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Posts Tagged ‘tnap’


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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Right and Wrong by tnap

Posted by shirleycurran on 1 July 2016

Right and Wrong by tnap 001I’ve just hunted for tnap on Dave Hennings’ Crossword database and find that he/she/ they have no previous advanced thematic cryptic crosswords listed. I’m surprised and wonder whether this is another combination of experienced setters. It was a very masterful piece of setting for a newcomer. I struggled with the endgame as long as with the original solve and my worksheet demonstrates how difficult I found it to establish which letters should be read across and which down to get the desired result.

But that was a long way ahead. First I had to scan the clues to see whether tnap qualifies for admission to the Listener setters’ topers’ shower. Oh dear! Not a single alcoholic clue unless we read into ‘Hi/ad an inclination active in period of abstinence (5)’. That was the first clue I solved (giving A in LENT). I’ll have to give tnap the benefit of the doubt – see you at the bar somewhere in the north next March tnap. Cheers!

We read the preamble with misgivings. We were ‘usually’ not going to enter real words into the grid and six of the adapted words were going to have the adapted letter in an unchecked cell. The 35 clues leading to those answers were, in addition, going to have a misprint in the definition  with the correct letters giving us a quotation.  Well, we just crossed our fingers, hoping that it was going to be a familiar quotation ‘If music be the food of love, play on’ – or something like that.

But it was not to be.We solved laboriously, relieved to find some clues that led straight to their grid entry, and making a fair stab at spotting those corrected letters, but we had 35 solutions in the grid and an evident ‘HEAR ALL YE LEA…’ and still no light dawned. There was some tough cluing here: ‘Crawler, skedaddle off after mistress (7)’ was not made easier by the fact that we had S?O??O? in the grid and there were a few like that (LADYFLY with the S, O and O all disappearing in the endgame).It took what must have been the easiest clue of all and one of the last handful we solved ‘Lift to improve dair/ly, it’s in and out twice (4) – leading, of course, to tide – to suggest RIDDLE to us as the end of the quotation and finally reveal the quotation.

Right and Wrong by tnap 001Two men wrote a lexicon, Liddell and Scott;
Some parts were clever, but some parts were not.
Hear, all ye learned, and read me this riddle,
How the wrong part wrote Scott, and the right part wrote Liddell.

So the letters of LIDDELL were to replace the letters of SCOTT. Well, with delight, I saw that all the clashes that had appeared in our grid shared the letters of those two names so I breathed a sigh of relief after several hours of solving and decided to do that final ‘simple’ task – opting for the LIDDELL letters – in the morning.

Did I say ‘simple’? I highlighted all the LIDDELL letters and was all set to put my grid in an envelope and mail it to Mr Green when I was struck by misgivings. The preamble said ‘six of the replacements are not checked by a crossing entry’, and also that letter replacements must occur in 35 answers. I had a number of words where no ‘replacement’ had occurred: ARECANOT, CURABLE, DANCED, PRAESIDIUMS and so on, and yet those had been clues with misprints. Something was awry.

I spent the next couple of hours helplessly flailing, as it was obvious that I had to find six unchecked cells that could be switched to LIDDELL letters but I could see no rational way to identify which letter was to go into those. Yes, in hindsight, it was obvious, but when I finally managed to read LIDDELL five times, paired with SCOTT seven times, by reading the clashes in across clues, followed by those in down clues I was stupefied that tnap could have set this. Of course the six unchecked replacements appeared as a matter of course. Impressive, tnap! Thanks.

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