Friday, May 8, 2009
hat and hy and hen and ho and here and ho
This is the first Elfman Listener I remember having a go at, a peek at the setters page shows two others, one from 2006 when I was not doing it every week. And there's Letters Latent (though not given as such), which used to be a turn-off, but I managed to complete last year's Letters Latent puzzle (though that was only part of the challenge - Key Cutting by Lavatch).
On a first run through the clues, I had most of the bottom half of the grid - the top stayed pretty empty for a long time. Most of the clues only lost one letter, so any repeating letters couldn't have been the latent ones - though knowing there were three latent letters in 35 helped a lot to see FEE(B)LER, taking a punt on B being flux density.
The good thing about having most of the bottom of the grid meant that I could get the phrase pretty quickly - looking at the very end, I had -I-(A/N)E(H/A/W) and given the title, it was probably going to be I KNEW. And knowing most of the across answers from 26-41, meant I could pluck out (E/A)-T-(A/D/S)ER(U/V)I - which looked like I could pick out "SERVING ". A bit of Googling later out popped the Rudyard Kipling (R.K. - Requisite Knowledge!) verse "I KEEP SIX HONEST SERVING MEN THEY TAUGHT ME ALL I KNEW".
Retrofitting words then got all of the bottom half out readily, sorted out that the W linking WHO, HOW, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, WHAT from the verse was in that blank centre spot. I was still stuck on the top left corner and had to do a lot of picking through and abusing the Quinapaulus search feature with adding in the letters I knew, the expected letter latent and the length of the clue to get NOMOS, ALRIGHT and PABULUM. But I got there in the end and my fear of Letters Latent is slowly evaporating.
Victory to George! Despite some agonizing hunt-and-pecking near the end it was a nifty finish, I like the little shape made by the words, and it was some nice work to get that long phrase into Letters Latent!
2009 tally: George 13, Listener 3. Current streak: George 2
I'm leaving for Australia next week (hopefully I'll have reliable enough access that posts for 4031 and 4032 will be made from down under, but they'll probably be brief). Very excited to be heading home, here's Melbourne's Greatest Band, TISM
Feel free to leave comments below, and see you next week for an art lesson.