lalita larking

An obsession with cryptic crosswords. Everything else falls in place.

Location: Kolkata, India

Monday, April 03, 2006

Pride goeth before destruction...

Almost arhythmic songsters (7)

I laughed myself nearly sick when I read that clue. The answer is Beatles, of course.

I gleefully mailed that clue to my buddies. "But that's slander," choked a friend, not just because he gets cross-eyed at the mention of crosswords. In vain, I tried to explain that nearly arhythmic is a clue, to the definition: songsters. Beat-less, with one less s. He still thought it was slander. I said, no it is just crosswords.

That same crossword held other gems, including a 35 letter long clue, whose solution was Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Themed crosswords are either dead easy or impossible. I cracked a Guardian Genius crossword once because Paul kindly used three 15 letters clues, all linked:

10's Persistent demands... (5,5,5) For rewards... (5,5,5) Enthusiastically accepted! (1,2,1,2,12,1,2,1,2) 10 was Father of the palindrome (4)

I solved 'enthusiastically accepted' right away, it's a no-brainer. I do, I do, I do, I do, I do.

So the others were clearly Gimme, gimme, gimme and Money, money, money.

Father of the palindrome is, needless to say, ABBA. :D

Last month's Genius crossword by Bunthorne was themed, too. It listed all the ingredients for a Bloody Mary. Brummie once shuffled the definitions and clues, so you had to solve the clues and match the definitions before you can enter them in the grid.

Alphabetical jig-saws are fun. Each solution starting with a letter of the alphabet, including x, y and z.

Apple inserted into orange possibly, within 10 feet (9) 10 here is X; an anagram of orange, followed by Ft for feet. Voila! Xenograft.

I think I grew complacent, having solved the last five Genius puzzles fairly quickly, Bunthorne's in less than 2 hours. Weekly prize puzzles were getting to be a doddle, too.

So today, the first Monday of the month, I checked out this month's Genius puzzle. It is by Araucaria, whom I love. There are almost always special instructions for these puzzles, so I didn't pay it much mind. I just took a print out, so I could solve it in the evening.

My heart sank as I read the instructions, though. Read for yourselves:

Special instructions: 17 is normal. 1, 6, 8, 9, 15, 19 and 23 across are of a kind and have incomplete clues. With the rest, each half of the clue belongs to a solution of the same length to be entered at a different place: thus, 2's clue refers half to 23 down and half to 25, none of it to 2 itself(except the number in brackets)

Solve it in the evening? It is going to take me many evenings of frustration to get anywhere with this one.

Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.



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