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Posts Tagged ‘tnap’

Triumvirate by tnap

Posted by shirleycurran on 10 April 2020

I often comment that we learn something new with every Listener crossword. This week, we had a full grid (except for three or maybe five unclued lights (since 10 down gave us either ENUMERATIONS or MOUNTAINEERS if we put AMERICA into 23 across). We had already worked out that 37ac anagrammed to BUCKEYE and that our thematic hint was US ARMY. We even had an anagram of MULTIPLICATION from missing definition letters, and the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations had told me: ‘Multiplication is vexation, Division is as bad; The Rule of Three doth puzzle me, And practice drives me mad. (Leon’s Collections vol 4 (1904) (possibly 16th century)’

Of course, I had hunted for the alcohol in tnap’s clues as we solved them at full tilt. We had had a late start as we are in total lock-down here in France, but so are our four and six-year-old grandchildren in California and their harrassed parents are working from home and grateful for a couple of hours of Internet child time which corresponds with the five o’ clock arrival of the Listener here – being read to in English and German, colouring numbers with the four-year-old, singing songs together and telling stories. I imagine a lot of grandparents are doing the same.

The alcohol? Tnap had ‘Ordinary twisted turkey bones (4)’ (ASS O<) and had ventured into INNS, ‘Puts up in the past by two points (4)’ and even a tatty café. ‘Tatty café’s poor prospect from penthouse? (9)’ giving us an anagram of CAFESPOOR = ROOFSCAPE. but I’m afraid it was a pretty poor prospect as far as the classy malts or gin and tonics are concerned. Have to try harder, tnap, to keep that entry ticket to the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Outfit.

When we had twigged that this was about US ARMY nicknames of divisions, I still hadn’t understood those words of the preamble that told me six unclued entries were located ‘appropriately’, so I laboriously looked up army divisions that were suggested by TEA, and spotted that INDIANHEAD would work at 2d, since an A could go into each of the remaining unches, and, of course, that gave me the N that allowed RED DIAMOND to appear. It was some time later that the ‘Doh’ moment also appeared – those clue numbers were their division numbers.

We have a number of copies of Brewer’s, the book among the thousands on our shelves that I loathe the most, partly because of its lack of any coherent index and partly because of the dippy items that fill its pages. Why do we have so many of the thing you ask. Sadly, it has all too often been a prize for being the lucky entrant picked from the crossword hat). I had found nothing about divisions in it and it was some time later that a friend told me ”

“I have a Millennium Edition of Brewers,

Under Regiments there are 2 lists:

Page 983 British Army

Page 987 United States Army

“In the following representative selection all are Infantry Divisions … “ [my italics]

1st: The Big Red One

2nd: Indianhead

5th: The Red Diamond

10th: The Mountaineers

23rd: The America Division

37th: Buckeye.”

“It was quite clever” said the other Numpty. “We knew of the Big Red One but the others were new to us.” Thank you for the education, tnap.

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Listener No 4599: Triumvirate by tnap

Posted by Dave Hennings on 10 April 2020

Here we had tnap’s third Listener, following on from Catechism two years ago with Einstein’s “Raffiniert ist der Herrgott”, and before that Right and Wrong with the unikely theme of Scott and Liddell’s Greek-English Lexicon. I wondered if tnap’s polyglottal streak would continue.

Nothing too difficult faced us clue-wise, with fourteen clues requiring a letter to be restored plus six unclued entries. A lot of the clues were fairly gentle, with 12ac (abundan)CEP(erhaps), 15ac (c)OURS(e) and 16ac NANNA getting things going quickly. Of course, we weren’t helped by two of the unclued entries being in the top and bottom rows with another two fairly near the left and right edges. It became clear fairly quickly that they weren’t going to be real words.

There were some entertaining clues along the way, such as 42ac Some castrati never s[l]ang for money (3) for TIN, and 6dn German Monopoly department set up for Hans who worked on counter (6) leading to GEIGER (G + RÉGIE<). I felt sorry (not a lot) for foreign solvers who may have been stumped by 35dn It’s nearly goodbye for the war reporter (4) giving ADIE(u) referring to Kate Adie, the BBC News correspondent.

Now, having finished the grid, I had letters omitted from clues giving me IIATPLTICOLNM. Oh dear! Only thirteen letters, so a bit of re-examination of the clues was required. Luckily, 9ac Ling’s “super” food, good for energy in return of the shivers (4) jumped out at me because I hadn’t really understood the definition of GUGA as Ling’s “super” food. Obviously (?), Ling had to become Luing, that well-known Scottish island that is all of 5½ square miles.

And so I had UIIATPLTICOLNM and a bit of doodling with -ATION endings gave MULTIPLICATION and the ODQ revealed:

Multiplication is vexation,
Division is as bad;
The Rule of Three doth puzzle me,
AndPractice drives me mad.

With the circled letters giving US Army, we were obviously looking for US Army divisions. There was no entry under Division, and nothing under Army either. Unfortunately, and unintentionally, I was looking in my 16th Edition of Brewer’s which didn’t have what was in my newer 19th Edition, namely “See also REGIMENTAL AND DIVISIONAL NICKNAMES”.

I was in luck though. I could see that the unclued entry at 37ac C-EEKBU could give BUCKEYE. Although that was fruitless, my eye roved to the adjacent column where Buckmaster’s Light Infantry gave the necessary cross-reference to the Regimental and Divisional names.

Voilà! Having to be entered jumbled, we had: 1st (going at 1ac) was The BIG RED ONE, 2nd (2dn) INDIANHEAD, 5th (5dn) The RED DIAMOND, 10th (10dn) The MOUNTAINEERS, 23rd (23ac) The AMERICA Division, 37th (37ac) BUCKEYE.

It turned out to be a slightly more roundabout endgame for me than it should have. Thanks, tnap.

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L4599: Triumvirate by tnap

Posted by Encota on 10 April 2020

I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this one. Distracted by the endless bombardment of C-19 ‘news’, I found it hard to get fully engaged: it was probably just me.

My puzzle ended up looking like this:

The US Army / Infantry Divisions – the 1st, 2nd, 5th, 10th & 23rd to be precise, appeared highly ‘vexed’ in those locations in the grid which was a nice feature: i.e. BIG RED ONE, INDIANHEAD, RED DIAMOND, MOUNTAINEERS & AMERICA all appearing in anagrammed forms in the grid.

29d took me the longest to get my head around:

Cubs having ball for me to toss (6)

A nice surface. Initially ‘cubs’ was changed to ‘clubs’. So the definition was ‘clubs’ = DISCOS. But how did the wordplay work? Eventually it appeared that it was DISC(us)S for ‘toss’ and ‘us’ for ‘me’. So ‘us’ needs replacing with O (‘ball’) and DISCOS it is.

Back next week. Cheers all,

Tim / Encota

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Posted by Encota on 27 April 2018

… aka ‘Catechism’ by tnap 🙂

First of all I’d like to thank tnap for an excellently-themed puzzle.

I have to say I was baffled for a long time with this one.  I had about three-quarters of the grid filled; I could see that the ‘former giant’ at 41ac had to be ETEN from the wordplay, that 12d was STEAM UP, & that 6ac’s SHELL-LIKE had two too many letters for the grid but could not get what I had to do at all!  When I finally solved ANTON at 15ac [I am assuming this is parsed as (w)ANTON ?] and the checkers suggested it might be ANTTTON then I did think of Lorenz transformations and time dilation.  Length contraction soon followed.

As my German doesn’t stretch much beyond “Noch ein bier, bitte”, I had no knowledge of the hidden phrase in German but there were enough ISTs and DERs appearing for it likely to be that language.  Eventually, in near-desperation(!), I resorted to a German wordsearch-solver to look up R.F..N..RT and RAFFINIERT appeared; it was then only a short hop to finding the whole phrase, attributed to Einstein.  Phew!



Some of the clues were tough work (but fair), given there was no hint as to where the misprint was to be found. I loved the two PDMs, especially the MC2 being replaced by E!  And the Title: is this ATHEISE once the above transformation is applied?  I think so!

* Finally, I did like the Daily Mail headline hidden as a jumble of the above phrase from Einstein, namely:


It has just the right feel of indignation to it, don’t you think?  And I’m sure it wouldn’t look out of place if created by the online Daily Mail headline generator (Yes, Google it if you don’t believe me!)

Cheers all,

Tim / Encota

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Catechism by tnap

Posted by shirleycurran on 27 April 2018

Typing that title in, I have just realized that it, too, must probably be jumbled ‘after replacing some letters according to a thematic equivalence’. I took MCC out of it and added an E and jumbled it and the puzzle becomes ATHEISE. I am not sure about that. Einstein would probably have considered that his ‘Raffiniert ist der Herr Gott aber boshat ist er nicht is more of a catechism than an attempt to atheise us. I am leaping ahead. We muttered about ‘thematic effects’ and ‘misprints’ before muttering even more atheistically about ‘jumbles’.

But I did check tnap’s alcohol content. He wasn’t drinking out of one of those lovely presentation beer mugs at the Paris Listener Setters’ Dinner three weeks ago: however, his clues did still justify his membership of the topers’ outfit.

There was just a ‘punch’ in the across clues, ‘Twisted knee, not good, receiving a punch that roughens savate (6)’ Oh dear, tnap must have been struggling to find a G misprint if he had to resort to such an obvious ‘savate’. We worked out that this was GENU less the G(ood) round Mat (a punch that roughens) all reversed.

Actually the very first clue we solved was ‘Previously in French vintage  – mulled without skin of grape (5)’ Now he’s talking real wine – or maybe not. We back solved from AVANT*, removed the G(rap)E from vintage and found that we had an A misprint and the word was ‘vantage’. Ah well, there was a ‘Nip’ in 9d, ‘Nip after catty – it helps preserve the flowers (5)’ There’s a rather quaint picture in the surface reading. tnap must be chasing puss who is determined to wreck his garden: we struggled to work out that the ‘Nip’ was giving us ‘Hip’ (IN) and that the catty was a KIN, giving us KININ. Cheers, anyway. tnap.  Maybe we can share the punch, mulled wine and nip next year in York!

These clues were challenging and we were a couple of hours into our solve before I (who should have spotted it sooner – I have German-speaking grandchildren and use the language regularly, though I admit that  even the five-year-old speaks the language more accurately than I do) realized that the IST DER HERR GOTT of the comment had to be German.  We had already seen that SHE’LL LIKE, SKILL-LESS, FULL-LENGTH and ILL LUCK were being entered with one L acting for the three. Sadly we were looking for more of the same and it was a while before Einstein prompted us that this was his space-time continuum. Time was going to be expanded TTT, while space L(ength) was contracted. My nuclear physicist Numpty husband claims that this was a very primitive interpretation of the theory but sobeit.

We had an almost full grid and only ERBIA, SINUATE and some version of ADOPTEE/ADOPTED and HO?ES or HO?DS would complete it with those four being the clues whose wordplay we hadn’t parsed. We knew we had to somehow incorporate E = MCC into our calculations and worked backwards, anagramming those words with an MCC in the place of an E to see whether we could approximate the solution with the wordplay – and, of course  we did. CAMBRIC gave us the fine material that converted to ERBIA; CANTICUMS  were the songs that became SINUATE, ACCOMPTED changed to ADOPTEE and last of all, SCHMOCK (after SCH(ool) Taunt or MOCK) gave us HOKES. That last one was tough – well, the whole solve was no doddle. Thanks tnap for the challenge.

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