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”, “Tulip mania”, “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 ‘33 things wot you might find in Morocco’ missing vowels foxer:
1. NTTL S – ANTI-ATLAS (a_monk)
2. T HYR SFL D – THE YEARS OF LEAD (Zwack23)
3. THC V SFHR CLS – THE CAVES OF HERCULES (Zwack23)
4. LLTTRS VLT – ELLIOTT ROOSEVELT (Zwack23)
5. CR KKFR ST – CORK OAK FOREST (Colonel_K)
6. CHKND CH – AICHA KANDICHA (a_monk)
7. DSS TRFN NL – DISASTER OF ANNUAL (ylla)
8. SSR – ESSAOUIRA (a_monk)
9. FS SLTRDR – FOSSIL TRADER (Electric Dragon)
10. PNHR DBR – PANHARD EBR (Colonel_K)
11. FLSM RGRT – FELIS MARGERITA (ylla)
12. GMR – GOUMIER (a_monk)
13. RGCH GG – ERG CHIGAGA (a_monk)
14. MRB NS LD – OMAR BEN SALAAD (Electric Dragon)
15. ZL LJTLS – ZELLIJ TILES (Colonel_K)
16. RNDP LYRS – RONDA PLAYERS (Phlebas)
17. Y VSSN TLR NTSSHS – YVES SAINT LAURENT’S ASHES (Electric Dragon)
18. KTMRS BY – KIT MORESBY (Electric Dragon)
19. TNGRN – TANGERINE (Electric Dragon)
20. FRCSFR STHG HSP DR LWY – AFRICA’S FIRST HIGH SPEED RAILWAY (Electric Dragon)
21. TRCL MBNGGT S – TREE CLIMBING GOATS (Zwack23)
22. THBRT HPL CFT HWR LDTR DRGN ZTN – THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION (Zwack23)
23. MRT HNDSS BLS – MARATHON DES SABLES (a_monk)
24. RPB LCFS L – REPUBLIC OF SALE (Electric Dragon)
25. THNR TH RNN DFTHW STR NSH RB RM – THE NORTHERN END OF THE WESTERN SAHARA BERM (Electric Dragon)
26. HC HMLG RRJ – HICHAM EL GUERROUJ (Zwack23)
27. FR CSLR GSTC RPLNT – AFRICA’S LARGEST CAR PLANT
28. NTF NGHLP HBT – NEO-TIFINAGH ALPHABET (Electric Dragon)
29. FNDQ – FUNDUQ (ylla)
30. PHN CNCLNY – PHOENICIAN COLONY (Electric Dragon)
31. SV NTYFVP RC NTFT HWR LDSPH SPHTR SRVS – SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF THE WORLDS PHOSPHATE RESERVES (Electric Dragon)
32. L SLND – ILSA LUND (Colonel_K)
33. NFTR WBRD GST WNTW NS – ONE OF TROWBRIDGE’S TWIN TOWNS (Zwack23)
B5 is a GoG Galaxy library by the looks of it.
B2 – Cambridge Union debating chamber
D3 – Piccadilly Circus by LS Lowry
B3. FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE book cover (Ian Fleming, obvs.)
C2 – Jean Michel Jarre: Orient Express / Equinoxe IV
Finally one I could do without Google.
Broadening the scope to CHINA:
C2 – Jean Michel Jarre: The Concerts in China vinyl cover
to go with:
C3 – Heart of China game from 1991
Apparently Heart of China includes a swordfight on top of the Orient Express, and Bond escapes on the Orient Express in From Russia with Love. Finally another link!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horror_on_the_Orient_Express for Call of Cthulhu?
… and Van Helsing took the train to chase Dracula
Re: D1. The cuff insignia seem to be Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve(1942-1951) rank of Lieutenant Commander.
I’m guessing the slogan is along the lines of “information. the greatest weapon”.
Ian Fleming reached a rank above, making full Commander.
ETA. It’s OPERATION MINCEMEAT, 2021 film
“Deception. The greatest weapon in war.”
E5 ‘Solidus of Julian issued at Ravenna in 361, during his war with Constantius’
That was quite a rabbit hole of late Roman coins!
B1 – Ken Barr, “Road to the Rim”
C4. Bram Stoker’s DRACULA “climbing like a lizard” on his castle’s walls
ETA: D5. might just be Ghillie Suit, but it’s not on that Wikipedia page. Dunno then if its’ the conflict or the weapon.
Still on D5. I think he’s British and carrying an L85A3.
D5 is not British but rather a National Guard of Ukraine sniper at a training center.
The sniper rifle looks like a Desert Tech SRS A1: http://www.transientoutdoorsman.com/blog/2017/7/4/review-desert-tech-srs-a1
C1 – Giovanni’s Room, Philadelphia
Named for a James Baldwin novel
A1 – is a BALDWIN RF-16 “Sharknose” diesel locomotive.
A2 – Another Country is also the title of a 1962 novel by James BALDWIN.
B2 – Cambridge Union: James Baldwin debate with William F. Buckley
B1 – Go Tell It on the Mountain is a 1953 semi-autobiographical novel by James Baldwin. It tells the story of JOHN GRIMES, an intelligent teenager in 1930s Harlem.
So B2, A2, A1, B1, C1 is definitely BALDWIN.
E2 – Steve McQueen, Le Mans, 1970
I think A5 is the Hockenheimring but haven’t yet found the right spot.
Yep. I was lucky first time on the photoshpheres (rather unusually):
It is Hockenheim, can’t get a Web link on this tablet but here’s a Maps link.
A2 – Rupert Everett, Colin Firth from Another Country, 1984.
Another Country: also a James Baldwin novel
E3. is unusual in that it’s the only one with a (green) ring on it, so I presume it’s meant to highlight something.
It’s the tailfin of an aircraft. The fixed upright part on the left is the ‘vertical stabilizer’; the swiveling part on the right is the ‘rudder’.
I guess what we’re looking for is the part of the rudder that’s upstream of the pivot axis.
E1 – Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)
E3 – literally a ring on a tail?
It’s a HORN-balanced Rudder
with the HORN highlighted.
Together with ‘Love Dart’ it makes me wonder whether Roman has finally gone _there_.
Piccadilly Circus of course has the statue of Eros…
I’ve never heard of Tom HORN before, but he shot a man called DART, died on a JULIAN gallows, and was played in a film by Steve McQueen.
Nice cheery link for Christmas 🙂
E4 – Love dart of Monachoides Vicinus
A4 – looks like a pylon of the Manhattan Bridge.
It is, view from Pike and Henry St., as seen on the poster for Once Upon a Time in America (1984).
B4 Saltburn pier
Which is not that far from Whitby, a location in Dracula
A3 – Box art for the 1st edition of the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game
D1 – is the uniform of a Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) lieutenant commander between 1916 – 1958: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Naval_Reserve#/media/File:Royal_Naval_Volunteer_Reserve_rank_insignia_(1916-1958).png
Found it: Operation Mincemeat film poster: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mincemeat_%28film%29
Somehow missed Colonel_K’s answer…
C2 – Jean Michel Jarre, Orient Express
C3 – Heart of China game, swordfight atop the Orient Express.
C4 – Van Helsing rides the Orient Express in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
B3 – From Russia with Love, scenes on the Orient Express.
A3 – Horror on the Orient Express campaign from the Call of the Ctulhu role-playing game.
Sorry, I don’t think this was showing up for me earlier!
D2 – La Réunion island
C5 – Hollywood sign maintenance ahead of its centennial in 2023: https://www.stalbertgazette.com/lifestyle-news/hollywood-sign-gets-makeover-ahead-of-its-centennial-in-2023-5906597
D4 – Marsh Lock: https://goo.gl/maps/j4w9gxHmYqVeSEcm9
D5 – Desert Tech SRS used by the Ukrainian National Guard, exact photo in article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desert_Tech_SRS
The ghillie suit is also referd as Kikimora: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kikimora
If I’ve got the right cells for the Orient Express group, A4/B4/A5/B5/C5 are blocked off as a cluster in the corner.
A4 – Once upon a Time in America/Manhattan Bridge
B4 – Saltburn pier
A5 – Hockenheimring
B5 – GoG Galaxy library
C5 – Hollywood sign maintenance
I thought first lemurs, but it might be HARRIERS:
D1. MONTAGU’S – Colin Firth plays Ewen Montagu in the film
D4. MARSH (Western, Eastern and African varieties)
(A bit weak) E1. RING-TAIL is used informally for juveniles and females when seen in the field and not identifiable to an exact species.
I was a bit worried about D3. but it’s alright: the genus CIRCUS.
So D5 just because Tom Horn was active in the Wyoming DESERT? Unless someone can think of a better link 🙂
Well, the SRS stands for Stealth Recon SCOUT, so I’d go with the scout part as his first career and it’s in the title of his autobiography: ‘Life of Tom Horn: Government Scout and Interpreter’.
Anyway, I’ve lost interest now as I’ve learned of Solidus Snake and am _really_ disappointed that the connection isn’t ___ Snakes of the Metal Gear universe.
Ringtail seems to be specifically a young or female hen harrier, so I think that’s ok.
Any ideas about the last cluster?
I see GRIDS but it feels kind of weak.
A4 – Manhattan’s grid from the 1811 plan
A5 – Hockenheimring’s starting grid
B5 – GoG library’s grid view
C5 – The Hollywood sign’s steel grid structure
B4 – Saltburn pier ??? The funicular stations and entrance building’s facades have that Fachwerk-like style.
There are factoids about the individual clues that would work as Cluster Foxer topics but I can’t tie to the other four, eg:
A5. Hockenheimring – received planning approval on Christmas day, 1931
C5. Hollywood sign – will celebrate a significant milestone (centenary) in 2023
Taking a step back, the symbols Roman’s added are little Christmas trees. I would expect this semi-clue to be related to one of the groups, but I don’t think what we’ve solved so far qualifies in any way as Christmassy.
What’s just occurred to me still isn’t Christmassy and that’s Shortened Versions:
A4. Once Upon a Time in America – critically panned 2 hours and 19 minutes for US release
A5. Hockenheimring – started as 12 kilometres
B4. Saltburn Pier – was 1,500 feet (460 m) when opened
C5. Hollywood sign – originally read ‘Hollywoodland’
B5. Gog / Galaxy / GoG Galaxy ?? (Roman’s backlog ???)
BEST SEASONAL WISHES TO EVERYONE.
I really thought Operation Mincemeat was going to be part of a Christmas group. But this time last year we were figuring out island prisons, so seasonal cheer is definitely not obligatory!
GOG formerly Good Old Games?