EV 1571 (Setter’s Blog) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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EV 1571 (Setter’s Blog)

EV1571

Dotty Links by Wickball

Setter’s Blog


LCPL JONES & THE BOOK

DAD’S ARMY and The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (HHGTTG) both featured JOHN LE MESURIER, in the latter as THE WISE OLD BIRD; DON’T PANIC links the two series.

My original version of this puzzle had two major weaknesses.

Firstly, to identify the cells to be dotted, I labelled each column and row alphabetically along the top and the left sides outside the grid. Extra words in the clues were then used to provide the co-ordinates of said cells. This was too large, however, for the restricted space in the paper. Then I thought of the missing wordplay letters gimmick, which is less clumsy and also makes the puzzle more challenging.

Secondly, Wikipedia offered two acronyms for the second Show which could be entered into the grid, namely, HHGTTG or THGTTG. To avoid this ambiguity, I had to move the bars, resulting in a fair bit of reworking of entries and clues.

Then the editor told me that there were too many unchecked letters in the top and bottom entries. So another rewrite!

I thought both Shows were brilliant in their own way. In Dad’s Army all the characters were well-drawn (and acted) and true to life. The humour was just on the right side of ridiculous. John Le Mesurier was excellent as Sergeant Wilson the hapless deputy to the pompous Captain Mainwaring.

Hitch-hikers was a parody of the foibles of the then current technology and the world of commerce and hype. I heard that John Le Mesurier had been pencilled in as Slartibartfast, the planet designer who won an award for “the crinkly bits round Norway” but was unavailable and could only do the cameo role of The Wise Old Bird. The TV spin-off of the radio series was an inventive adaptation, despite some rather basic props (especially Zaphod’s second head), but I thought the film version was disappointing. For the uninitiated, I would recommend the five book “trilogy”, of which the last three extend the story of the radio show.

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A full review of this puzzle can be seen over on fifteensquared.


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