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Posts Tagged ‘There and Back’

L4564 ‘There and Back’ by Stick Insect

Posted by Encota on 9 Aug 2019

Picture the scene.  You are catching up on those episodes of Killing Eve that you’ve been meaning to watch and hear all their talk about ‘The Twelve’.  Who can they be?  Then you pick up this week’s Listener crossword and – perhaps – all is revealed.

Given it was 50 years on this 20th July, it would have been a missed opportunity if The Listener hadn’t featured a Moon Landing Puzzle.

This one was delightful in that it included all Twelve U.S. astronauts to have walked on the Moon’s surface – in order of touching its surface, I think.  ARMSTRONG and ALDRIN were gently hidden on Rows 1 and 2, right through to CERNAN and SCHMITT on Rows 11 & 12.

My favourite clue was (before and after one letter was deleted):

Aptness of Bill Sikes’ girl following pro(f)’s contrary church rule (11)

… for CONCERNANCY, with its split of definition and wordplay in the middle of Bill Sikes – very neat!

Tim / Encota

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Listener No 4564: There and Back by Stick Insect

Posted by Dave Hennings on 9 Aug 2019

Stick Insect’s last puzzle was two years ago and had a theme courtesy of a maxim from Plato’s Protagoras: “That man is the measure of all things”. I seem to remember that a bit of googling (or duckduckgoin) was required for it. This week, we had a theme that positively shouted itself out. From the title and the requirement to highlight twelve surnames, we were dealing with the fiftieth anniversary of the first moon landing in 1969.

I have to admit that only nine of them rang a bell with me, and I tried to fill the grid without getting help from the them. However, I couldn’t avoid ARMSTRONG and ALDRIN in rows 1 and 2 giving me such help.

The grid construction for this puzzle was excellent, as was the thematic nature of the clues — half one way, half the other. And then there was the icing on the cake: the order in which the astronauts set foot on the moon was the order in which they appeared from top to bottom in the grid, culminating with CERNAN and SCHMITT. What is (sort of) interesting is that, although Schmitt was the last man to step onto the Moon, Cernan was the last one to leave it.

For those who needed extra help with the theme, the extra letters in the clues to be removed before solving gave We came in peace for all mankind which appeared on plaques attached to the Lunar Modules which were left on the Moon. Finally “ONE GIANT LEAP” went beneath the grid.

It took this anniversary to make me realise how incredible it was to achieve the feat of “… landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth”. I can imagine that a few people must have commented “What did he just say?!” In the end, the Apollo program required about 400,000 people and nearly $300 billion in today’s money. Sadly, some of the test astronauts died before Apollo XI succeeded.

Thanks for the puzzle, SI.

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There and Back by Stick Insect

Posted by shirleycurran on 9 Aug 2019

We thought we were so clever when we guessed that this was going to be about Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings – “There and Back” with twelve dwarves’ names to highlight in the completed grid – Oin, Gloin, Nori, Dori, Bifur etc. but when ALDRIN appeared between that obscure word QAWWAL and DRINK, we had to have a speedy rethink and realized that we had already entered ARMSTRONG as part of mARM [S] TRON and Galley. A very different there and back.

DRINK! Ah yes, ‘Male’s one day at racecourse gave us an extra M that we were looking for in WE CAME IN PEACE FOR ALL MANKIND, AND LEFT US WITH ‘Ale’s D + RINK. I was relieved as my initial run through the clues had produced ‘menu item’, ‘Try water’ and ‘Spirit’ but no convincing proof that Stick Insect retains his admission ticket to the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Elite. But there it was: “Cheers, Stick Insect!”

Yes, the clues were generous and we needed to check only a few of our solutions. Romansch is spoken not a long way from where we live but the spelling RUMONSCH was new on us. ‘Odd boy with school dialect’ gave us an extra O so that we had RUM = odd, ON = by and SCH = school, giving us the ‘dialect’.

We had to check CHELLEAN too. ‘Revolutionary left Nepal confused once regarding early culture’. We needed to extract the P from the material leaving us with CHE L + NEAL*. We hadn’t heard of a QAWWAL religious singer but, of course, Stick Insect carefully spelled out what we needed and at that point, we were able to consult Wiki’s list of astronauts and fill our gaps.

How impressive that Stick Insect managed to produce the jumbled letters of ONE GIANT LEAP from those twelve names. Even more impressive that he was able to construct a 52-word grid with 26 words heading backwards, to fit all that material in and give the 26-word message that the first moon-landers gave to any stray outer-space dwellers. Nice, thank you.

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