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Posts Tagged ‘Nudd’

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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L4540: ‘Chalked Up’ by Nudd

Posted by Encota on 22 Feb 2019

2019-02-11 14.14.16 copy

Many thanks to Nudd for a fun puzzle.  I solved this one overnight on the Eurostar from the UK to Moutiers and, what with having to hand-draw the grid as I only had the puzzle on-screen, it took me to somewhere North of Paris to complete.  I think, if you screw your eyes up and look at it in a certain light, then even my representation above looks similar to the WHITE HORSE of UFFINGTON, to be found on WHITE-HORSE HILL.

I particularly liked how there was no ambiguity at all as to which letters needed to be used to form the final ‘white horse’ – and the 3, 4, 10 & 11 letter info in the Preamble made it a pleasure to solve.


Tim / Encota

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Chalked Up by Nudd

Posted by shirleycurran on 22 Feb 2019

We’ve seen Nudd’s colourful and artistic grids before so we greeted the preamble of this one with pleasure. The preamble was not too daunting and the other Numpty was off like a horse that has scented its stable, solving these very generous clues at such a gallop that I could barely write fast enough. We were mildly worried about the speed of the grid fill as we cantered over the finish line with just a handful of word plays still to understand in well under an hour. What fearsome end game did Nudd have in store for us?

I barely had time to check for the alcohol content and Nudd was being rather sly about it. ‘Not to mention the French stock (8, two words)’ gave us ‘LE TALON’ and we guessed that an E was missing from the word play so ‘Let alone’. We assumed it ws a stock of vintage, so ‘Cheers, Nudd!

“A work of art in chalk?” said the other Numpty – “that must be The White Horse of Uffington.” and he disappeared with his grid to mark those missing word play letters while I struggled with the last few clues where we had the answers but hadn’t worked out how. Which of the old words for grey was going to come out of OGREISH? (GRISE, GRIS?)’Antique grey, like a fearsome giant (7)’. Well the final art work resolved that one and we removed the O, E and H, giving us one of the two that had to lose three letters. HSE came out of HOISE when we raised IO (priestess of Hera) skyward and that gave us more evidence that we were going to draw a horse.

‘Draws knowing gesture from brainless American (4)’. We worked backwards from TIES with the S clearly missing from the word play as we needed it for the horse’s lower leg. ‘Twinkie’, said my niece who is here for a ski-break, so we removed wink, and with it our final problem. We joined up those 28 letters with four curves, checked with Google and agreed that this was another fine compilation by Nudd.

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Listener No 4452: Bobs by Nud

Posted by Dave Hennings on 18 Jun 2017

My first thought on reading that this puzzle was about a night out with the lads was that Shirley would be in seventh heaven at the thought of all the alcohol. Or perhaps Nud’s mates are coffee-shop-aholics! Boring!

1ac and 1dn soon put paid to that. ACCOSTS and ABETTERS (soon to become ABETTORS) immediately indicated that we were dealing with double letters that presumably would become one, the sort of thing that a few pints of beer would lead to. It also meant that Nud was in fact Nudd (as I had already suspected).

After about 45 minutes, I had half of the grid filled. I could also see a mish-mash of letters in the NW–SE diagonal but SHA•••RA•HY• running NW–SE. Since the word we were looking for was only 11 letters, it didn’t take long to guess that HAPLOGRAPHY was the word that described what we were doing.

In fact, this was a word that was new to me and which Chambers gives as “the inadvertent writing once of what should have been written twice”. Now, I’m sorry, but surely this trait does not warrant a word in its own right. Unless there is a common tropical disease that induces this in its victims!

Just over ninety minutes in total saw this puzzle complete. It was only when I solved 21dn Perviate roof? Auditor’s to check (6, two words) that I discovered that a pair of letters could be haplographed such that RAIN IN became RAIN, and the same with ANA[NA], ORO[RO]TUND and TI[TI]AN.

So thanks to Nudd for his Boobs — an enjoyable couple of hours.

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