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Posts Tagged ‘Observe the Globe’

Listener No 4607: Observe the Globe by Awinger

Posted by Dave Hennings on 5 June 2020

Awinger’s second Listener this week, his first being last year’s Joint Conditions where there were clashes galore which resolved to the abbreviations for US states. Clashes again here, although only in nine cells. Two messages would be revealed by the nine across and nine down clues, each of which had an extra word.

After four clues, I had a horrible feeling that we were in the world of football. In 1ac Harry Kane’s side wanting headers from Dele Alli’s moves (5), I recognised the name Harry Kane as a footballer (Spurs), but needed the interweb to see that Dele Alli was also one (also Spurs). A nice clue to start with as was 14ac FA advise Pele to eschew energy drink (6), initially unsolved since FA turned out to be an extra word.

Initially, progress was slow. This was partly hindered by my forgetting “Numbers in brackets are the lengths of grid entries” which implied that the clashes involved more than just two letters, one across and one down. Once I got over that hurdle, I still wondered what was going on. That is, until I had OVERT/NE at 23ac/8dn and EVERTON seemed a likely anagram rather than OVERNET.

Unlike some other bloggers, alcoholism on the part of Listener setters doesn’t faze me. However, I couldn’t help noticing a lot of sporty references from Awinger. We had baseball at 26ac Belts hard into first base, then second (6) [BASHES], cricket at 40ac Tourists total 200 among wild tigresses (8) [SIGHTSEERS, (10) pre-clashes and total an extra word] and Formula 1 in 42ac Saw circuits air F1 wins, perhaps (4) [MOTORSPORT, (10) pre-clashes and wins an extra word]. Elsewhere, we had ski jumping from Norway and golf from the late, great Seve.

Before finishing the across clues, I managed to suss that the extra words spelt out Recent FA Cup winners. First letter of total wins. What a neat way of reducing all those clashes to a single letter and revealing extra words to boot. The extra words in the down clues weren’t quite that obvious though since they contributed to part-words in the message. Thus Seve, NY, ear, sag, Oman, aged, Chai, Reds’, cored actually gave Seven years ago: managed, chaired, scored.

Google to the rescue to reveal the number of wins for nine FA Cup winners with Wigan Athletic winning their one and only FA Cup final in 2013 with Manager MARTINEZ, Chairman WHELAN and scorer WATSON. All three were to be highlighted in the grid although I wasn’t sure whether they were marking out the penalty box or the goal mouth. The O for the ball (representing One win) needed an X through it to represent, I assume, the Spot the Ball newspaper competitions, hence this puzzle’s title. (I never entered those, but when I was a kid, it was staggering what bizarre positions the judges sometimes placed the X for the ball. But then, what do I know about football?)

Thanks for a neatly constructed and entertaining puzzle, Awinger.

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Observe the Globe by Awinger

Posted by shirleycurran on 5 June 2020

“Ah, lovely!” I said. “With the detested numerical next week, we are going to have the joy of one about Shakespeare. Maybe we’ll be sitting in the Globe slotting in solutions about Hamlet or Lear!” But oh dear, from my favourite to one of my least favourite themes. We hadn’t solved long before a rather large number of soccerish clues emerged and even worse ‘RECENT FA CUP WINNERS’ with an instruction that each clash cell must contain ‘FIRST LETTER OF TOTAL WINS’. I remember that there used to be a newspaper competition called ‘Spot the Ball’ where you had to mark with  cross the likely position of the ball in soccer photos. That must be the synonym for ‘Observe the Globe’.

Of course I had scanned the clues to confirm that Awinger (is he really a winger? I used to have to play left wing in hockey and hated it – Manchester waterworks gave me the best present when the pipelines running from Thirlmere to Manchester ran through the school sports field and prevented us from playing for two years!) I digress – in between matches does AWINGER still retain his place among the oenophiles?

‘FA advise Pele to eschew energy drink (6)’. We extracted the FA from that and extracted a bit of Pele’s energy (E) leaving us TIP + PLE. The cup that men were grasping a few clues on just held ‘weak dye’ (we put Men = OR  round grasp = SEE round weak = ILL and Chambers told us that ORSEILLE is a dye. Things improved when we got to ‘Communist rogue delaying singular clarets etc (8, two words)’ We moved the S along in RED SWINE and got RED WINES. So Cheers, Awinger.

We don’t much enjoy clashes but these were rather different as it soon became clear that they were appearing where words were too long for their lights (Of course, we had a hint about that in the pre-ramble, when we were told that ‘Numbers in brackets are the lengths of grid entries.’) ALL ONE clashed with OVERTOILED and that gave us the letters of EVERTON, so we were at kick off, and soon found LIVERPOOL, SPURS, CHELSEA, MAN CITY, MAN UNITED. Extra words in the down clues told us what the notable occasion was – SEVEN YEARS AGO. Even I know that WIGAN beat MANCHESTER CITY and we saw that we had to find 20 letters in the grid to highlight – the three people who MANAGED, CHAIRED and SCORED.

We needed Wikipedia for that but, of course WHELAN, MARTINEZ and WATSON formed the shape of a goal and even gave us an E for Chelsea’s eight FA cup wins. We had to work backwards to find the words for PORTSMOUTH and ARSENAL (knowing that they had two and thirteen victories to their names so that a T had to be the letter that ultimately filled both clash cells – not easy but working backwards gave us SCOUTHER clashing with MOTOR SPORT, and KINESES with ALARUMS. Finally, we had to put a cross on Wigan’s ball, so cleverly going into the goalmouth in just the right spot. What clever setting! Even for a soccerophobe, this was impressive and we happily kicked Wigan’s winning goal into the net and put a cross on the ball. Many thanks to Awinger.

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L4607: ‘Observe the Globe’ by Awinger

Posted by Encota on 5 June 2020

This was an interestingly themed puzzle – thanks Awinger!  Might we assume you to be a Wigan Athletic fan?  Or perhaps an Arsenal fan wanting to remind us of their ‘more than any other’ 13 successes?  Given it was almost written by AWenger I’d guess the latter.  Or sponsored by Nobby’s Tiles?  Sorry, losing my thread a bit … 😉

The teams were neatly concealed in the nine clashing cells and after a while these helped with some of the later solves – e.g. something related to F1 that begins PORTSMO* can only be MOTORSPORT, that sort of thing.  It took quite some time to sort out the last couple – in my case these were MAN CITY and ARSENAL.

I liked how the location of the ball was at the same point in the goal ‘frame’ as the actual scored by Ben Watson all those years ago, a nice touch in more ways than one.  The Down message hidden as split words rather than the usual technique was good to see, too.  My only reservation was what appears to be an ambiguity in how to mark the ball with a ‘cross’: from what I recall from old Spot The Ball competitions this was normally done with an X – though I may be wrong.  However, the Globe in the title seemed to encourage us as Solvers to use the cross in its + form within the circle, so forming the old symbol for Earth.  I can’t imagine either being marked wrong but I decided, given the title, to go with the latter.

In the clues I particularly liked 48ac’s use of EDMUND SPENSER in a subtractive anagram: 
{ EDMUND SPENSER}* and {MENDED + SPURNES}*.  Delightful!

Overall, great fun!  Thanks once again to Awinger for a tricky puzzle.

Cheers & keep safe all,  

Tim / Encota

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