15 thoughts on “A puzzle by Whynot

  • 6th November 2017 at 8:43 pm

    Hi Whynot. On Big Dave’s suggestion today I had a look at this puzzle. It was certainly unusual with many good disguises, inventive constructions and clever definitions. I found a lot of it quite tough, but I did really enjoy it with lots of “d’oh” moments as the clues slowly fell into place. Initially I put a plausible wrong answer in for 5d using the correct middle word as my final word which held me up for a while, but I got there in the end with only the first word of 6d still unparsed. I am at a complete loss with the transcript but I’ll keep digging away at it.

    I expect there are those who won’t like it, but I thought 15d was one of the best homophones I have ever encountered. I’ve got a long list of ticks: 1a, 9a, 11a, 19a, 22a, 29a, 15d & 21d.

    Very well done and many thanks for the entertainment. Keep them coming!

    • 8th November 2017 at 4:38 pm

      Hamish (Soup, the editor) advises me that this puzzle has not yet even been announced to the magazine’s subscribers yet: that will happen when November’s edition comes out next week, and the full solution should be revealed a month later in mid-December.

    • 8th November 2017 at 4:40 pm

      Also, re 6d, clothing is usually divided into two broad categories. Does that help?

  • 7th November 2017 at 2:45 am

    Cheers, Dave, you’re very kind. I had a lot of fun making it. I’m tempted to give you a hint with the endgame, but I’ll hold off for a bit. Someone else who followed BIg Dave’s link tells me (via the Guardian Crossword Blog comments) that he’s cracked it, so it’s doable (assuming he’s done it right), but it may depend whether the subject matter overlaps much with your GK: obviously the more familiar you are with it, the more likely the penny will drop quickly. I’m not sure when the full solution gets published myself (I’m new round here), but possibly in a month when the next issue of the magazine comes out (?). As you can see, I’m only the second one up here and I think it’s evolving anyway, as I note the first (Balrog’s) was not edited, which apparently allowed an unfortunate error to creep in, while mine was edited very thoroughly (and is the better for it, thanks, Hamish).

  • 7th November 2017 at 8:06 am

    Some really groanworthy puns amongst the definitions and wordplay – I really like that. Very enjoyable. Thwarted at the end by 2 crossing obscurities – looked one up and was able to then guess the second, confirmed by Google (I live 20,000 km from UK, know nothing of its minor cultural icons from many decades ago).
    Didn’t take long to guessed what production was mounted in Beirut, but had to go to Wikipedia for a description of said production, to be followed by more groans from yet more terrible puns. Tremendous!
    Grid shape: did you only include the corners since the Guardian blog on US crosswords came out? Quick turnaround time. For the rest, I’m not so keen on words with more unchecked than checked letters – all the downs and 2 7-letter acrosses. Just personal preference.

    • 7th November 2017 at 1:35 pm

      Haha! Glad you share my groanworthy sense of humour, isla3! Sorry about the parochialism of the major (! for many of us of a certain age and nationality, at least) cultural icon, and glad you worked out the crosser (from wordplay?). Well done on cracking the transcription: as I said to Rabbit Dave, above, how easy that is will depend on the range of your GK; it’s not really my speciality either, but that of the individual, “A”, I originally created it for, and I needed Wikipedia for most of the info myself. In fact the whole conceit really originated with the pun on the work referred to (which, as A pointed out, is not actually original), quickly followed by the “crafter” (which is mine alone, I believe).

      Of course you’re dead right about the low checking ratio and, as a fledgling setter, learning more about grid construction has been one of the main lessons, so I hope future offerings will not suffer from this fault. In fact the puzzle as originally made was so bad that A couldn’t finish and it was on the basis of his condemnation of 4x 3-letter lights in the NW and SE corners with only one crosser each, that I reworked it with the “American corners” — so, to Alan Connor’s disappointment no doubt, it wasn’t his influence but pure (and happy) coincidence.

      Thanks for your valuable feedback.

  • 27th November 2017 at 9:58 am

    Looking forward to this challenge. Sometimes the automatic subtitles go beyond nonsense and become quite high-minded. I recall a weather forecast warning of dull weather approaching; the subtitles however announced; “There’ll be Grace, guys. Coming from the East.”

    • 27th November 2017 at 1:07 pm

      Good luck, Jack. The inspiration was seeing a senior US official’s words transcribed as “… the former Yugoslavian president slobbered on the loss of rich”.

      • 27th November 2017 at 1:33 pm

        Well that was fun! I’m a bit of a fan of “10a 23a” and seem to share an “I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue” sense of humour, so it wasn’t too hard. And plenty of chuckles along the way. A clever piece of construction and some outstanding clues. Well done!

        Is 11a – joined to a substantial cable – a way into another production in Beirut??!

        • 27th November 2017 at 1:43 pm

          Thanks for your feedback, Jack. Glad you enjoyed it, even if it was all over only too soon (unlike certain productions). Yowza! You’ve apparently spotted a brilliant yet quite unintentional distracter. Hope none of that’s a spoiler.

  • 27th November 2017 at 10:00 am

    There was a correction from a newspaper (I forget which or when) in Private Eye a while back, saying something along the lines of ‘Last week we reported a collection being taken for the Grey Starling lifeboat. That should have read Grace Darling.’

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  • 28th December 2017 at 9:56 am

    Hello folks –
    The solution’s now up, if you’re tearing your hair out!
    Merry Christmas,

  • 6th January 2018 at 5:00 pm

    A big thank you to all who commented and to Hamish for a remarkably light touch in editing. I am indebted also to Alberich (the setter, not the nibelung), whose love of Wagner inspired this puzzle and for whom it was originally intended and whose many helpful comments on its first, ill-begotten incarnation helped bring it to a state fit for publication.

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