9 thoughts on “July 2018

  • 23rd July 2018 at 3:37 pm

    Hi folks – a few people have commented on Skipjack’s puzzle. The finished thing should be properly cylindrical with no holes; the cutout (if you want to cut it out) is a perfect rectangle, not one with wiggly edges. In the second row, there’s half a brick on the right and half a brick on the left which, when made into a cylinder, form a single brick.
    Hopefully this makes sense – keep at it, it’s a good ‘un!

  • 24th July 2018 at 7:52 pm

    I wholeheartedly endorse the last few words, Hamish. I’ve just wriiten up my comments on the month’s offerings and said this about that puzzle. “Skipjack gave me hours of fun. Some tough solving, but such clever – and very precise – cluing that when an answer came there were no doubts. Filling the unfamiliar grid pattern was another type of puzzle; but it is eminently logical and I was soon emboldened to swap pencil for pen.” Don’t be put off by the unusual grid (and do remember that the “edges” aren’t edges!)

  • 27th July 2018 at 7:46 pm

    Thanks – I couldn’t work out the grid at all, not realising what it would look like as a cylinder – but all was explained when the half bricks joined up to become one! I do agree it’s a corker, the clues are great and the placement in the grid another challenge but really rewarding.

  • 29th July 2018 at 8:24 am

    1 May I say how much I agree with your editorial comments about Eureka moments, in my opinion more especially around themes etc. It was a real downer last month in 1851 when my brainwave for the perimeter didn’t quite fit with just 27 letters. It was no consolation later to find it was right and argue that the preamble didn’t say it fitted exactly.
    2 The Skipjack puzzle: I think I’m with the wrap around concept OK but it is down I can’t get to grips with in spite of having answers to roughly 2/3rds of the clues. Am I right in saying that an 8-letter solution that doesn’t start and end with the same letter cannot be part of a wrap? Without anybody giving too much away I could do with a strong hint or push please.

    • 29th July 2018 at 9:21 am

      Hi Ray –
      1) noted and passed on. Incidentally, in subsequent discussions with the setter, we agreed that perhaps the right way to go here would have been to have an asymmetrical puzzle – ie just missing out that square entirely.
      2: the grid is a perfect rectangle. Cut it out (no wiggly edges!) and tape it into a cylinder. For example, Row 2 has a half brick at the start and end of the row; they stick together to form a whole brick. A solution doesn’t need to have the same start and end letter to wrap.

      Let me know if this still doesn’t make sense.

  • 29th July 2018 at 9:38 am

    By way of example, let’s look at the top row: three bricks, bar, four bricks. Let’s say the answer is ANAGRAM (which it isn’t in the real puzzle!). This would be entered RAM|ANAG.

    Fourth row is a bit more complicated: Half brick, bar, brick on its own (which isn’t an across answer, just part of a down or downs), bar, five bricks, half brick. The two half bricks add together to make one brick. So in this row we have a brick on its own, and a solution which is six bricks long.

    It makes more sense when you cut the thing out and stick it together. Perhaps a better way to present it would have been to have a puzzle with wiggly edges and no half bricks; I’ll look at that in future. Hard to know what works best when it’s a new format!

  • 30th July 2018 at 8:17 am

    Thanks for your hints Hamish but one more please. It is the down’s I am struggling with in terms of word length, for instance, down from the top LH brick. Am I looking for a 7 or an 8 letter solution with the 5th letter going in one of 2 possible bricks?

  • 30th July 2018 at 8:37 am

    The solution starting in the top left hand brick is seven letters long. The alternation is always the same – ie the second letter is below and to the right of the first; the third letter is below and to the left of the second; the fourth letter is below and to the right; fifth is below and to the left, sixth is below and to the right, and seventh below and to the left.

    The word which shares some letters with this one starts on the third row, second brick in (which has a bar above it). The second letter of that word is also the fourth letter of the word which starts in the top left brick. The third letter is directly below the first letter. The fourth letter is also the penultimate letter of the word starting in the top left brick. The final letter is again directly below the first letter.

    Does this help?

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