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Posts Tagged ‘Round’

Round by Lavatch

Posted by shirleycurran on 20 Jan 2017

lavatch-round-001We had a large grid here and a title that set us thinking. ‘Round’? Was Lavatch footing the bill for the first round at the bar at the Listener annual drinkie? I checked his right to his ticket and found evidence at once. ‘Glaswegian’s to gulp drink and cut jaw clumsily (6)’ We’re heading up to join the rest of the family for a Glaswegian Hogmanay tomorrow so WAUCHT is a familiar word and that gave us our first corrected misprint with CUT JAW having to become CUT HAW*.

That’s the trouble with the misprint device, isn’t it? Even in a competent set of clues like this lot, there are some rather glaring anomalies. ‘Surveyor’s red, by lake, showing colder period in glacier (7)’. No, Lavatch wasn’t talking of the surveyor’s Zinfandel or Merlot, it had to be the obvious rod and gave us STADIA + L. And who’s heard of a ‘satin bear’? ‘Satin bear’s fur sadly somewhat worn away (4)’ That had to be Latin, rather spoiling Lavatch’s empathetic picture of the poor worn out bear, so we opted for URSA (hidden).

There was red wine though: ‘Vineyards turning quiet start to sell vintage malts (9)’ CRUS< EASE + S. Sadly these were not vintage malts at all but the old word for HALTS – surceases. Then later in the clues things became lively: ‘A pair of ravers behind clubs offering revel (7)’ Slight disappointment again when the ravers turned out to be two Rivers (R and OUSE) but there was a CAROUSE anyway so I think Lavatch earns his admission. See you at the bar, Lavatch – Cheers!

This was a speedy and steady grid fill for us, that was moved forward and completed in one big p.d.m. when CATHERINE was the only word that would fit one of the unclued lights. FERRIS, MILL, GEAR, ESCAPE, DAISY, CART, STAR and PRAYER quickly followed and, of course, there was a familiar quotation from King Lear just where it clearly had to be, circling the centre. THE WHEEL IS COME FULL CIRCLE. That is fairly appropriate for a crossword that will appear in The Times tomorrow morning, the last day of the year.

No hare

No hare

I wonder how many solvers wondered about that intriguing phrase in the pre-ramble: ‘those of their unchecked letters that are inside a thematic area are all different’. Oh my, how careful the editors are being (obviously determined to avoid another HARE event – well, I had to mention that elusive hare, didn’t I?) I spent ages attempting to see what some solver, determined to be cussed, might have highlighted and of course there it was; you can have a GEAR WHEEL but your car might also have a REAR WHEEL. That is pre-empted since the unchecked R of CATHERINE is within the thematic area. Clever!

Thank you, Lavatch.

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‘Round’ by Lavatch

Posted by Encota on 20 Jan 2017

A gentle puzzle to end 2016 – many thanks to Lavatch.  And many thanks to all at The Listener for a very enjoyable 2016 of puzzles!

At the end of Her Majesty’s 90th birthday year, it was excellent to see her featured as ER, along with MARA, that ever-appearing hare-like creature returning, in such a Smiley fashion.  It must be a sign – for a better 2017 perhaps…


But more seriously…the solving path for me went something like this:

The use of ‘inside’ in the Preamble plus a Title of ‘Round’ meant a closed shape would be required; so when ?ERRI? appeared on Row 1 after solving a few clues then FERRIS and therefore WHEEL looked like the way forward.  CATHERINE went in quickly as did a few more.

As the Instruction began to appear as HIGHLIGHT THE ?ATI? QUOTATION IN SYMMETRICAL FORM, I confess that I did start by fooling myself that the missing ‘word’ was probably LATIN with the L somehow coming from YEARN changing to LEARN – and thus spent a few moments scanning the Grid for some Latin words – then the C appeared and I realised that THE ?ATI? was actually all one word, THEMATIC, so reading overall:

After completing the Grid then, as usual, I entered the ‘gridstare phase’, which I am normally pretty slow at; luckily, however, I spotted WHEEL on a diagonal in the NE of the puzzle and, with a slight change to the L selected, soon spotted the full circle (in more ways than one).  A quick double-check to be sure the unchecked letters (G, R, E, S, H) within the circle were all different and that one of those was repeated just outside the circle (R), and all was solved.  THE WHEEL IS COME FULL CIRCLE.

So ends my first ever year of attempting The Listener.  I’ve submitted all 52, though have little idea how accurate I have been: if I manage 80-90% correct then I will be very happy!

Finally, a belated Happy New Year to All involved with The Listener!  I look forward to meeting some of you again at the annual dinner in a couple of months.

Tim / Encota

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Listener No 4431: Round by Lavatch

Posted by Dave Hennings on 20 Jan 2017

Lavatch’s last Listener was over two years ago with no. 4161 Not a Blocked Grid. This had London’s Congestion Charge as its theme, which had been introduced in 2003 by everyone’s favourite politician, Ken Livingstone. [Ed: not mine!] This week was the last puzzle of 2016, and we had misprints to unravel in all the clues and nine unclued entries to complete. The corrections to misprints would spell out an instruction.

listener-44315ac had some bizarre animal shenanigans going on with Monkey seizing dog perhaps is displaying interest in crow (8). 10ac Bell getting hammered with pause being likely (9) was an almost straightforward anagram (‘Bell’ was ‘Bill’) giving PLAUSIBLE. With 15ac’s ‘Latin bear’ URSA and 16ac’s GOATHERDS, the top of the grid started well.

A flurry of down entries then got slotted in together with a few more acrosses, including APPETISE at 10ac (see above with ‘chow’ for ‘crow’). The top right came together fairly well, followed by the top left. After about 40 minutes, it looked as though the instruction was going to require us to highlight something.

As I expected from Lavatch, there were some fine clues with some entertaining surface readings. My favourite had to be 23ac A lot of edible grain for a chou in pâtisserie? (5), where ‘chou’ had to become ‘thou’ to give French for a thousand, MILLE.

My only discomfort was caused by MYRRHY at 38, which the preamble said was in the ODE; it’s not in mine, but is in the OED. Still, Costs of musky reindeer, heady like fragrant substance (6) could hardly be anything else, especially if you changed ‘costs’ to ‘coats’!

After about two hours, my grid was complete. The corrections spelt out Highlight thematic quotation in symmetrical form. THE in row 3 was a bit of a help, and it wasn’t long before I had “THE WHEEL IS COME FULL CIRCLE” from King Lear Act V, Scene III. I felt sure I had come across this quotation in a recent crossword, but the only one I could find was Kea’s Independent Weekend puzzle, What Goes Around… way back in June 2005.

listener-4431-my-entryAll the unclued entries were types of wheel: FERRIS, MILL, ESCAPE, GEAR, DAISY, CATHERINE, CART, STAR, PRAYER. I assumed that the proviso about unchecked letters of thematic words was to distinguish GEAR from REAR, which appears in Chambers in the phrase rear-wheel drive.

All in all, a nice leisurely end to the year, even if your New Year’s Eve festivities caused somewhat mental fuzziness well into January! [Ed: no sympathy!] Thanks, Lavatch.

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