Posted by petebiddlecombe on January 12th, 2007
Just as we start a new year and begin to write about this puzzle every week, the Indie Weekend mag puzzle changes its name! It turns out that this is the second name change. Back in about 1989, we started off with the Independent Magazine Crossword – or at least, that’s what my old paperback collection calls it. Then, after 349 puzzles, the title changed to Weekend Crossword, restarting at puzzle number 1. So as those who completed Weekend Crossword #600 will already know, it was really number 949. The new name is a link to the Torquemada / Ximenes / Azed pseudonym tradition, with a nice echo of “Independent”. Apart from the change of name and losing the “always pink” grid shading, the series continues in the same fahion as before.
Just in case you thought I had all the facts above off pat, I must acknowledge some assistance from Mike Laws, the editor of the puzzle, who reminds me that the “real #1000″ will be on 15th December this year. If its theme is something “thousandy”, you read it here first.
This puzzle reminded me of a New Year Listener one by Kea in which some fiendish use of lines as an encoding system to represent letters resulted in a nicely drawn “2005” appearing in the completed grid. This puzzle uses a simpler method to get a similar effect for 2007, with the minor twist that you had to work out what was being done from about 3/4 of the full set of shaded squares. You should have finished up with something like this:
Although the numbers are a bit squashed together (why not a 15×15 grid with gaps?), each number uses a 6×3 block, so there’s no doubt about where the shading needs to be.
The “disregarded letters in wordplay” idea is fairly common in advanced cryptic puzzles. In the notes below, the clue answer is shown, with lower case for letters not indicated in the wordplay. The way of reaching the grid entry is then indicated in the usual way.
Solving time: I forgot to keep track of this – probably about two hours, slowed down a bit by stupidly thinking the message came from the first letters of the answers rather than the clues. Read the rubric more carefully, Peter!
|1||ThREEMASTERS – TREE,MASTERS|
|10||F,A.V.A. – a quick look at a fulltext search for “bean” in the CD-Rom version od Chambers shows that there are plenty more beans I didn’t know about.|
|11||NApPeD – P in rev. of DAN = “Desperate man”|
|12||RISEN – now I can see “knight’s flipping” = SIR rev., but I can’t work out the apparent “nut = EN” for the rest. Any offers?|
|26||rEES – initial letters – a ree is a “walled yard” in Scotland|
|28||TYLOtE – (to Ely)* – some part of a sponge – a cylindrical spicule, if that helps …|
|35||PAVER – P(al)AVER – with flag as in flagstone|
|36||GhArRI – GA., R.I.|
|39||BIG BANG – 2 meanings – beginning of time, and the change to electrinic trading on the London Stock Exchange|
|4||MEDaLS – MED.,L(ode)S|
|6||STROlLERS – STR.,loser*|
|16||ALEAtORIC – ALE,A,OR,IC|
|21||nOTEPAD – O,T,E,PA,D – I think this is a set of abbreviations but I may be wrong|
|30||v-SIGN – IS<=,G,N|
|37||rAs – A = Australian|