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Posts Tagged ‘Telling Lies’

Listener No 4533: Telling Lies by Somniloquist

Posted by Dave Hennings on 4 Jan 2019

Last year’s puzzle from Somniloquist was based on the poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and required a tricky quotation to go under the puzzle: “þe fayre hede fro þe halce hit to þe erþe”. Having spent ages tracking down the poem on the interweb, I then nearly forgot to change one of the ‘th’s to a þ. I hoped no unintended traps were waiting for me this week.

Good old extra letters in the wordplay greeted us for half the clues here, but it wasn’t long before something else seemed amiss. Although I should have sussed it with 1ac None find faults in fish, I got there a few clues later with 14ac Number eight conceals bedding ogre. Looking up bere revealed that it had nothing to do with ogres, just pillowcases.

It looked like these were the changes required in five other clues with a word missing in each. These turned out to be None, ogre, venom, own and loses. All well and good, but so what?

Eventually, the extra letters spelt out Cut out extra words then fold. Oh dear, and not for the first time this year, scissors again. Out came VENOM (row 2), LOSES (row 4), NONE (row 6), OGRE (row 7) and OWN (row 10).

Now I have to admit that it took me a few attempts at folding before I tried the simple left over right. So we had ALBERT and ANGELOBS JOHNSON! I decided on more sensible googling with Albert Angelo & Johnson, which revealed AA to be the eponymous title of a book by BS JOHNSON, et voilà. A bit of reading about it revealed that all the cutting out wasn’t just Somniloquist’s fanciful method of revealing the author and book. In it, Johnson, according to Wiki, “…achieved fame for having holes cut in several pages as a narrative technique.”

A bit of highlighting followed and the binning of the cut-out words saved JEG the trouble. I initially assumed the title had something to do with the book being full of holes, but a bit more Wikireading gave an extract from the book with Johnson’s belief that “telling stories is telling lies”. Sadly, he committed suicide at the age of 40.

Very entertaining and enlightening. Thanks, Somniloquist.


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L4533: ‘Telling Lies’ by Somniloquist

Posted by Encota on 4 Jan 2019

I wasn’t aware of the theme this week but the instructions seemed to work clearly and very well.

The extra letters from the clues spelt out: “CUT OUT EXTRA WORDS THEN FOLD”.

In the left-hand side of the grid could be found the five extra words: VENOM, LOSES, NONE, OGRE and OWN.  Carefully cutting them out and folding the grid vertically at its centre-line then showed the characters ALBER-T ANGE-LO and BS – JOHN-SON, a book – Albert Angelo by B.S.Johnson – where, apparently exactly this process was used.  Interesting …

… I vaguely recall a David Bowie documentary from years back when he described a related technique for constructing lyrics, using scissors, paper and glue.  … Or did I dream it?  Hunky Dory, perhaps?  Or the Berlin years?

Tim / Encota

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Telling Lies by Somniloquist

Posted by shirleycurran on 4 Jan 2019

An unusual grid, 14 X 12. We commented that there must be a reason for that, and of course there was – it had to fold into that little book. The preamble was unusually short too. We prefer it when all (or none) of the clues have an extra letter produced by the wordplay (not half) but that gave us no real problem tonight as the clues were gentle and fair and we had no doubt at all when there was an extra letter. Indeed, we hadn’t solved long before were aware that we were being told to CUT OUT EXTRA WORDS AND FOLD.

“Extra words?” said the other Numpty, but we had already wondered what VENOM was doing in the clue to GLOBS, ‘Drops of venom in edges of gerbil bites (5). We put O(f) intoG(erbi)L B(ite)S. YEAR was the same, ‘English are separating your own four quarters (4)’ We put E A into YR and highlighted the OWN as extra. ‘None find fault with fish (4)’. We already had CAR in our grid so that had to be CARP and we had NONE as an extra word.

Changes had to take place, we were told, in five clues. OGRE was next, since BERE (a pillow case) was hidden in ‘NumBER Eight conceals bedding (4)’

‘American kisses awkwardly and loses self-control (7)’ gave us LOSES as our final extra word (A + KISSES = ASKESIS, self-control – none of it lost) and by this time, with a nearly full grid, we had seen that those five words were happily placed on the left hand side of our grid, ready to be cut out. Symmetrically opposite, I read ALBERT ANGELO, BS JOHNSON, and had to go to Wikipedia to find out what that had to do with ‘telling lies‘. I learn something with every Listener crossword I solve.

I enjoyed chopping into my grid and folding it into a small book (a kind of sadistic pleasure in chopping into one of the things that give me so much stress now and then) – this was a different and ingenious end game. Many thanks to Somniloquist for a couple of hours of fun. Our ski resort opens tomorrow morning so I am very grateful not to be struggling with a ferociously difficult stinker.

Of course I haven’t forgotten to check Somniloquist’s retention of his entry ticket to the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Knees-up and he did have me worried at first with his ‘Sober eastern character (4)’ SAD + E, followed by ‘Herbal drink to stop ailment of intestinal section (5)’ where we put [T]EA into ILL to get ILEAL. But all is well. ‘Drunk Scots crave hot drink (6)’ we were told and we added [F]OU to LONG to give OULONG. Cheers, Somniloquist!

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