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Posts Tagged ‘Skylark’

Monkey Business by Skylark

Posted by shirleycurran on 25 Dec 2020

Skylark- one of the rare Listener lady setters. We smile when we see just a brief preamble and a fairly short set of clues (explained, of course when we read that five names will circle the perimeter and a sixth appear clued in the grid). We count and find that there will be just eight clues with no letter to be extracted to produce a quotation.

I also check, of course, that Skylark has reserved her place at the Zoom bar with the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Elite and proof is there. ‘Mother’s ruing trailing the Spanish in northern town (5)’ We realize that ‘mother’s ruin’ or GIN is going to trail EL (the Spanish) and give us ELGIN. Before long, that GIN has become a whole GALLON, ‘Characters impressed person offering hire in galleon (9)’ We extract an E and produce LETTER (the person offering hire) IN G (gallon). Well, that gallon of gin should suffice – Cheers, Skylark!

Solving goes on steadily with a fine set of fair and fairly gentle clues though we wonder when the wordplay ‘The author with stuff involving one girl (6)’ spells MERIAM (ME + RAM around I) since Chambers doesn’t give that as a girl’s first name. That just goes to show our ignorance: we’ve both heard of the novel Cold Comfort Farm and recognise that famous quotation ‘I SAW SOMETHING NASTY IN THE WOODSHED’, but neither of us has read it and we have no idea about the names of the characters.

Luckily for us, that very quotation slowly emerges and we are able to consult Wiki for a list of characters. MERIAM now makes sense and we smile at ADA DOOM, MRS MURTHER, SETH STARKADDER and MR MYBUG (and sympathise with Flora Poste – what a crew to cope with!)

All that is left to do is find three activities from the novel. From what Wiki tells us, they don’t do what so many farms are now having to do to survive with Brexit looming – make CREAM TEAS – a bit of a red herring, that one. We opt for words ending with ING, that will provide a total of 32 letters and find MOLLOCKING, CLETTERING and SCRANLETTING. I wonder what Stella Gibbons would have thought if someone had told her that her inventions would appear in a crossword in 2020. Many thanks to Skylark for a bit of fun.

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L4636 ‘Monkey Business’ by Skylark

Posted by Encota on 25 Dec 2020

If you wan’t some alternative explanation of this puzzle then read other blogs at this site. However, clearly – hiding behind the pretence of a theme of a novel by Gabby Gorilla or some such similarly implausible pseudonym, this puzzle is actually about writing in general, as one might expect from a setter with a background such as Skylark’s.

You don’t believe me? Then look again at the grid. Why else would one be able to find various papers, forms of paper, abbreviations for manuscript, items for letter-writing, proof-reading terms etc., so blatantly hidden?

I rest my case.

Cheers all,

Tim / Encota

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L4568: ‘Howsat!’ by Skylark

Posted by Encota on 6 Sep 2019

I think I can find 24 out of 42 entries with something of a ‘blue’ theme involved – especially those featuring sea, sadness or colours.  Definitely more that 21, so they are in the majority …

Was it only me that found it took ages to nail down the final few parsings?  I had a tentatively filled grid after about 20% of the time, then spent most of the rest of the time trying to make sense of around ten clues.  1d and 2d were the final two of these, where I’ve assumed that DOWN = ‘in flood’ (the BRB’s nounal definition 7 for ‘flood’ = ‘any great inflow or outflow … e.g. …of tears’ seems to support this) and that LOOS is a Scottish word for ‘loves’ (ah, I’ve just found this meaning of LOO in the BRB!).

Of course the theme was 1970s rock albums.  David Bowie’s LOW appeared on Row 2, Neil Young’s HARVEST on Row 12.  There was even the Pink Floyd Track DOGS (from ‘Animals’) on Row 5.  So, given many of the clues seemed to have a Blue tinge, then the missing album is clearly Bob Dylan’s TANGLED UP IN BLUE.  Not quite sure whether I need to call him BOBBY DYLAN or R ZIMMERMAN as the Creator to make it 10 letters but I’m sure JEG will be lenient.  Won’t he?

Or, alternatively, I submitted this.

SCAN0626 copy

Finally I tried for a while to makes sense of the Title – then thought ‘So What?’.

Joking apart, a fun puzzle from Skylark – many thanks!

Cheers all,

Tim / Encota

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