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Posts Tagged ‘Tiburon’

One or the Other by Hurón

Posted by shirleycurran on 19 July 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 June 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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