2032: "Word Puzzles"

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rmsgrey
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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:10 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:Though right now I'm still trying to justify my answer to "Rocket an astronomical distance from the Earth (6)" (¿PARSEC?) because it answers one possible definition I can extract from the clue but doesn't seem to be an answer to the rest of it. I suspect I'll instead discover "LY", "PS" or (probably) "AU" is what that bit provides, in maybe naming a rocket.

Possibly SATURN - though I'm not sold on it.

6161 wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:Case in point, today on the Quick puzzle "Stratagem (4)" with a P and L as the first two characters was definitely 'PLAN' (highlight the space to reveal?), which fits the clue well. Except that I needed "Mountain Pass (3)" to cross its middle character as the third character of this one, and that one's definitely what it is...


...which is GAP, so what was the problem?


Yeah, that would be an acceptable answer, and would fit with the other cross-checks for the stratagem, but I'm assuming that Soupspoon had at least one cross-check for the mountain pass that eliminated GAP as a possibility - particularly considering there is a three letter word with the appropriate crosscheck that specifically means "the lowest point of a ridge or saddle between two peaks, typically providing a pass from one side of a mountain range to another." (Google dictionary)

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Soupspoon
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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:02 am UTC

First letter matches first letter of answer to "Bounder (3)" (which was an assumption at that stage but an obvious one), last letter matches last letter of "Of tailoring (9)" which might not be immediately obvious, but has shown up in this puzzle before (as with the non-GAP answer) and very confirmed by its own cross-links.

(When I was young, I remember reading a book (fiction/adventure, not sure how based upon fact) where some mesoamerican or similar native american civilisation had built canyon-wall citites - bear with me on this, it's getting relevent but not in the way you think! - which, to reach unaided, you needed to climb up or down rock foot-holds carved into the cliffs. The steps were apparently cleverly cut such that only if you stepped into the correct ones with the correct foot at their start, and then progressed onto the more treacherous slope from there the only way you could then continue to step, would you traverse the whole stepped escarpment safely. If you came at it wrong (like an outsider trying to sneak in might do) you'd instead end up in a position where you had been forced to overextend yourself and were now in the dubious position of hanging there, needing to call for help to move on (or back) or fall to your likely death as you tried to move on your own. Aside from the dubious nature of such a set-up, and maybe the memory of the describing passage being a bit rough around the edges as well, it's always in my mind when I start filling in 'obvious' answers in a crossword. What if the setter has deliberately/accidentally made it so that by choosing not-GAP instead of GAP I am 'confirming' other synonyms/alternatives of the real answer, and onward in a chain of 'obvious' choices, but leave myself with some clue almost on the other corner either 'confirmed' with total gibberish or (worse?) a clear wrong answer (such as FIDO instead of ADAM for "First man (4)". No doubt there have been attempts to lay such traps, maybe not across entire crossword grids like that, though. Anyway, probably not in this case, so this aside is probably nothing to worry about.)


I like the thing you're not sold on, BTW, but ditto I don't have much conviction about it. Before the day is out I shall surely have today's puzzles, with yesterday's answers. I rarely check them (occasionally for a word I think I should know, like_A_A_Y for "Whim (6)",and have no more clues to gather) and almost never the cryptic ones, but I shall make a point of checking this 'rocket' one, to see what it is, and maybe working out its actual construction. If I get a satisfactory answer (and 'working out how it is worked out') I shall spoiler it in here for anyone else who is still bothered.

Bear in mind that I'll also then have today's clues to worry about, but if i continue to post those, each day, this thread starts to be Second True Thread-ish, so I shall probably refrain from that!

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Soupspoon
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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:57 am UTC

rmsgrey wrote:Possibly SATURN - though I'm not sold on it.

Well, it is. That's official. Once I'd checked 17 across, instead of mistakenly looking at 17 down! ;) But still not sure why. Backing off by taking the two letters I thought were indicated gives nothing I can relate to the rest of the wordplay, nor any reason why. Maybe the wrong form of solution towards the right answer?

Soupspoon wrote:a word I think I should know, like_A_A_Y for "Whim (6)",and have no more clues to gather

(This was VAGARY, and nowhere near my mental radar. I don't think "Whim" was the best clue for that, even, but YMMV.)

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:26 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
(I only picked this paper up an hour ago, so I'm wondering what bird matches "T_U__N", knowing that it's probably a kick-myself moment when it clicks (TRU…? THU? TAU?), wondering if I have the correct letters for "Quotes (5)" being "_I_ES".. scratch that, just realised it's "CITES", and now that might help with the three remaining downs and one across in the standard crossword. But (apart from those already mentioned) I haven't done any of the more intellectual puzzle, to its side.)


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orthogon
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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby orthogon » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:42 pm UTC

Y'all's discussion reminds me of something I call the "penicillin effect": just as Fleming saw a region on his Petri dish where there were no bacteria, sometimes you see a word in a partially completed crossword grid that's surrounded by a suspicious amount of white, when the rest of the grid is nearly finished. This usually means the word is wrong, and is "inoculating" the nearby gaps against being solved by providing incorrect intersecting letters.

ETA: A bit late, but I guess a strategem is a PLOY.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

rmsgrey
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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:43 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:Possibly SATURN - though I'm not sold on it.

Well, it is. That's official. Once I'd checked 17 across, instead of mistakenly looking at 17 down! ;) But still not sure why. Backing off by taking the two letters I thought were indicated gives nothing I can relate to the rest of the wordplay, nor any reason why. Maybe the wrong form of solution towards the right answer?


Best I can get is a pun clue - it's the rocket, and it's a body which is (literally) at an astronomical distance from the Earth. For some papers, it's possible to track down explanations online.

"Rocket an astronomical distance from the Earth (6)"

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:34 am UTC

ECK138 wrote:
But if you solve it, you'll inherit Randall's vast fortune!


That could be interesting or not, depending if ended up with a bunch of 1950"s stars in a mad, mad, mad dash to Los Angeles, or a Mary-Sue retread of 80's pop culture.

What about a treasure chest buried in a national forest?
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Soupspoon
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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:54 am UTC

Do we know that Randall didn't parachute out of a 727 with a whole lot of cash?


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