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Posts Tagged ‘Yellow Submarine’

24 Across by Merlin

Posted by shirleycurran on 3 July 2020

This was one of those puzzles where the endgame took us just about as long as the grid fill. The clues were generous, but they needed to be as some, to answers like THECLA , KILKENNY, ETHYLENE. OCKHAM and ADAM had two or even three misprints in them. Still, a pattern quickly emerged  placing those misprints in an 8 X 8 square in the centre of the grid, so we knew where we were hunting for them.

Of course I didn’t forget to check that Merlin earns his seat amongst the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Elite (as I see that he hasn’t compiled a puzzle for eight years) but he left me in no doubt. ‘Second drink knocked back – local dram (4)’.  We already had the G of RECOGNISANCE in place so GINS had to be the answer but we also needed a misprint and needed Chambers to tell us that a SNIG is a ‘drag’ locally.

Not far below, we found ‘Wallop barrel not used for full round (4)’. Again the W corrected misprint changed the ‘Wallop’ (that’s beer isn’t it?) to wallow and when the barrel wasn’t used we were left with just the ROLL of a barrel roll (a full round), but the intention was there – Cheers, Merlin.

A generous spread of anagrams led us fairly quickly to the theme and we found ELEANOR RIGBY at EIGHT DOWN. ‘Ecstasy taken by bleary Ringo ruined his maths number (12, two words)’ {BLEARY RINGO E}* had to be a number written by his matEs, Paul and John.  DOES EIGHT DOWN GIVE HINT TO THE THEME? was the question that emerged, and when we were told it was THE REVERSE, I had a vague memory that YELLOW SUBMARINE (of which we see a model in Liverpool’s John Lennon airport) was the flip side of the record (or was poor old Eleanor the flip side? It sounds as though the editors are continuing the isolation theme that has appeared in the Listener during Covid19 with nobody even going to the old maid’s funeral).

With a full grid and after a break for supper, the other Numpty left me struggling with the 14 clashes and a putative I, to work out what the other phrase could be. I do often wonder what solvers who do not have the wonderful TEA or some computer means of resolving anagrams do with just pencil and paper in such situations.

CHICKEN SANDWICH earned a broad smile, (well, it is ‘cryptically equivalent to a yellow submarine, isn’t it?) as did the phrase that the ten lines we had to draw in four separate groups would reveal something that could ‘cover’ either phrase. Indeed, despite the growing resistance to the use of plastic, cling FILM still covers any chicken sandwich that we buy (or ROLL, as in 24ac) – the title now made sense.

FILM also ‘covers’ the phrase YELLOW SUBMARINE. I liked the thematic unity of this compilation. Many thanks to Merlin.

We are, of course, happy crossworders as it has now been announced that the Enigmatic Variations series of advanced thematic cryptic crosswords is not coming to an end at the end of August (see Encota’s comments and hilarious anagrams about five posts down). If you are a keen Listener solver (and, like me, have already done all you can in the Magpie) there is always the Inquisitor in the I on Saturday, then the EV in the Sunday Telegraph – thoroughly recommended – and please comment on them if you can, as it was the ‘apparent’ lack of solver interest that almost sealed the EV’s fate.


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Paint My Old LP by Nudd

Posted by shirleycurran on 26 August 2016

Yellow Submarine 001What an unusual grid! Not symmetrical and with so many short clues! We are going to discover a group of four artists and four of the artists’ works ‘discoloured’, then there’s a very promising ‘grid shading instruction’ in store for us that will ‘rectify one of the omissions’. Clearly we are going to colour one of those ‘works’, so I smile and get my pencils ready.

First, of course, I confirm Nudd’s right to retain his topers’ club membership card and he doesn’t disappoint. He starts off in Indiana, ‘Public houses within Indiana succeeded (4)’ giving IN [I]N + S. He’s there for the cocktail. ‘Trusting cocktail of elaterin (7)’ giving RELIANT with an extra E. I have to see what cocktail he’s on and Chambers tells me elaterin is a purgative produced by the juice of the squirting cucumber. Oh dear!

Soon we find ‘Fools consuming European ales, say (5)’ giving us BERKS round E – BEERS with an extra K; a slight improvement on the elaterin but it doesn’t last. Two clues further down we find ‘Water jug to remain away from tepid beer (4)’ That’s BE (remain) extracted from LEW BEER leaving EWER. OK, we have a jug now but the beers seem to have become tepid. There’s a little hope when we find ourselves in CAFES, ‘Diners, wine flasks less accepted (5)’ CA[R]AFES less A(ccepted) but shortly he’s back on the ales and turfed out of the cafes. ‘Doctor’s rival drinks in dock (5)’ (It was a lovely little clue though wasn’t it? ALE[S] in DK giving DALEK, Dr Who’s rival).

I’m despairing for Nudd until a gleam of light, Islay, appears in the last clue but hope is dashed. ‘Islay’s more weak when grain free (3)’. We take the GR from M[E]AGRE and find MAE – Islay’s ‘more’. I’m not sure we’d want much more grain-free Islay malt, but it was another fine clue wasn’t it?

Our grid is rapidly filling and we have spotted our group of four. BEADLES changes to BEATLES, providing the one-cell clash and our extra letters spell out (with my additions) WHITE ALBUM, BLUE JAY WAY, OLD BROWN SHOE (familiar but not our old favourites, ‘Imagine’, ‘Yesterday’ or ‘Let It Be’) and YELLOW SUBMARINE (we who frequently fly through Liverpool Airport with its horrid smelly carpets are so familiar with that!), then the instruction MAKE LETTERS OF TITLE YELLOW, THE REST BLUE.

It’s all fun from that moment on and how realistic  Nudd’s portrayal of that oh so familiar record cover is! I love puzzles where we have a clear instruction that leads to a cheerfully coloured grid – give me a set of approachable clues that lead to a coherent message and a familiar picture any day in preference to a double Playfair or a carte-blanche with jumbles where letters leap from clue to clue. (The only thing missing was that the Yellow Submarine wasn’t torpedoing a Playfair square!) Thank you, Nudd.

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