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This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Gonzo 2 months ago.

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  • #690

    TheVoidTLMB
    Participant

    Hello all,
    (Or should that be “both”? It’s quite quiet here, isn’t it?)
    Here’s my puzzle for April. If you prefer to solve in-browser, there’s a playable puzzle embedded on my blog.

    Happy to hear your thoughts. Hope you enjoy.

    EDIT. SPOILER! I’ve attached the answers as a png, but the browser’s giving a preview of it. I’ll email the webmaster to ask for it to be removed!
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    Oops.

    • This topic was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  TheVoidTLMB.
    #695

    TheVoidTLMB
    Participant

    (In case you’ve scrolled this far, or are getting an email update…)
    Phew, Hamish has removed the solution – thanks! You can find the solution also over on my blog.
    I’ll make sure to use .pdf files here in future!

    #698

    Gonzo
    Participant

    Hi Void,
    This was good, though I don’t like the software on your online version – it skips characters that are already filled in in the lights, so you can’t just select a clue and type the answer if some crossers are done.

    ******SPOILERS******
    1ac The unchecked s/z of the variant spellings would be off-putting if this were a competition puzzle, but no problem here.
    6ac The ‘one-pointer’ would be difficult for some non-UK solvers – but it’s your choice of who you are setting for.
    10ac The PC Squad will be on your case.
    11ac Even with the ‘in’ deduced, the space of ‘characters’ combined with ‘animals’ led me to leave this one as unsolvable without crossers.
    13ac I got this one by pattern-searching but the parsing eludes me.
    21ac I believe unnecessary past tense is deprecated – ‘holds’ still works.
    22ac I took a while to see the homophone element here – the synonym just about works.
    31ac Same as 6ac re non-UK solvers.
    32ac Not sure the definition defines the answer.
    2d ‘Fantastic item, one of four?’? That’s not an improvement really…
    3d I think you missed a chance to work ‘profit’ into the surface – “In excess of profit, we hear, she watches the workers” or something.
    8d Very funny whilst only gettable from the crossers really.
    24d Aha! I thought you were alluding to the clue number, but it is the enumeration 🙂
    27d ‘Tail-ender’ is a cricket thing, right? Seems a bit loose for rabbit, but there aren’t a whole lot of 5-letter preachers.

    These are all comments not criticism – after all I did finish the puzzle 🙂
    Favourites 29ac,4d

    #699

    chameleon
    Participant

    Hi Void,

    This was fun! Contrary to Gonzo I actually think 2d needs no improvement. I laughed when I figured it out; I love the bathetic phrase “Fantastic one”. It was nice to see something other than “socialist” cluing “RED” in 6. I thought 13 was quite elegantly done, although I was thinking of Omar [Khayyam] so I didn’t get it for a while. 4 and 29 were both very neat too as Gonzo has already said.

    I had a couple of question marks. 31 across does something it hadn’t occurred to me to consider a problem until I saw a comment on Fifteensquared recently, which is using a homophone fragment for a non-word. The argument is, as SU isn’t a real word, we only know it’s a homophone of SUE because we know the SU in SUDAN sounds like that. In this case I don’t think it matters hugely, but since I saw that comment I’ve been thinking that rule/convention (if it is one) does make a lot of sense.

    The only other thing I was going to mention was the “Purgatory” clue. It was funny to solve, but I’ve been trying to put my finger on why I don’t think it quite works as a clue. I think basically the answer and clue would work better swapped around; DL would more intuitively lead you to PURGATORY.

    But, yeah, lots of fun. Looking forward to the next one

    #700

    Gonzo
    Participant

    I see 13 now, but as written it clues IMURT.
    I think the homophone-for-particle problem is a non-problem. Thinking of words as collections of sounds is part of the solvers toolbox: think Spoonerisms. I recently used ‘Cockney’s mortal’ for the sound ‘leefal’. Since ‘leefal’ is not a word I can spell it as I please (within reason), so I used it for the letters LEEFUL. In the case of 31 here the solvers’ task is to think of a way of spelling the ‘sue’ sound, or to think of a country that starts with the ‘sue’ sound: Sulawesi,Sumer,Suomi?…seems fair to me.

    #701

    TheVoidTLMB
    Participant

    Hi chameleon and Gonzo,
    Thanks both for taking the time to solve and offering feedback!
    Gonzo – I hadn’t noticed that quirk of the software, but if you click the cogwheel, you can switch that option off. Now that you’ve pointed it out, I’ll see if I can set it to Off as the default next time, ta.
    Re comments:
    1a Good point.
    6/31 True. I decided that I’m a Brit setting Brit crosswords – unless I find reason (£?) to do otherwise. Maybe I should say so before each puzzle… but that seems a bit like overkill.
    10a Heh, maybe. Too good a pun for me not to use.
    13a The poet’s turned *to* drink, in other words, to face it. I can see how you’d parse it as you did, but isn’t that a matter of clue interpretation? Or am I stomping on convention? Hmmm. I wrote in my answers blog post that I’d wondered if two bits of GK in the clue/answer was a bit much. Personally though, I like learning things, and if I come to a clue where I find myself thinking “ooh, I don’t know this, maybe there’s such a thing as a… Tussore Moth?” (or whatever) from the wordplay, or if I can’t solve a clue because there’s a fact/word I don’t know, I don’t mind. I learn! Obviously though, a puzzle full of obscure GK references should be avoided, unless it’s deliberately a Toughie. Err, I appear to be rambling, and answering a point that neither of you made… 🙂
    21a Oh, you’re quite right. Why did I do that?!
    32 “to be” were link words, as I saw it, leaving only the single word def, which I think’s ok.
    2d I wondered about capitalising One, but that seemed too much a giveaway.
    3d True! Amazing how often you (err, well, “I”) can fail to spot something right under your nose.
    8d Glad you both thought it was funny. 🙂 How about if I offer this definition of Purgatory?: “A place where you are forced to wait until someone else in authority allows you to move on to somewhere else (that’s hopefully better)”. Seems to work for the answer too. I think chameleon’s right that it’s more gettable the other way round, and I did think for a bit as to whether it was fair. But I went for it, mostly for the humour.
    24d Oh, another miss… I could’ve put “I’ve told you twice already. You can have.. etc” 🙂 I wondered if this sort of sneakiness was “allowed”. Maybe it is now!
    27 Yes, cricket, where the two terms are synonymous.
    The homophone point is interesting. I’ll have to ponder that one.

    I haven’t been to BD44 for a while, but I see you’re both up there. Been a bit low on solving time of late (and I’m slow at it), but I’ll try to get to them both soon.
    Thanks again guys*, much appreciated!
    Void
    *…making an assumption, there. Send 10a round to caution me if needed!

    #702

    Gonzo
    Participant

    Hi again,
    Did some research on ‘turning to’ since I had read your clue as ‘(XYZ turning) to B’, so not so sure of my ground in the sense ‘XYZ (turning to)’ B. Web search
    site:fifteensquared.net "turning to"
    shows in the topmost results ‘XYZ (turning to) B’ only being used to clue ZYXB. So it may be a case of how libertarian do you want to go.
    I’ve always taken ‘A to B’ as clueing AB, but I have no authority to call on and couldn’t find examples in a reasonable time. 🙂

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