appears very neatly.  I particularly liked the accurate spacing between the Di’s and Dah’s used throughout the grid to indicate where characters and words ended.

I might well have missed something else in the title but its ‘CT = Start Copying’ Morse instruction is all I see.

I also had a quick go at trying to read some meaning into the puzzle number chosen.  I vaguely recalled integrated circuits being dated in the form YYWW to show the year and week of manufacture, but 24th May 1844 seemed to work out to being (just about plausibly) 4421, so that appeared to be a dead end too.  Worth a try!

Another very accurate puzzle – congratulations to Harribobs and to The Listener.

Tim / Encota

P.S. Might an alternative message have been ‘Wat: Gold hath wrought‘?  All written by Hare-e-bobs?? (editor: Errr…No!)

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