Home Forums Your puzzles "Thank You And Goodnight" by Gonzo

This topic contains 9 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Whynot 6 months ago.

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    Hello all, pleased to be here.
    Here is my second puzzle (the first is awaiting publication elsewhere).
    I aim to be ‘libertarian but fair’ in my setting πŸ™‚
    Suggestions for improvement are welcome, especially ones that bring in more thematic references…
    Solution and notes in a couple of days – I hope you enjoy it.



    Hi Gonzo,
    I’m having a go. 7 clues left.
    1a is nicely pleasing.



    Hi Gonzo, I had another bash, and I’m down to just 4 left in the SE corner. I think I’ll stop there and check out the solution when you post it.

    I’m a fairly slow solver, and with most of your clues, when I finally got there, it was with a smile, a groan or an “ah!” – which is a good thing in my book. Other faves were 5, 20 & 21.

    I’m not that fussed about double unches, but when <50% of the letters are checked also, that makes ’em harder. (I’ve been guilty of this myself… trying to improve)

    Was needed needed in 9a? Should be ” Poppets’ ” in 14, I think?




    Hi Void,
    answers attached.
    The grid was made from scratch starting with the key theme-words, then I looked at it and saw that it had a couple of triple-unches as well as those doubles.
    I managed to get rid of the triples. So yes, I’m still working on my grid design too. πŸ™‚

    Glad there were some smiles.

    In 9a, ‘needed’ is not needed, nor the two indefinite articles. But I personally find clues that read like telegrams irksome after a while, so if I can make a clue more like normal speech without breaking the cryptic grammar, I like to. ‘A needed after B (to make C)’ rather than ‘A after B (makes C)’ or ‘B A (makes C)’.



    Hi Gonzo,
    Cheers for the answers. I take your point about telegrams. πŸ™‚
    I was stuck on 22, 30, 23 & 24.

    (Does one still have to write “spoilers” after the answers have been posted? Oh well, it can’t hurt…)
    22 – I should have got.
    30 – I wasn’t twigging that sense of “mortal”. D’oh. Probable would’ve got it with more crossers.
    23 – Yep, should’ve got that too.
    24 – I see what you were doing with last word, but I don’t think I’d’ve got there without an abbreviation indicator.
    Mind you, I think if I’d got any one of those 4, I’d’ve then got the other three from the crossers.

    Well, overall, you kept me amused, so cheers!
    I’ve been thinking of posting one of mine here. Might do that soon…



    Thanks for the feedback πŸ™‚
    I assume that’s you with a puzzle over in Rookie Corner on Big Dave’s site? I’ll take a look.



    Yes. But I’d skip it if I were you. Awful surfaces. Onwards…



    Found this pretty tricky but got there in the end, although the theme went right over my head. I’m not sure what the significance is of “Thank you and Goodnight”. Is that a clue to the theme, and if so, how?

    I was a bit put off by the double unches, especially where they’re at the beginning and ending of answers (8d, 14d), but decided to have a go anyway and managed it. Alberich has quite a good article on grid construction you may find helpful.

    There were some very good clues. I have noted in particular 1a, 14a, 16a, 2d, 5d, 18d (although that last was a word I’m barely familiar with and had to look up to be certain of it). I quite liked the ‘soft touch’ theming once I had googled the relevant material.

    A few notes:

    *** SPOILERS AHEAD ***

    22a I think the standard abbreviation for the Department of Employment was DoE, not just DE.

    26a You’ve defined a French word (“Nice woman”). Although “Nice” was helpful, I think you should just have defined it as the English word, also meaning ‘woman’.

    27a False downcasing is not usually allowed, and the missile is Trident.

    28a I didn’t know the song, but as you helpfully gave three ways to get to the answer it didn’t matter and I was interested to learn about it. I actually got it from “working daily”.

    30a I think it’s not right to make up the spelling of a homophone like this. LEFAL from “Cockney’s mortal” would be ok, but probably not LEEFUL, even though that would fairly obviously be pronounced the same way.

    4d Is FETTLE a potter? Or just something a potter does? I didn’t know the word except as in the expression ‘fine fettle’.

    7d I think ‘which is to be paid’ would be a little better. I didn’t understand “(to banks)” till I looked at the solution and although I see what you’re trying to do, I don’t think it quite works, not least because “banks” should be capitalised (see above).

    23d I think the “and” is wrong as it makes Henry the subject of “going doolally”, not “archives”. Removing it doesn’t spoil the surface. I think simply ‘shows guts’ would have been better, too.

    24 “Last word” for ‘ult.’ is a bit loose

    Thanks, Gonzo.



    Hi Whynot,
    thanks for taking the time to respond.
    (I think if anyone has read this far, they have tried the puzzle or aren’t going to πŸ™‚
    The title seemed appropriate for an in memoriam puzzle, and was taken from this list

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ships_%28The_Culture%29
  • My short list also included
    “Just Read The Instructions”
    (now the name of a real spacecraft) and
    “What Is The Answer And Why?”

    To answer some of your specific points (and not getting into matters of taste):
    22a – so did I, but Chambers disagrees and I’ll take what I can get πŸ˜‰
    4d – actually, ‘fettle’ is something that a potter does (knock the rough edges off fired pots) but it also (amazingly) means ‘to potter, to concern oneself with trivial business’.
    23d – Good point.
    24d – I was hoping that the link ‘last word in/the ultimate in’ and the common currency of the legal abbreviation for ‘in the last month’ would excuse me from an abbreviation indicator. But perhaps it has fallen too far out of use.

    It didn’t occur to me that downcasing Trident would be considered unfair. I could have used a generic missile rather than a specific one.
    But in 7d capitalising banks would have been a spoiler. Also the point is that tribute ‘has been paid’ (by the puzzle) – the clue is really there for the benefit of someone who has spotted the theme already, or who knows the material and needs a nudge.

    I’d certainly be interested to read how other compilers of themed puzzles design their grids for maximum theme-word potential.



Thanks for explaining the title. “Just Read the Instructions” as the (apparent) instructions would have been nicely baffling (but wouldn’t have helped any more as I’m not familiar with the books). It’s good that knowing nothing about the theme wasn’t a bar to solving.

22a Yes I discovered ‘fettle’ as something a potter does by googling it (although some disagreement about exactly what). Should have looked in my old Chambers which gives “to potter fussily about”.

24d I think there should have been an indicator as you mean “an abbreviation for ‘ulimate'”, but not necessarily if you had defined it by “in the last month”.

I understand why you didn’t want to capitalise Banks, but that doesn’t make it fair and your clue doesn’t indicate that you mean the whole puzzle is a tribute to him anyway. Anyway, it didn’t stop me getting the right answer.


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