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Posts Tagged ‘Wagons’

L4537: ‘Rollerball’ by the Ace of Hearts

Posted by Encota on 1 Feb 2019

It was the first – that I can remember – of  ‘that‘ cinema-trailer-voice:
In the not too distant future, wars will no longer exist.
But there will be … ROLLERBALL

OK, so I’m showing my age, listening as a kid to early commercial radio in the UK.  But how might all that have any relevance to this week’s puzzle?

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I almost got caught out by Radial 24:

  • Decorates circle in umbelliferous plants (8)

Initially there seemed to be too many of said plants from which to choose.  However, given it appeared to need six letters and be a plural, then ANISES seemed a good bet.  This is where I nearly went astray.  I imagined ‘decorates’ to be ANODISES with one letter missing for the Grid Entry.  But the gaps made it look like AODISES was to be the entry, so I put that in.  It was only when double-checking the defining phrase of AN ENCLOSURE TO DRIVE HUNTED ANIMALS INTO, that I realised that it was the D that needed to be missing.  And only then did I realise that the word defined by ‘decorates’ was ADONISES, with the D missing in the entry.  That was a close shave, especially so early in 2019!

As someone who hasn’t been solving thematics for long, and there not being that many circular thematics amongst those, I did wonder initially if a solver could assume that ring-based answers are to be entered clockwise unless stated otherwise?  I began by assuming not, so may have been unnecessarily complicating things.  Luckily a few checked cells showed that – in this case at least – these were to be entered clockwise, so things got rolling again.

I particularly liked the very first clue:

  • Bit into chocolate bar, almost losing tip of tooth (7)

… which I parsed as BIT inside KI(t)KA(t), with a separate instruction to delete each of the  Ts – very neat!

And the Title?  ROLLER=Wagon plus BALL=Circle, with the film title bluff.  Maybe?

Tim / Encota

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Rollerball by The Ace of Hearts

Posted by shirleycurran on 1 Feb 2019

We don’t see many circular grids these days and this was a rather unusual one with seven-letter radials and just two rings of clued words which were irregularly broken into words. Of course ‘Rollerball’ deceptively led us to suspect that we were going to construct a roulette wheel but our earliest solves of those perimeter clues (GONDOLA and PIECE) put paid to that assumption.

I hunted for the alcoholic clues and they produced a foregone conclusion: ‘Drunks using ride sharing app for old ruins (8)’. That gavels SOTS putting UBER in the place of O(ld) so SUBVERTS. ‘Waving luncheon voucher pours excess (8)’ {LV POURS}* gave us OVERPLUS so The Ace of Hearts really needs to control the intake – but ‘Cheers’ anyway.

Solving was initially a struggle as, until we had the perimeter and the fifth ring, we were unable to enter our radial solutions of which we had a dozen before a grid fill could be undertaken. However, once the grid fill was started, the procedure became easier and soon we realised that DEMOCRAT, KIBITKA, CAISSON,GONDOLA and TELEGA had a feature in common; they were all types wagon.

So what was a circle of wagons doing round the edge of that circular grid? As we solved, those six letters, CORRAL, in the asterisked cells appeared and what does Chambers tell us? It’s AN ENCLOSURE TO DRIVE ANIMALS INTO (and ‘A defensive ring of wagons’) so we had the message that was being produced by the ‘letter … omitted wherever it occurs’. More puzzling was the definition ‘A MOVABLE PIECE OF FURNITURE WITH SHELVES’ that appeared in the ring five in from the perimeter but surprisingly, the Big Red Book told us that that is a definition of a wagon. So it allotted together rather nicely. Thanks to The Ace of Hearts.

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