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Posts Tagged ‘Square Deal?’

Listener No 4586: Square Deal? by Tiburon

Posted by Dave Hennings on 10 January 2020

On checking the records, I couldn’t believe that Tiburon’s previous Listener was back in 2011. That had Aristotle maintaining everything had a beginning, a middle and an end, whereas Philip Larkin’s view of a novel was that it had a beginning, a muddle and an end.

I doubted whether the puzzle would have anything to do with what first flashed through my mind. That was a childhood memory of a well-known washing powder being know as Square Deal Surf. Upon reading the preamble, I was dismayed to see that more scissor work would be required in the endgame. It didn’t seem that any artistic drawing would be required (although who knows what the misprints in eighteen clues would spell out).

Suffice it to say that no such message was revealed, but instead Tangram and O Tannenbaum. On the way, there were some entertaining clues. Heaven knows how he decided on 30dn Teak (4×2 size) and the like reared in old Thailand (5) for OCTET with teak being the misprint for team. For some reason, 6dn appealed to me: Composition of bonks: Noises Off (6) for OSSEIN (bonks for bones).

All that was left was to cut the grid up into tangrammatic pieces and stick them together in the shape of a Christmas Tree. Not too difficult given the lining up of cells containing double letters.

There was a small trap waiting for any careless solvers. Did 28dn Gold changing hands in spite of king? (5), with the misprint being spite for suite, lead to AULIC or AURIC? In fact, with the misprint being in the definition, this could only be AULIC. [Hastily retrieves rubber to correct some sloppy solving!]

Not for the first time this year, I felt sorry for JEG with a lot of the submitted grids being almost illegible.

Thanks for some fine entertainment, Tiburon. It all came out nicely in the wash.

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L4586: Square Deal? by Tiburon

Posted by Encota on 10 January 2020

A delightful unambiguous construction with clever use of double letters in cells. At this time of year, one can only sing: “O tanne-gram, o tannen-graum, …” etc

I liked the Title’s hint at shape and a type of tree, too.

The Marker has my every sympathy with this one!!


Tim / Encota

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