Posted by petebiddlecombe on December 22nd, 2006
This is a sample review to show what you can expect in the New Year, when we hope to cover this puzzle every week. Jude is Mike Laws, editor of this puzzle.
On the same day as an Araucaria Alphabetical Jigsaw, this was a similar challenge, with a theme – Pythagoras’ Theorem. Altogether now: “the square on the hypotenuse is the sum of the squares on the other two sides”. Looking back with hindsight, the theme should have been easy to identify – the standard example of a right-angled triangle is the one with sides 3, 4 and 5 units long. The 3, 4, and 5-unit squares are in the grid, with the letters of the 3 and 4 making up the 5. We also have non-standard symmetry – reflective symmetry about the NW-SE diagonal which divides the grid into … two right-angled triangles.
But somehow this all passed me by, or I just got stuck into solving as many clues as possible. Doing it this way, the big step is to get one or both of the nine-letter answers, and then the seven letter ones that intersect them. The clues were easy enough for me to solve at least a third of them “cold”, which gave me enough to start pencilling things in and then working backwards from checked letters to get the rest. I never used the possible desperate step of identifying possible unclued lights by counting the entries of each length in the grid and then comparing this to the counts from clues, to get 5, 4, 5, 4, 5, 4, 4, 1. I eventually had enough letters in the three squares to start identifying letters that had to be in square C, or in A or B. This gave me the THREE/FOUR/FIVE unclued answers, and then the other unclued lights fell easily – the TROPHY/SAGA and ARGOSY/PATH anags of Pythagoras, and the cheeky I = 1 that “completes the grid”.
I didn’t time myself but would guess at about 90 minutes. Clues are given arbitrary numbers below – their positions in the sequences of Across and Down clues. There were plenty of clues here that you could solve without needing to look at Chambers, which I count as a good thing. So this time, the clue analysis is pretty brief.
|2||E.P.,HEDRA=heard* – in dodgy evidence = rather flowery anag. indicator|
|3||ERNIE – Wise, and the Premium Bonds selector, which is in caps|
|7||IBADAT – “a dab” in IT.|
|11||ORRIS = variant of iris.|
|13||(p)ROPER = a decoy|
|14||SODA WATER – (ADO|
|18||TERCE – (s)ecret|
|4||E(a)TEN – eten/ettin = giant is standard advanced cryptic fare|
|7||HEFT – 2mngs|
|15||REE(f) – ruff/ree = standard advanced cryptic fare too.|