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Posts Tagged ‘Tale of the Unexpected’

L4610: ‘Tale of the Unexpected’ by Lath

Posted by Encota on 26 June 2020

Some tough clues and a non-trivial endgame – thanks Lath!

Kindly we were provided with a clear pointer upwards on the leading diagonal, which spelt out WINGS OF EAGLES. Thus finding out more about this famous event was just one Google search away.

Finding the EPSOM DOWNS course on the grid was still quite tough – for me at least! DERBY was fairly easy to spot. I vaguely recalled Tattenham Corner as a place from my childhood … but couldn’t find it here. Aside: was it really built purely for the racecourse? Luckily I then spotted FURLONG and could join up the pieces to form DERBY ONE MILE AND FOUR FURLONGS.

I was a little unsure which N to pick from Column 7 at the centre of taNNin. I watched a re-run of the race on Youtube and noted there were no sharper turns at that point on the racecourse so opted for the straighter one. Though I may well be missing something!

Thanks again to Lath for a tricky yet enjoyable puzzle!


Tim / Encota

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Listener No 4610: Tale of the Unexpected by Lath

Posted by Dave Hennings on 26 June 2020

A new setter greeted us this week, although part of me wondered if it might be a collaboration. An interesting device here in that five pairs of clues needed swapping with their first letters and their clue numbers leading to the location of a notable event which needed to be drawn in the grid. Moreover there was a dummy clue which would give two important men, presumably related to the event.

Clueing was relatively gentle, with acrosses 7 DISMAL, 16 BRED, 17 LEFTY and 19 NARIAL being slotted in quickly. Quite a few more went in on the first pass although I was aware that there could be some swapping involved. In fact, unless 9dn was DEBTS, either BRED or LEFTY would need moving — or 9dn SEBAT!

About half the acrosses were in before I started on the downs. Again, some went in quickly with 2 HEEHAW, 3 RULER, 4 IRMA and 5 KEEL leading the way. The FOGDOGS, SEGGARS and ROLFERs were new to me and 18dn was the dummy clue since Badge pair go in Derby again (4) did not lead to the unchecked YAWN. Soon the grid was finished and time for the endgame.

The clue swapping involved 1ac↔40ac, 12ac↔45ac, 17ac↔20dn, 21ac↔44ac and 13dn↔35dn. The initial letters of these gave D E P N S S O M W O. My first attempt at unjumbling them gave POW DOMNESS followed by PEMNS WOODS. As so often the case, it just jumped out at me — EPSOM DOWNS. I would have been mortified if I hadn’t got this since I was born and raised in Epsom.

It didn’t need a giant leap to guess we were in Derby territory, especially since, pre-pandemic, it took place early in June. Drawing the shape of the Derby course started at the end of row 3 and continued left, down and right in the grid to spell out DERBY, ONE MILE AND FOUR FURLONGS (what’s a few yards among friends). There were a few detours that could be made, especially around the ONE. I assume all would have been marked OK.

Now we had to decipher the clue numbers: 18 was the dummy clue, 40 1 the swap with the greatest difference and 20 17 the one one with the smallest. My first guess was that we were looking at the 1840 running of the Derby when Little Wonder came through to win his only race. Sadly the horse wasn’t findable in the grid, at least not by me. However, WINGS OF EAGLES was to be found sneakily hiding in the SE–NW diagonal. That was horse number 18 who won the 2017 running of the race at 40/1. Finally, unjumbling the dummy clue at 18dn (Badge pair go in Derby again) gave the jockey PADRAIG BEGGY and trainer AIDAN O’BRIEN.

An interesting trip into the world of horse racing — at least it wasn’t Cheltenham! Thanks, Lath.

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