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Posts Tagged ‘Tiburon’

Square Deal? by Tiburon

Posted by shirleycurran on 10 Jan 2020

Tiburon! We greet that with a smile as we are accustomed to having clues tweaked by the Listener editor so can be pretty sure that his will be beyond reproach, but then the second half of the relatively lengthy pre-ramble has us taking a deep breath. We are being instructed to dissect our completed grid into pieces and to rearrange them with complicated details about what unclued letters must be matched. It’s likely to be Christmassy isn’t it? Reindeer or something? Trees have been done before, I find a Christmas tree by Rasputin (who he?) on Dave Hennings’ Crossword database, among others, but it could be that or a snowflake or a Christmas animal? There was a lovely snowflake to be cut out some years ago. We begin to solve.

I search rather despairingly for an appropriate dash of Christmas spirits to confirm that Tiburon retains his Listener Oenophile entry ticket to the dinner. Well, the Stratford event wouldn’t be the same without him would it? However, it seems to be a rather dry crossword – until, that is, we solved 15ac ‘Raised distress signal up the pole (5)’

By the time we got to that clue, we had understood about putting two letters into one cell and using the diagonal line in the correct direction so that ELUSORY and SOUSED could both be read in the right order (and by an astonishing stroke of luck, I had them all facing the right way to aid my cutting up of the grid).

SOUSED is ‘up the pole’, Chambers tells me and that is extremely sozzled. What can I say? Cheers, Tiburon!

We don’t find this solve easy at all and have been solving for a couple of hours before we read the preamble properly and understand about the double letters, so that we can make ARBITRATOR intersect with SPEAR with the A and R sharing a cell, VIBRATO intersect with AMENTA with the AT of one becoming the TA of the other and so on. We know that we have to find nine of these and struggle in the south-west corner to find our ninth, even though the clue to ANTSY is generous, ‘Excited tourists on vaction in New York (4)’ giving us NY around T(ourist)S with an unclued A. I had been attempting to make that ‘monitor’ an IGUANA rather than the VARAN he turned out to be.

We should have seen far sooner that the corrected misprints were instructing us to TANGRAM something. Well, I chop the grid along the lines indicated by the diagonal marks, then, with a cry of delight, fit them altogether and realise that one of our editors has, at last, after a couple of years, located the elusive Poat hare. What a Christmas treat.

Then disillusion sets in as the remaining corrected misprints spell O TANNENBAUM. That isn’t a hare is it? My small grandson was singing that with his school choir a couple of weeks ago when we were with them in California (he’s in a German/English International School). He was drowned out by the four-year-old’s rendering of ‘Let It Go’ from the Disney Frozen but I suppose we have to move with the times).

Back to the cutting and gluing.

A moment of trepidation. How do we tangram a Christmas tree? Of course, I have recourse to my old friend Wiki who shows me one example – and, though I am not sure that we have found all the correct unclued letters, that instruction about the three Es tells me which way up to put the tub so that the soil doesn’t spill all over the presents (and a rather disconsolate hare who thought he was the star of the show).

A rather higgledy-piggledy MERRY CHRISTMAS appears and I highlight it.

Delightfu! Many thanks to Tiburon.


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Listener No 4586: Square Deal? by Tiburon

Posted by Dave Hennings on 10 Jan 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 Jan 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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One or the Other by Hurón

Posted by shirleycurran on 19 Jul 2019

“A newcomer?” we mused, but it didn’t take us long to realize that this masterly set of clues was compiled by no newcomer. A friend has commented that Hurón is a subtle combination of the pseudonyms of the two setters but it is too subtle for me even though I know who they are. I can’t exclude these founder members from the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Outfit, even though I found not a drop of wine in their clues or grid – unless I can include the WHITE (the thermometer is registering 43 degrees here so that is the one to chill and drink!) It took us ages to suss the wordplay of ‘… in other words about the least reliable’ [I] E around WHIT giving ‘reliable’ which is a meaning of WHITE and producing the I that we needed for DRAW MIRROR IMAGE. They must have deliberately made that and the clue to FACES fairly obscure so that we didn’t cotton onto the theme too quickly. It was those two symmetrical entries that suggested the theme to us long before we found the RUBY VASE. Yes, I suppose that ruby is red, too, so I’m raising a couple of glasses – Cheers Hurón!

I wonder whether anyone else’s workings look like ours. I find it really difficult to decide whether letters are omitted from the wordplay or extra, produced by it, and have to colour code if I have any hope of performing the endgame. The task was not rendered easier by our initial mis-reading of the pre-ramble (yes it was a bit of a ramble but would have been kinder had it told us in simple words that one clue of each pair was normal). We spent our first hour of solving convincing ourselves that each pair consisted of a clue with a missing letter and one with one or two extra letters. “Read the preamble Numpties!”

When the other Numpty disappeared to cook something, I focussed on the words and saw why we had found no extra letters in the clues for CRASSER, ROBE, AGOUTA, CHEESE, INESCULENT, LASER, AMOEBAE,  etc. It was the initial letters of those last three that suggested DOUBLE-ACTING at 1 across, and our solve shifted into first gear.

The theme had to be a RUBIN VASE, though we didn’t know, until we consulted Wiki, that that was its name. I wondered why we were given that cryptic clue in the preamble ‘Leader of Whitechapel gallery fully into data processing’ (W TATE + UP in PP) but realised that we could have solved the clues in each pair in any order so that bit of extra help was needed.

I’ve had a number of people muttering to me about having to use up their blue pencils or highlighters for last week’s celebration of Scotland’s glorious midsummer victory – now they can mutter about the ruby! Lovely, thank you, Hurón!

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Back Gate by Tiburon

Posted by shirleycurran on 4 Jun 2010

This was the numpty team’s first Tiburon and we approached it with some trepidation. Rule number one; read the preamble carefully several times and highlight some instructions! What a good thing that we noticed that we were looking for misprints in certain clues and corrections in the remainder! That instruction was slightly daunting; how were we going to separate them?

Solving progress was very slow. A friend suggested that this puzzle would fit into the Magpie A or B category. I found the wordplay very challenging – clearly there’s a long uphill climb to the D/E level. However, almost every time that I solved a clue, I commented ‘That was brilliant!’ or ‘That was magic!’ or ‘What a splendid clue!’ Well, they were, weren’t they?

Take 22d. ‘Nit treatments limited to prime locations’ I wonder how long Tiburon pondered before he spotted the fact that RETE (net) occupied the ‘prime’ (i.e. 2,3,5 and 7) locations of ‘treatments’.

Misprints are so often fairly obvious but not so with 37ac.  ‘Ocarina formed of pipes etc.’ The surface reading is magic – an ocarina is formed of pipes isn’t it? The obvious misprint would have been ‘acarina’, so, for far too long, I tried to find some mites that would be anagrammed to ‘pipes etc.’ Oh no! AARONIC finally appeared and the new magic surface reading of ‘popes etc.’

Then there was the ARAL SEA. It took me a while to spot that ALS in AREA fulfilled the needs of the clue, ‘Lar(G)e lake once further in extent’. It took me even longer to recognise the sheer genius and relevance of the surface reading concerning this shrinking lake.

My favourite of all these fabulous clues has to be, ‘Exclude from li(S)t in newspaper limo having disembarked’. The thought of the SUN ROLLS is delightful. I have a vision of Murdoch swanning around in his Rolls – then we disembark him (remove the SS) and are left with UNROLL.

There was such pleasure in these wonderful clues that the team wasn’t particularly troubled by our slow rate. The four corners, one by one, slowly filled (that’s like saying soccer is a game of two halves, and we either win or we lose, isn’t it?) until we suddenly saw THYMINE in our corrected misprints. What a give-away! At once, the others resolved themselves into CYTOSINE, GUANINE and ADENINE and we were left with DEOXYRIBONUCLEIC ACID. Of course, that resolved a few of our remaining problems with the clues. 19d. ‘Pool buddy in bright costume’. I had been struggling to spot the misprint, and having visions of some dazzling orange and turquoise Speedo-clad bronzed Adonis at the poolside – but no, it was not to be. The L in Pool was the misprint and, of course, Kanga was Pooh’s buddy.

SALVE had given me Ice in the place of Ace – most unsatisfactory! However, the C was now needed as the misprint in 5d. ‘Ace possibly, except straddling line’, and here was another brilliant clue with an Ave as a Salve!

Finding WILKINS, WATSON, CRICK and FRANKLIN spiralling their way down the grid in symmetrical curves and encapsulating the DNA theme was the final beautiful touch of this magic crossword. What a triumph for Tiburon!

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