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Posts Tagged ‘Silence’

Listener No 4455: Silence by MynoT

Posted by Dave Hennings on 7 July 2017

MynoT’s last puzzle at the beginning of last year was the superb Stomach with its map of the solar system from Sun out to Neptune.This week’s puzzle made me think of the film Alien with its tagline “In space, no one can hear you scream”!

A carte blanche here, with a phrase running across the top and bottom rows. Unfortunately the tagline was a couple of letters short of filling the 30 squares. Two other unclued entries were explained by this phrase.

Now, MynoT can be one tricky cluesmith, but here they were fairly straightforward. At least, the down clues were. With only half a dozen acrosses solved in my first pass, most of the downs were cracked and enabled the top of the grid to look almost complete after only 25 minutes.

I felt somewhat smug, although that was tempered by my embarrassment at getting 18dn at first reading. Conceal call for attention in ’80s sitcom (6) led to HI-DE-HI, an 80’s sitcom that I loathed (and consequently rarely watched); I also loathed the one set in a railway station.

The clue across the centre of the grid Having different music throughout for Humperdinck to broadcast (but not loud) (15) was almost certainly an anagram of (FOR HUMPERDINCK TO – F) but my doodles failed to reveal anything sensible that was one word. It would eventually turn out to be DURCHKOMPONIERT. In hindsight, I wondered if this German word was deliberately chosen to give us a hint.

If only I had resorted to Tea to solve this anagram, perhaps all the following kerfuffle would have been avoided. As it was, after about 1½ hours of solving, I had BED in row 5 with AD REM running through it. I also had TRY in row 9, and eventually solved Heard au pair goes before pregnant by … (5, two words) for DUE TO (O with DUET before), and stifled a titter. Cry of protest perhaps heard at Billingsgate: “It’s a shellfish” (6, two words) also raised a smile (SEE ‘ERE).

When I finally got the central entry, it looked as though ADREM and IN KEY should both start one square lower, but that would mean that the first square of row 5 and its opposite would be unchecked.

I suppose I should have tried to solve the phrase in the top and bottom rows earlier than I did as that might have helped get me on the right track. WO appeared in both, and after wondering about WORD, WORT seemed a possibility. Without anything in the preamble to help, I tried the section on foreign phrases at the back of Chambers, and was rewarded with KEINE ANTWORT IST AUCH EINE ANTWORT — No answer is still an answer: silence gives consent.

So it looked as though the two 7-letter unchecked entries in row 6 and 8 had to remain blank. I briefly wondered whether SILENCE and/or CONSENT would fit to give new words for the four entries that crossed, but no.

All in all, an easier than normal MynoT puzzle, but still enjoyable — nicht wahr?

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Silence by MynoT

Posted by shirleycurran on 7 July 2017

Keine Antwort ist auch eine Antwort

Such a large carte blanche caused no real consternation, especially when we worked out that the two unclued lights were going to be symmetrical, probably at the beginning and ends of the two rows encompassing that centre 15-letter word. The clue for that word was astonishingly generous as Tea immediately gave us DURCHKOMPONIERT as an anagram of [f]OR HUMPERDINCK TO. How MynoT must have smiled when he spotted that! German too! I know that he is a fluent French speaker and we were, as yet, nowhere near the endgame and had spotted a few European references but hadn’t an inkling that our German was going to be needed. (My four-year old grandson is a fluent German speaker and his one-year old sister does pretty well so our German is tested regularly on Skype and we should have had less difficulty than we did with the endgame).

I leap ahead. Of course I had carefully scanned the clues to check that MynoT is maintaining his oenophile reputation and my consternation grew as no references to premier crus emerged from the clues but I shouldn’t have worried (like that Poat HARE, the evidence was in the preamble: ‘Bars must be entered.’ Well, there is a real order! Cheers’ Mynot – we’ll share a bottle!

With the grid started and so many generous clues (ONCOGEN and WORKSOP neatly dividing it into quarters) we were almost able to proceed as if the grid were numbered, and the first ten down clues were solved one after the other – a rare thing for us. Of course, we spotted all those European references. ‘Tribe putting idiot in charge of Greek money (8)’ giving MANEH around ASS. I once taught a member of the MANASSEH tribe who educated me about her origins). ‘Love studies about European nymphs in the Alps (7)’ O + READS around E producing OREADES. Then we had another clue with German in it, but this time to be removed in the form of D and G: ‘One way or another two members of Anura acquiring name, not German (8, three words)’ Those members were TOAD and FROG losing those Germans but absorbing N(ame) to give TO AND FRO. What a delightful clue!

Spain came next: ‘Whale found in the east of two Spanish islands (4)’ – we flew over MajORCA and MinORCA exactly a month ago and saw no whales but I like the clue. And so it went on, with an Irishman (EAMONN) – we were there last week to celebrate the newly acquired Irish passport –  a French name, Scotland, Spain again and Paris – and our grid was full except for some rather worrying unching that seemed to be appearing in those unclued lights and difficulty placing BED and TRY. We were muttering at Mynot at this point (about an hour after the start of our solve). How could we be expected to solve two unclued lights that had five unches in seven cells?

Then the first penny dropped with a mighty clang – well, a few letters did and a few went up too, as we realized that we could enter those four consecutive ‘5, two words‘ entries with gaps in the middle making those unclued lights seven consecutive empty cells and somehow, the top and bottom rows of the grid were going to tell us why. The bottom one looked like SUCH (or MUCH) FINE ARTWORK and I vainly Googled that, then took a break for supper and a glass of wine to clear the head (or the frustration!) – and it worked! A fresh look at that top line a good hour later suggested MEINE/ SEINE or DEINE ANTWORT IST and something rang a bell. Of course it is in Chambers: Keine Antwort ist auch eine Antwort. So we were given a couple of answers that, even if they were not answers, were also answers and Chambers explains the title, ‘Silence gives consent’. Lovely, thanks, MynoT.

Squatting hare

The HARES? They are getting everywhere – at least three in this grid but I took to the little one squatting in the lower left quadrant.

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‘Silence’ by MynoT

Posted by Encota on 7 July 2017

First of all thanks MynoT for a tricky puzzle, especially the endgame.  Filling all but the top and bottom rows was pretty painless, as several of the five-letter answers in the early down clues EATHE, NARRE, ESTRO, NEEDY had (very likely) to cross STARTLER in consecutive order which, combined with the 180 degree symmetry and the 15-letter DURCHKOMPONIERT across the middle of the puzzle, allowed much of the grid to fall into place.


Talking of heavily-capitalised text, is it only me that finds this next image funny?  It’s odd, after that ‘helpful’ Microsoft paperclip disappeared from MS Word, one can almost miss its presence.  I did say ‘almost‘.

Screen Shot 2017-06-22 at 09.12.48 

Anyway, back to the plot.  One clue that intrigued me was:

Walk quietly to dump and turn over earth (6)

…TIPTOE, which I at least parsed as TIP T.O. E(arth).  Assuming I am right, is TO a new ‘impolite’ version of PTO?  I see it’s in Chambers.

I also thought the most inventive clue of them all this week was

  In single combat man is lost in bush (6)

…i.e. MANO A MANO for ‘single combat’, with the second ‘man’ removed to form MANOAO, ‘a shrub of the heath group’ [Origin: Maori], according to Chambers.

After a short delay working out how to place the two 3-letter words and spending far too long not noticing the four out of five down entries in a row marked two words, then it became clear that the two Unclued entries must be blank.  Those four clues were a nice feature, I thought!

That left .E.NE.NTWO.TIS..UCH.INEA.TW.R. to interpret.  I guessed that the DURCHKOMPONIERT answer had some sort of relevance but got hooked on checking numerous Through-Composed examples out for associated text – especially those ending EASTWARD or ANTWERP – and got nowhere.

Two days later (!) I was sitting on a bench in the garden, armed with my laptop when I thought I’d better have one last go at it.  I luckily guessed that the .INE at the end was EINE (with the foothills of my ignorance in German already in sight) and found an online German crossword solver.  Entering A.TW.R. and having Antwort = Answer appear was a very pleasant surprise.  And with Auntie Google’s help, the final phrase, KEINE ANTWORT IST AUCH EINE ANTWORT – which I hadn’t previously heard of – appeared seconds later.  ‘No answer is still an answer’, paraphrasing slightly.

I loved the clues, I loved the grid construction, but I was niggled by my ignorance that meant I spent 60% or more of the time on the final search.  That’s definitely my fault and not MynoT’s though.  A great challenge, very enjoyable and very satisfying to solve it – eventually!

Tim / Encota

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