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Posts Tagged ‘Paddock’

Get Weaving by Paddock

Posted by shirleycurran on 26 Mar 2021

We read this preamble with growing dismay; ‘the two answers must be randomly interwoven in the columns’. That sounded rather like jumbles, and we read that it was the clues that were ‘randomly interwoven’ for the across entries. How does one begin a crossword like that?

Well, of course, I begin by searching the clues for any hope that Paddock may retain his space at the Listener bar with the elite setter oenophiles. There’s initial hope in ‘Compound extreme lying about bottling that is …’ but that was almost the last ‘interwoven’ clue we solved and we decided it had to be END ‘lying about’ so giving DNE and that was ‘bottling’ IE, giving DIENE. Not much hope there!

Things improved with ‘TV presenters unusually ordered to relocate’. We ‘ordered’ ANT and DEC ‘unusually’ and produced DECANT which Chambers tells me is ‘to move (people etc.) to another area’. Now what is Paddock decanting? There was ‘RED’ a couple of clues further down in REDONE – ‘perhaps worked over by bolshy eastern guards (RED E around ON) – none of that entirely convincing.

However, I imagine all solvers worked from the top of the grid down, finishing with DERES and SEDATED, which, of course, put themselves in the grid as they were our remaining letters, and by that time, we were truly admiring the cleverness of Paddock’s construction (and the unusual difficulty and complexity of his clues!) and what do I find? ‘Endless bonking injures aged duke drinking partner served drugged bubbly obscuring taste of Viagra’. Hmmm. I mutter in blogs about the surface readings of clues which sometimes give an implausible picture but there isn’t much ambiguity about the picture painted there. I’ve put on my disapproving look (and laugh) and decide Paddock had no need to decant the red, his skilful crossword has thoroughly earned that bottle of bubbly (even if it is obscuring the taste of Viagra). Cheers, Paddock.

Fortunately we realized early on that the clues were not entirely ‘randomly’ interwoven since the words of each indivicual clue kept their own order, just as did the letters in the two interwoven down clues in each pair so we were able to weasel out answers from potential letters even when we couldn’t separate the clue threads and solve the clues, but we had completely filled the grid before MINERVA and ARACHNE appeared. What a fine end game! We changed poor ARACHNE into A SPIDER, happy to see that only real words emerged in our tapestry. What a fine piece of work!

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L4649: ‘Get Weaving’ by Paddock

Posted by Encota on 26 Mar 2021

My thanks to Paddock for an excellent puzzle – just the right level of difficulty, I felt.

I had the grid filled by end of Saturday, with a few question marks here and there where I hadn’t quite parsed the clue-pair as yet.  After a day of rest (ok, other puzzling) I polished off the last few parsings on Monday morning, with all done by 9:10.

One of my last three to sort was (with one of the interwoven clues shown in bold):

1. Hated sham spending cuts following number one rule in such charged circumstances

It was interesting to me how hard I found it to be certain precisely which words were in each clue-half.  For example, “number one in such” for S seemed to take me an age to spot.  Yet it seems so obvious after the event!

Another was:

16. Top fragrance EU had withdrawn left leader wanting standards for non-flammability revised

For some reason my mind went blank associating ‘fragrance’ with AROMA.  I had AMORAL pencilled in the grid and it still didn’t jump out at me.  Again, once highlighted as above, it seems so obvious!  I guess the crossword clue as a one-way function would make quite a good discussion topic.  One to save for when we all next meet at a face-to-face Listener Quarterly, perhaps.  Oh, and the WP for the letter N above made me smile – not perhaps the obvious choice of word from which to derive it!  Aside: I wonder if anyone has used antidisestablishmentarianism in a clue to derive a letter A yet – if not, then maybe I’ll be the first!

And the third was:

14. African predicant declines priest’s cape conceding over case for stalls and initially
          expensive pews.

I had DOMINEE as an almost-certain in the Grid and could see DOMIN(o) but there seemed to be so many possible Container&Contents_indicators (over; case for; stalls) to put the A in SETS vs picking the EE from E(xpensiv)E  that it took me ages to see ‘stalls’=installs.  Once I had that and SETS for ‘declines’ then all finally fell into place.

What I also loved about this puzzle was the mild assist one got from the checkers.  From the solved Down entries sometimes it would narrow down to two options, sometimes more – but they were enough to give a gentle assist to the clues in the other direction.  And then a few Acrosses in place nailed some checkers into place, so allowing other uncertain cell options to be narrowed down further.  This process was very satisfying, I felt.

Oh, and I bet I wasn’t the only one to celebrate my first letter in the grid – in the top right, an S as the first letter of STOLID or SHEKEL.  That took about 20 mintues, I think!  Colouring the Down entries helped a lot – see diagram.

Finally, the theme was, of course, impeccable!  Arachne, the weaver and Minerva, battling it out.

Thanks again to Paddock. A beautiful puzzle!!

Cheers & stay safe,

Tim / Encota

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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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Listener No 4577: The Gaudy by Paddock

Posted by Dave Hennings on 8 Nov 2019

Paddock’s third Listener hit us this week, following on from a game of Battleships in 2016 and Ovid’s Metamorphoses last year. Here we had an interesting clueing technique with phrases from book titles had to become part of the clues signified by their word lengths in square brackets.

The first such clue that I got was 14ac Brave Joshua’s first to come out [2 7] after collapse (6) where what looked like HEROIC with J(oshua) gave us of Jericho as the book title bit. I’m afraid I’m not an expert on that Oxford detective, but I recalled that one of the books was [checks Wiki] The Dead of Jericho. That revelation came fairly early in my solve, but little did it help me with the other book titles that we’d need. I knew that the last was going to be The Remorseful Day, but that belonged to the endgame.

A few clues stood out for me:

15ac CODEX Against banning new “adults only” book that hasn’t been printed (5)
CON – N + X (with the wordplay for DE omitted
19dn SEEDCASE Judge going over statements to court accepts conclusion of Raymond Burr, maybe (8)
SEE + CASE around (Raymon)D
22dn FLATLET Low-rent accommodation (7)
One clue made me shudder with its reference to some bloke:

7dn AXOIDS      Figures old Tory leader no longer supports a vote (6)
O + IDS (say no more) after (A + X)
And so the restored clues gave us:

14ac HEROIC Brave Joshua’s first to come out [The Dead] of Jericho after collapse (6)
35ac LENSES Loony [Last] Seen Wearing extreme pair of ladies’ glasses (6)
6dn WORDLESS [The] Silent World [of Nicholas Quinn desolated, being short of energy (8)
10dn TRACE Spot one’s Last Bus [to Woodstock] close to midnight, heading north (5)
27dn HATED Felt revulsion at shifting [Service of All] the Dead bodies about (5)
33dn ARMS Limbs are beginning to suffer around marathon’s [The Riddle of the] Third Mile (4)
Finally, the DE from CODEX moved to the LO of LOATH to suggest Death is Now My Neighbour (or at least Paddock’s at 30ac) and the letters from DEATH, FLEURY and MORSE (replacing CODEX) gave us The Remorseful Day.

Thanks for the entertainment, 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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