Crossword News October 2017
Last month our Prize Puzzle was Farce by Yimin. The correct letters in definitions gave – Use a word in even rows. Google. A Google search would lead to this quote.
They brought one Pinch, a hungry lean-faced villain,
A mere anatomy, a mountebank,
A threadbare juggler and a fortune-teller,
A needy, hollow-eyed, sharp-looking wretch,
A dead-looking man: this pernicious slave,
Therefore, the work in question was Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors.
Here are some of the comments.
Often we complain because it is very difficult to complete a puzzle without the use of the internet, so it was a bit different to actually be told to use Google. I wonder how many solvers were familiar enough with the play to spot what was happening without the search. I certainly wasn’t. Thanks to Yimin..
Quite a difficult solve and a tough endgame for me: I was convinced the word was to be formed by one letter from each of the even rows, so didn’t get far with that. Back solved by guessing Syracuse and Ephesus as the likely settings and Google did the rest, with the intended endgame then becoming clear. Particularly liked the clues to 22ac and 6dn.
I thought it was odd for the instruction to explicitly tell me to use Google, but I think it’s fine for a crossword that is only available online to require the solver to find something on the internet. I probably wouldn’t have been able to find the quotation any other way because apparently nothing in The Comedy of Errors is worthy of appearing in ODQ. Once I had found the quotation I thought it was a little odd that we didn’t have to highlight PINCH in the top row.
There were 49 entries, of which 4 were marked incorrect. The lucky winners were Ros and Brian Rougvie who will soon be receiving a prize from Chambers.
There is a full solution at http://wp.me/p7qTXm-6u
My apologies for the mix-up with the October puzzle, J MILTON by Flowerman. An unedited version was published and for a few hours the second half of the down clues was missing. I have now put the correct version on the website and hopefully, the edition will make the puzzle fairer.
For November we have a return for popular setter, Wan, who will challenge you with A Setter’s Tragedy.
We now have a couple of puzzles for 2018 but more offerings would be welcomed.
Many years ago, Ian Simpson founded a group dedicated to studying Cain’s Jawbone, an unusual murder mystery novel written by Edward Powys Mathers, also known as the crossword setter Torquemada. I joined the group as I had a copy of the Torquemada Puzzle Book and the last 100 pages are the pages of Cain’s Jawbone. The pages were published in jumbled order and there was a competition with a prize of £15 for anyone who could put the pages in the right order. The group had little success in solving the puzzle.
I was, therefore, delighted when Ian posted on our message board that the book was going to be re-issued. You have a chance to fund the publication and have your name printed in the book.
This was Ian’s announcement.
Last year Patrick Wildgust, the curator of Shandy Hall, the home of Laurence Sterne, author of Tristram Shandy, made an appeal on the Guardian website for anyone who could help him with the puzzle. Following that appeal, I contacted Patrick, and over the last year some significant and exciting progress has been made.
Now, Shandy Hall, in conjunction with the publishers Unbound, are releasing a new edition of Cain’s Jawbone, and the competition has been revived, this time with a prize of £1000. More information, including details of how to buy a copy of the new edition, can be found here: https://unbound.com/books/cains-jawbone
You can discover more about the bohemian Torquemada here.http://www.crossword.org.uk/mathers.htm
Dent’s Modern Tribes is published in paperback this month. Susie Dent, the lexicologist made famous by her appearances on Countdown, has studied the specialised words and language used by different trades and professions and produced an amusing and interesting book.
Chambers are offering us this book as our prizes for the next couple of months and also offering it to winners of the Clue-Writing Competition. I have made it our Book of the Month on the Crossword Centre.
This month the word to clue is EQUIPOISE. More details at http://www.andlit.org.uk/cccwc/main.php
The details of the next Listener Crossword Setters’ Dinner have been released. The event will be held in the 1930s-style Salons du Relais, on the 1st floor of the historic Gare de l’Est, on Saturday 17th March 2018.
Plans are afoot to put up a statue of Colin Dexter, creator of the Inspector Morse novels and a noted crossword enthusiast. A site has been found in Summertown in the north of Oxford and the Inspector Morse Society has started a crowd-funding scheme to cover the £50,000 needed to pay for the statue.
I shall be in York on the 28 October to join other crossword enthusiasts on a weekend of cruciverbal events organised by John Henderson. More details are available on the Fifteen Squared website. http://www.fifteensquared.net/2017/04/14/york-sb-weekend-27-29th-october-2017/#more-107945
And finally, here is your chance to win a Georgian mansion by completing a Christmas-themed crossword.