Saturday, 20 February 2016

Seasons Greetings VII

Continuing in our tradition of supplying the Crossword Centre with its Christmas Prize Crossword, Logogriph designed an ingenious grid in the form of a Christmas cracker for the festive theme.  Extra letters in the wordplay to 30 clues spell out a cryptic clue to the theme word which occurs in the words defined by the other 10 clues and must be omitted from the entries to these 10, as indicated by their wordplay.

Finally, the appearance of the theme word in the grid had to be highlighted.  It must be said that this appearance was coincidental and entirely fortuitous in the construction of the grid.  Fortune certainly smiled on Eclogue in this instance!

Here are some of the comments.
  • Customary Christmas thanks to Eclogue for the seventh in their seasonal series. Disappearing elves this time around. Clues were fair and not too difficult so it was a gentle solve - I found it useful to spot the omissions at an early stage which helped with solving the remainder of the elf clues (so the letter message was just an aside).
  • I enjoyed the puzzle, thank you.  I love crosswords but I hate word searches.  Having completed the grid I could not quite determine what thematic character I was looking for.  Was it a pixie, goblin, gnome, leprechaun or any one of several other terms for elf?  Was it a name for an elf from fiction? What did “hidden in a straight line” mean?  Would the name be spelled out in alternate letters; every third letter; backwards; anagrammatically....?  I decided that I would not spoil a good puzzle by ending with negative feelings engendered by hours of grid-gazing. I would have one brief try. It was with some relief that ELF was found, relatively easily, in a diagonal - with no further complications.
  • Rather a lot of SELFs emerged as I went on (rather preferred the other ways of hiding the sprite), and very fortunate that Shakespeare had a different view of 13 down...
  • Finding words which did not begin with SELF must have been tricky, so excellent work with FLANNELFLOWER, DAMSELFISH and BARRELFULS. Many thanks to Eclogue

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Good Work

Puzzle 1422 in the Inquisitor series, this appeared in the Independent on 23 January 2016.  Its theme was to be derived from missing letters in the definitions, one per clue.  These gave the opening words of a novel, plus a two-word description of the author, which were to also indicate what should be removed from the grid so that the next instruction could take place.

The overlooked (or invisible) letters of definitions in clue order spell “THE STRANGER CAME EARLY IN FEBRUARY”, the opening words of THE INVISIBLE MAN by H.G.WELLS, described as a LETTERS MAN which indicated that all occurrences of the letters M, A and N were to be removed from the grid and the spaces delineated to read HGW.

The title, as well as potentially describing the novella also gives examples of words which comply with the theme, GOOD(MAN) and WORK(MAN).