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Posts Tagged ‘Nudd’

Entry Form by Nudd

Posted by shirleycurran on 4 Nov 2022

What a pleasure to see the return of Nudd. We murmur contentedly about the succinct preamble. 42 clues, so that tells us that we will have to find misprints in the definitions of 28 of them that will tell us how to modify the remaining 14 for entry into the grid.

We guess that we’ll be simply jumbling those 14 solutions or entering them in reverse or head to tail, but oh dear no! IVIES and SANEST go in normally, since they have produced misprints but that gives V?N? where we would like to enter IRAQ. Those two letters have both moved on 13 in the alphabet and we should have twigged at once, but we had sadly decided that ‘Feed quite a lot around noon (5)’ gave us the Bard’s SE SE around N = SENSE, so we had a FEEL/FEED misprint. How easy it is for an early blunder to add an hour to a solve.

It was some time later that the emerging message ADVANCE USING CLUE OPENERS VALUE prompted us that we needed MUCH around N for that clue = MUNCH, so all fell into place and we were left with a few grid holes to fill by reverse solving; how had ARBA come from ‘Magazine only partly for No 10 (4)’? Of course counting 13 (= M) backwards from ARBA gave us element No 10, NEON. Similarly, PEPPER had appeared in our grid and it was a speedy count backwards by 4 that gave us LALLAN (ALL in LAN) for a Scottish word for a flat area.

ALL DONE (see 2d) but did I forget something? Of course I had checked Nudd’s retention of his right of entry to the Listener bar but with such an old hand (and a previous joint holder of the Ascot Gold Cup as Rood, with Shark) did I need to? I got right to the last clue ‘Form of spirit seved up by local in Japan (5)’ giving us JINNI which led to POTTO, before being able to raise my glass. Cheers, Nudd and thanks for a different challenge.


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Listener No 4695: Betrayal by Nudd

Posted by Dave Hennings on 11 Feb 2022

About a year since Nudd’s previous Listener with its Thomas Hood poem No! and its lack of birds, bees, flowers and other flora and fauna. It did, however, remember November. This week, a rather stretched-out grid with a statement to go underneath. Misprints in the acrosses and an extra wordplay letter in one down in each column.

Not much time this week, except to mention my favourite clue, 17ac After late start, flotels thrown up for Arabs (6, two words) for TO SELL (yes, it’s given as such in Chambers) [(f)LOTELS*, def. up for grabs]. Of course, the correct versions of misprints in the across clues seemed to be feeding us gobbledygook with the likes of hply and qgcrbr. Eventually they told us to shade the letters HPLY grey and BNJAUQGCR brown.

Upon doing so, we had Magritte’s pipe (or not) from his painting The Treachery of Images (hence the title). All that was then required was to write CECI N’EST PAS UNE PIPE under the grid, confirmed by the extra letters in the wordplay of the down clues.

Luckily we weren’t required to do anything too fancy on the artistic front this week! Thanks, Nudd.

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Betrayal by Nudd

Posted by shirleycurran on 11 Feb 2022

We download a most unusual grid and read that we have to spot misprints in across clues and extra letters in the down clues that must be entered ‘in column order’ in the space below the grid. As is so often the case in Nudd’s crosswords, there will be some final highlighting – a pictorial finish.

Does Nudd retain his place amongst the Listener Setters Oenophiles? He doesn’t leave much doubt: ‘Most of tribe gets litre of fino (6)’. PHYL(e) we put then L O, and decide there is an N for L misprint giving FILO. Soon afterwards, ‘Stale mead gathering surface tension (4)’ We opt for an N corrected misprint (MEAD becomes MEND) and use BEE for the gathering (as in a spelling BEE, say) and add the T to give BEET, which Chambers tells us is an old word for MEND.

‘East European carousers break bottles (4)’. We’re used to those sneaky ‘bottles’ clues and decide that it is a SERB who is bottled with an extra S sneaking in. After the fino, mead and some East European drink, we finally get a good old English pub, ‘Notice welcomes opening of Mucky Duck as a local (4)’ We put the M of Mucky into SEE to get SMEE. And there’s one final JAR to come: ‘Uprising grates on government (3)’ The JARS are upended to give RAJ with an extra S. Cheers indeed, Nudd.

A strange set of corrected misprints has appeared. ‘HPLY GREY and BNJAUQGCR BROWN’, so we are told how we ‘must shade 57 cells after filling the grid’ and understand why we have been finding unusual words like SQUACCOS, AGAR-AGAR, and CARACARA. We have carefully recorded which extra letter came out of each column, so it is no surprise when our 57 shaded cells reveal Rene Magritte’s familiar ‘representation’ of a pipe.

“Ceci n’est pas une pipe” he tells us.

Well, I think Nudd has managed to create a pretty convincing pipe. I would have been tempted to call this crossword “Oh Yes It Is!” Thanks for the fun, Nudd.

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Listener No 4648: Not One by Nudd

Posted by Dave Hennings on 19 Mar 2021

Nudd’s 2019 puzzle, Chalked Up, was based on the White Horse of Uffington and required some fiddly artwork at the end drawing the horse through various cells. I wasn’t sure after reading the preamble whether the “large symbol in the 78 resulting blank cells” would end up being just as fiddly.

Clue-wise here we had 24 clues where the definition was wrong. I wasn’t too sure why it didn’t use the usual phrase “There is a misprint of one letter in the definition”, but heigh-ho. The correct letters would give a poet and a line of verse with some endgame jiggery-pokery to reflect subsequent lines.

1ac Making one’s life messy, pukes up (7) brought a smile to my lips, embarrassingly bringing back memories of my youth! It looked like an anagram of pukes up, but it would take a second pass through the clues for me to see SEPPUKU (hara-kiri). 7ac Stones album less ordinary? It’s a beast (7) was a fun clue and, I would later discover, had nothing to to with Mr Jagger, et al.

A dozen across answers got slotted in fairly quickly, but only revealed four misprints. The downs were fairly easy as well, with EASTER, PORTOLAN, PLANNER, ULT and UMP enabling SEPPUKU to go in, followed by GALE, ECAD and SPEAR which got GEMSBOK done for 7ac. A slew more, and the first pass was completed in 35 minutes.

There were some enjoyable surface readings, with my favourite clues being 50ac Why [Who] eat less? Redigest nuts (not good) (7) and 11dn Köchel 50 soprano amid right rough aria [area] (5) which would have had Mozart turning in his grave! As with Hawk’s puzzle a couple of weeks previously, there were also a number of political references: Upper house (SEANAD), Unionist politician (UMP) and British Member of Parliament (BOWL). (Were they destined to replace Ms Curran’s fixation with alcohol?)

Just over an hour to fill the grid, and another ten minutes to find that I had to rub half of it out! The corrected misprints gave Thomas Hood and No shade, no shine. Luckily there weren’t many entries for Hood in my ODQ (8th Ed.), and the relevant verse was soon found from a poem called No!.

However, the 8th edition only gives the first three and last two lines of the poem, and it was left to my 5th edition to give more of the ending:

No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member –
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds, –

So we had to get rid of all the butterflies, bees, fruits, flowers, leaves and birds from the grid columns. Amazingly, the grid contained two butterflies (ARGUS, MONARCH), a bee (DRONE), two flowers (ASTER, ROSE), two leaves (KAT, NEEDLE) and a fair few fruits and birds. I searched in vain for an occurrence of VEMBER, but not one was found!

Erasing all this flora and fauna gave a giant blank N and I wondered how to draw the relevant Nato alphabet symbol. Should I use squiggly lines up and down the columns or left to right or diagonally? In the end, I got a really wide highlighter pen and just drew an N.

A fun puzzle and a nice piece of grid construction. Thanks, Nudd.

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Not One by Nudd

Posted by shirleycurran on 19 Mar 2021

What a pleasure to see Nudd here again. We know this will be fun and have something graphic as the endgame. One of my favourite all-time crosswords was one of his that finished with a red-nosed reindeer in the grid and, of course, as half of Rood, he has been an Ascot Gold Cup Winner.

It is a rather unusual grid with no symmetry, though we are told we have to remove 18 symmetrically placed words from our completed grid and replace them with a large symbol. I am still busy creating a Crossword Compiler grid and hunting for alcohol as the other Numpty slots solutions in at a great rate – these are Nudd’s beautifuly generous clues.

There are 58 of them and I have been telling new setters that they have to try to stay below 45. There’s a low mean word length too – well below the desirable 5.5. Clearly there must be a reason for all of that – something to do with what we are going to highlight (and sure enough, fourteen of those words we ultimately remove from the grid are short ones and that large N explains the unusual grid, so all is forgiven.)

Ah well, Nudd is probably going to redeem himself with a healthy splattering of alcoholic clues. I work through them steadily, with growing angst as I find not a drop of the stuff. Nothing to do but solve and the grid fills steadily – until the other Numpty spots ‘Change nothing or plant [k]elp once at sea (8)’ and announces that it has to be ‘help’ so we have PORTOLAN (a navigational aid) and the PORT has sneaked in. Then what do I see at 41 (across) He has managed to include TOTS too! Tots of something worthwhile, I hope. We raise our glasses.

THOMAS appeared as the poet’s name early on but I wasted time hunting through all the Thomases who have written poetry before HOOD also appeared and we were able to tease out NO SHADE, NO SHINE as the opening words of one of his lines.

‘No shade, no shine,/ No butterflies, no bees,/ No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds — / November!’ (‘No!’ Written in 1844).

Our grid is full and now, knowing that I have to locate the Nato alphabet sign for November, the task of finding those butterflies is a pleasure (MONARCH, ARGUS), bees (DRONE), fruits (PEAR, LEMON, HAW, NUT), flowers (ASTER, ROSE), leaves (NEEDLE, KAT), and birds (ORTOLAN, TIT, DAW, HEN, OWL, LANNER, TUI) and, of course, I realise that there was the rosé cleverly squeezed in there; rather a summer wine for November – but then, this was a rather chilly February month for a November crossword, too, do ‘Cheers, Nudd, and thanks for a delightful compilation.


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