Listen With Others

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin

Posts Tagged ‘Where Next?’

L4609: Where Next? by Harribobs

Posted by Encota on 19 June 2020

What a construction – congratulations Harribobs!

With the ‘after cycling’ pun at the start and the complexity of the rest of the Preamble that followed, this looked like it was going to be tough.

Stage 1: The entered clues with ‘most answers initially entered after cycling’

Fortunately most of the clues were gentle, otherwise this would have been particularly taxing!  After filling out almost all of the first grid, I wasted a bit of time by stupidly counting down the columns rather than across the rows and only realised my mistake when the first destination didn’t fit in the circle – a very useful check, by the way!

Having filled in all but the last 30 cells, I am not quite sure how I managed to solve it but it only seemed to take a little bit of jiggling and the missing two places jumped out.  I went along the slightly wrong route to begin with, trying to shoehorn SHEPHERDS BUSH into the gaps … but soon found SHEPTON MALLET, and BUDLEIGH SALTERTON followed almost immediately afterwards.

Stage 2: After re-filling!

Thanks again to Harribobs for a very cleverly constructed crossword!  I still can’t quite see how you did it, which has got to be the mark of an excellent puzzle!

Cheers & keep safe all,                   

Tim / Encota

Posted in Solving Blogs | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Where Next? by Harribobs

Posted by shirleycurran on 19 June 2020

A tour of Britain, I read, then such a complicated set of instructions, including one to erase my completed grid fill, that I am tempted to throw in the towel, put my bike in the shed and pour a stiff double. Still, I check through the clues to confirm Harribobs’ right of entry to the Listener Oenophile Outfit and find that his clues, at least, get beyond the M25 (which seems to be a limit for rather a large number of crossword setters as far as ‘Britain’ is concerned). He gets to Wallsend, Leeds, Oldham, the Border, A6, St Albans, ‘Wales every now and then’, Luton, the Fens, Hastings and Halesowen (wherever that is). The Irish and Scots amongst us might be slightly miffed but sobeit.

Alcohol? Well, we are told how to get our port. ‘For port, take motorway through Oldham in westerly direction bypassing centre (5)’ We suss that Harribobs is sending us to MALMO for our port. Alcohol is pretty expensive in Sweden (we frequently visit a friend who lives close to Malmo) but ‘Cheers’, anyway, Harribobs.

The grid filled with ease and lucky links early on when DUSTMAN, OUTGAS, JINGO, WALNE, SANTA, INLY and SWANAGE were achieved without cycling, made our initial cycling tour not too strenuous. However, I found that I had to visit THETFORD, EDGWARE, SWANAGE and ST DAVID’S and went onto Wiki to find out where these places were. A stern warning appeared that ‘Owing to Corona Virus, travel restrictions may apply’. It was worse when Harribobs made that token visit north of the border to GLASGOW. “Is your journey really necessary Mr Harribobs?” I heard a reminiscent little wartime voice muttering. (At least he avoided Durham and Barnard Castle and having to face a Cummings-style witch hunt.)

The other Numpty (the Irish Glaswegian) had done his share and solved most of the clues so disappeared to cook the supper and left me to erase my grid and perform my cycle tour via the letters of the across clues doing those mathematical calculations each time. Yes, I managed to miscount more than once and landed on a cell I had already filled and had to backtrack – rather like our usual numerical performance (Ed. No, I assure you, this is a verbal crossword). However, I finally got to the outskirts of St David’s and with 30 empty cells had to get out my map. Where Next? indeed.

We had meandered around the south of England. I gather that there is a St David’s at the tip of Wales as well as the Exeter one, and there had been that rather surprising visit to Glasgow (I suppose that is north for a southerner though a Shetlad friend once told us that she had had to go south once and had visited Aberdeen!) so I guessed that our remaining cells were going to take me somewhere interesting like Stornoway or Limerick – but it was not to be.

After an immense struggle I reached WHERE? SHEPTON MALLET and BUDLEIGH SALTERTON. (The other Numpty commented  that this is probably a Covid 19 ‘Staycation’ prompt for those of us who have always felt an irresistible urge to explore the exotic vistas of Shepton Mallet and  Budleigh Salterton – so on my bike. Thank you, Harribobs. We do wonder how you managed to create first the cycled grid and then that astonishing compilation with the numerically spaced words.

Posted in Solving Blogs | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Listener No 4609: Where Next? by Harribobs

Posted by Dave Hennings on 19 June 2020

Harribobs is a fairly new kid on the block, but has had puzzles published in all the major thematic series. What’s more, this would be his fourth Listener in just over two years, the previous one requiring a major colouring exercise to depict the flags of twelve countries. No such artistic works here, but quite a long preamble instead.

On first reading, “tour of Britain” and “cycling” immediately brought to mind the Monty Python episode featuring Mr Pither (as in Brotherhood but with P-I instead of B-R-O and no HOOD). He was on a cycling tour of North Cornwall although most of the places where he fell off his bike were in Devon and Somerset. Time would tell where Harribobs would take us.

As the preamble said, most of the entries were entered in cyclic fashion with the across clues in an order that would prove useful later on. The clues were a bit tricky in places, and there were some unusual words for me like AMOMUM, FANGOS and BLAER. My favourite clue was probably 28dn Dickens’s name arises, he of many gifts? (5) (SATAN with N moved upwards).

The five wordplay-only destinations were the last five across entries and required us to start on the south coast (SWANAGE), head into London (EDGWARE), bomb up to Scotland (GLASGOW), back down to Norfolk (THETFORD) and then cross over to Wales (ST DAVIDS). Where Next?

Getting another copy of the grid, the first letter of 14ac (the first clue printed) went in the top left square with every following letter in the printed order of clues going n letters forward, where n was the value of the letter just entered. (Understood?) I only had to go back to the beginning once after ending up on an occupied square; I suspect others had a few more mishaps!

So where next? Luckily we were given the square with the fourth letter of the first destination. I wondered if Harribobs originally withheld that help. It took a few tries before I tried SHEP, which worked, and SHEPTON MALLET immediately came to mind. It was enjoyable finding that it could be entered in the grid’s empty squares. Shepton Mallet is a town in Somerset. BUDLEIGH SALTERTON came next, and that is a town in Devon.

So we were following Pither’s somewhat wayward ride round Cornwall after all! Thanks, Harribobs.
 

Posted in Solving Blogs | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »