EV1574 (Setter’s Blog) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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EV1574 (Setter’s Blog)


Obscurity by Chalicea

Setter’s Blog

Extra wordplay letters give ANAGRAM OF CIRCLED LETTERS, leading to CLOUD TYPES, of which four coined by LUKE HOWARD are highlighted.

As I say so often, when I ask for setters’ blogs for Listen With Others, the setter almost invariably says that so much time has passed since she set the puzzle that she has little memory of the process. I reply “Surely you can remember something of the origin of the idea and the setting process!”

Certainly, for me, the origin of this idea was accidentally reading about the nomenclature of clouds in Wiki: The essentials of the modern nomenclature system for tropospheric clouds were proposed by Luke Howard, a British
manufacturing chemist and an amateur meteorologist with broad interests in science, in an 1802 presentation to the Askesian Society.

Of course, my crosswords are known for having key information in diagonals but it seemed a good idea to put his name further over in the grid, leaving room for the four significant names and tricking the solvers who went straight to the leading diagonal. In addition, I know that I over-use the device of ‘an extra letter produced by the wordplay giving a message’ so I opted for a different device – the simple anagram produced by circles (hopefully some solvers will see that I attempted to use a cloud shape with those circles).

How else could I be original? Well, in order to include a lot of thematic material in a grid, I tend to abandon symmetry. My co-Numpty is convinced that very few solvers notice or care about symmetry. Maybe you will tell me if you consider it to be important in a crossword. This time I struggled (with less thematic material than I usually include) and managed to respect symmetry.

I’m always happy to produce a relatively gentle puzzle that gives some pleasure to solvers and provides information that is not familiar to a few.


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

1 comment on “EV1574 (Setter’s Blog)
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  1. Thank you Chalicea for an entertaining puzzle with a nice mix of clues, some generous and some trickier ones.

    I do tend to look for symmetry when searching for words in an endgame because most of the time that works, however I don’t think it’s crucial. Much more important for me is that any manipulations of the grid result in real words rather than non-words. I completely understand why setters do sometimes have to use non-words but it always leaves me feeling slightly disappointed.

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