Friday Foxer #64

Every Friday at 1300 hours, Tally-Ho Corner’s cleverest clogs come together to solve a ‘foxer’ handcrafted by my sadistic chum and colleague, Roman. A complete ‘defoxing’ sometimes takes several days and usually involves the little grey cells of many readers. Don’t be shy. All are welcome to participate.

The ‘cluster foxer’ is regarded by some as the most demanding form. Solving one involves identifying 25 pictures and five hidden themes. The enlargeable mosaic below consists of five interlocked picture clusters (some possible cluster arrangements are shown above) each with its own theme. Themes have nothing in common with each other. Don’t be surprised to find, for example, “Crocodiles”, “The Spanish Armada”, “Words beginning with “ter””, “1948” and “Fictional policemen” sharing a puzzle. A picture’s connection to a particular theme won’t always be literal. An image of the Brandenburg Gate is just as likely to be part of a “Bach” cluster as a “Berlin” one.

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Last week’s geofoxer theme: characters in Matt Groening cartoons (defoxed by captaincabinets)

a. Prince Derek (Phlebas)
b. Zapp Brannigan (Electric Dragon)
c. Nelson Muntz (Aergistal)
d. Hermes Conrad (Phlebas, Electric Dragon)
e. King Zøg (Aergistal)
f. The Flanders family (Zwack23)
g. Queen Bean (Viscount, ylla)
h. Philip J. Fry (Colonel_K)
i. Bart Simpson (Colonel_K)
j. The Van Houten family (Aergistal)
k. Bender (Aergistal)
l. Waylon Smithers, Jr. (Electric Dragon)


  1. C4. MUSSOLINI wielding a pickaxe
    from La Domenica del Corriere, 3rd March 1935 ?

    ETA: E3. Mackenzie Crook as WORZEL GUMMIDGE

  2. D5. Early Irish banknote from 1918-20, I guess we need to find the actual note to find the obscured date.

    ETA: Might be earlier – 24 March 1884, the Pinterest label says 5 Pounds, but the picture sure looks like just One Pound

    • Collie here and Mackenzie at E3 are both the eponyms of Skye Cuillin peaks – Sgurr Thormoid for Norman Collie and Sgurr MhicChoinnich for John MacKenzie. Is that too obscure for the foxer? (Is anything? If not, there should be a Nicolson somewhere for Sgurr Alasdair…)

    • Convicted in 1931.

      A3. ?
      B3. Milan Station – opened
      A4. Capone – convicted
      A5. Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow – destroyed
      B5. Red, White & Blue – painted

  3. For the 1931 group, there’s a videogame from 1986 called “Empire City: 1931”, but I haven’t yet confirmed that that’s what’s shown in A4.

  4. The SS Sirio cluster layout suggests B3 – Milan Station is not in the 1931 group, whereas C5 – FD class loco is.

  5. Anti-tank missiles:
    B4. ZT3 Ingwe (=Leopard(s)) – South African
    B3. MILAN – Franco-West German
    B2. Spike – Israel
    C2. Vickers Vigilant – UK

    + 1 more (either A2. or D2.)

    The current thinking seems to be as follows:

    The year 1931 –
    A3. ?
    A4. Capone – convicted
    A5. Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow – detonated
    B5. Red, White & Blue – painted
    C5. FD class locomotive – introduced

    SS Sirio
    C3. first abbot of the rededicated Buckfast Abbey was a casualty
    C4. cover illustrations from La Domenica del Corriere by Achille Beltrame feature both Mussolini and SS Sirio
    D4. Hitachi Sirio
    D5. 24th March 1884 – launch date
    E5. Cape Palos, Murcia – near location of shipwreck

    • Anti-tank missiles:
      A2. AT-6 SPIRAL – Russia (as 9K114 Shturm) ?
      Using an Archimedean spiral is one way of squaring the circle. ?

      That would make Unknown Group 1
      A1. Vostok / (Gagarin ?)
      B1. Ivan the Terrible
      C1. All Bridges Burning: Red Revolt and White Guard in Finland, 1917-1918
      D1. Mius Front Black Snow
      and either
      E1. Sand Dune
      or D2. McCartney / something else about the artwork

      Unknown Group 2
      E4. Retro / Race ’07
      E3. Mackenzie Crook / Worzel Gummidge
      D3. Corrie / whatever the figure on the roundabout represents
      E2. Scanner Sombre
      and either A5. or B4.

      • D2. is something called ‘The Memoirs of Billy Shears’, which leans heavily on the ‘Paul (McCartney) is Dead’ conspiracy theory – following Paul’s accidental death, MI5 coerced the surviving members to accept and train a lookalike replacement; however rather than meekly agreeing, the 3 used obtuse lyrics to get the message out to their fans.

        D1. Black Snow is the title of an unfinished Mikhail Bulgakov novel also known as Notes of a Dead Man or A Dead Man’s Memoir.

        It could be that I see dead people. Or it’s just shepherd’s accoutrements: shears, collie dog, crook, ?, !

    • Completing the 1931 group, A3. is a monument to the victims of the Ådalen shootings (14th May 1931) by Lenny Clarhäll.

  6. MIKHAIL BULGAKOV works/characters

    A1 – Sharik (nickname of Vostok 3KA, eponymous pooch in Heart of A Dog)
    B1 – Ivan Vasilievich (play in which a malfunctioning time machine sends Ivan the Terrible to the 20th Century)
    C1 – The White Guard
    D1 – Black Snow
    E1 – The Master And Margarita (sand cat’s Latin name is Felis margarita)

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