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 honeycomb below is a fancy form of wordsearch in which every cell is used, and words can curl and zigzag but never overlap. Each hive foxer has a theme (some past ones: owls, rugby, Egypt, UFOs…). Identifying the theme is a vital part of the defoxing process. Today’s puzzle is composed of 22 answers, one of which is an acronym.
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Last week’s ‘33 things that appeared on newspaper front-pages in 2022’ missing vowels foxer:
1. RCH R DMFRR – RICHARD M FIERRO (ylla)
2. NFLT BLDCLRTR – INFLATABLE DECELERATOR (ylla)
3. NR STNCR SC – UNREST ON CORSICA
4. TL VSDSLP – TELEVISED SLAP (ylla)
5. TWT TRLYFFS – TWITTER LAYOFFS (Electric Dragon)
6. THMR CHN TFDT H – THE MERCHANT OF DEATH (Electric Dragon)
7. CHTQNST TTN – CHAUTAUQUA INSTITUTION (Colonel_K)
8. S TMDCK – STEAM DECK (Electric Dragon)
9. T RCNT GRY – TRUCE IN TIGRAY (Colonel_K)
10. CL DTM TSP – COLD TOMATO SOUP (Electric Dragon)
11. VKS NTCH K – VKUSNO I TOCHKA
12. JNJ YNZ D – JIN JIYAN AZADI
13. NRDST RMS BTG – NORD STREAM SABOTAGE (Electric Dragon)
14. L ZN CL LDSL V – LUIZ INACIO LULA DA SILVA
15. THTL SLN S – THE ATLAS LIONS (Colonel_K)
16. FSNG NTN – FUSION IGNITION (Electric Dragon)
17. DBBSVJCKSNWMNSHLTHRGNSTN – DOBBS V JACKSON WOMEN’S HEALTH ORGANISATION (Electric Dragon)
18. SH PLS TF RNHN DR DNDS VNY RS – SHIP LOST FOR ONE HUNDRED AND SEVEN YEARS (Electric Dragon)
19. LVST RMDLT TC – A LIVESTREAMED LETTUCE (Colonel_K)
20. CHR LS – CHARLES III (Electric Dragon)
21. DNTS KCDM CRGN LDRMTHT R – DONETSK ACADEMIC REGIONAL DRAMA THEATRE (Electric Dragon)
22. LSSR SS SHL – ALESSIA RUSSO’S HEEL
23. NR THKR NMSS LTSTS – NORTH KOREAN MISSILE TESTS (Electric Dragon)
24. NSG HTSF NLPHT – INSIGHT’S FINAL PHOTO (ylla)
25. LB RTNFKHR SN – LIBERATION OF KHERSON (Electric Dragon)
26. RC RDHGHT MPRT RNN TDKN GDM – RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE IN UNITED KINGDOM (Electric Dragon)
27. T HFL GSHPFR S SSBL CKSF LT – THE FLAGSHIP OF RUSSIAS BLACK SEA FLEET (Electric Dragon)
28. SMBN KM NFRD – SAM BANKMAN-FRIED (Electric Dragon)
29. NRCGN SDRFRNDMS – UNRECOGNISED REFERENDUMS (Electric Dragon, Colonel_K)
30. SL FDNS CTLN D – SELF-ID IN SCOTLAND (Electric Dragon)
31. SHTS GB LMRL YN – SHOT SAGE BLUE MARILYN (Colonel_K)
32. CPD T TPL TNGR MNY – COUP D’ETAT PLOT IN GERMANY (Colonel_K)
33. LWSHMLTNSFRSTWNLSSSSNNFRMLN – LEWIS HAMILTON’S FIRST WINLESS SEASON IN FORMULA ONE (Electric Dragon)
There’s a far too obvious:
F1 – MARY QUANT
(Happy new year everyone!)
F1 – MARY QUANT
B5 – BATH
Suggests something honours related (Mary got a gong in the New Years Honours and Order of the Bath being another gong)
As Nutfield says, Mary could be a bit too obvious, but Bath does leave FITTER going backwards on the top row which is also a word so maybe those two are good.
I’ve just remembered I am very bad at the word searches and always fall into any trap Roman sets.
Happy new year!
I assume MARY QUANT is a mini red herring…
There’s a very vowelless place around E10 – maybe the home of the acronym?
I5 – BORAT
Also G5 – THING, which would be the least helpful word Roman has ever included in terms of unlocking the theme.
D2 – BUTTER?
Or E2 – GUTTER?
K2 – LEADER
C2 – TRIPLED, which fits in with FITTER and BATH.
Would make C3 – OTTER? :p
I saw Gazer, and thought maybe Stargazer… but there is:
S6 – MOONGAZER, i don’t think that’s a thing though.
F11 – SIX
G13 – SPIRE
(Not confident of either, but uses the X)
K4 – STELLING, in the unlikely event that there’s a sports programme presenter theme.
That answer would be unbelievable Jeff.
I7 – RATSKIN, which as we all know is a race from Necromunda… (Another one to throw on the trash)
F5 can start QUOTE, QUOTER or QUOTED.
A7 – FITBA, in case the theme is The Broons.
H10 – BOUNTY, which runs on from SPIRE
Though that does rob any vowels along the border of Consonant Country
If Spire takes the lower i, you can add i9. Beat and L8. Reskin
but that leaves you with an X, a Y, and a Z to the lower left of that area.
G4 – PYTHON
I5 – BOOMING
Still no closer to a theme.
F5 QUANTUM (just in case Mary isn’t joining us today)
D6 – IRISH
Roman is taking no prisoners this week. (Not a clue).
That said, three correct answers – two six-letter words and one seven-letter word – have been found.
Quantum (clashes with Bounty)
Tripled / Triple-D
Bounty (clashes with Quantum)
Butter / Gutter
(Quoter / Quoted)
G7. KYRGYZ (runs along Quantum and uses up 2 Ys and a Z)
G6. BIMBO (fits in the space of the above plus Python)
A few random spots with still no clue as to a theme.
K1 – ALPS
K2 – LEADERS
L5 – BMX
K9 – KERAPA
I9 – BEATER
C8 – SHARK
I had a whole list of short and unremarkable words that i scrapped yesterday because it felt like nobody had really gotten the theme and adding more random guesses wasn’t going to be constructive. But with this lack of new words overnight i wonder if posting them anyway might’ve prompted some different ideas.
Let’s try again.
H10 BRIX (measurement used in sugar industry)
G13 SPIN (vaguely related to qubit/quantum)
J3 LION (fits next to bombing/python/quantum/kyrgyz)
L5 BMX (although a more likely corner for the acronym is E10 PDX etc)
This is a tough one.
Some more agricultural/horse things (American spelling)…
Trying to find stuff around the python/bombing cluster…
M3 MEDAL (could also be MEDALLION)
I make that 40 words we’ve found between us yet no theme yet, which is amazing.
With 22 words to find it’s under 6 letters per word which I think is unusually short for one of these – usually we find a couple of longer words which have to be right but no such luck this week.
“Seven of the 22 words have been discovered (2x7l, 3x6l, 1x5l, 1x4l). Somewhat unusually, all seven were included because they are sometimes seen adjacent to this week’s theme word.”
EDIT: Sorry, that should have been eight. I’d missed a correct 9 letter answer.
BEATER might be a red herring, if KYRGYZ is in.
This feels reasonable.
Another possibility is M6 AXMINSTER
That leaves room for M3 MEDALLION and L5 BAG
The acronym could be M7 PAR (carpet rating system).
Leaves us with some funny letters where KYRGYZ would’ve been, though, and no BEATER either.
Since Tim’s last reply (which makes this like playing some verbal form of Mastermind board-game), we have gained 1 seven, 1 six, 1 five and 1 four.
Two sevens were suggested:
LEADERS – though Leader was floated earlier and I feel Tim would’ve been kind enough to suggest we had a partial answer.
Therefore, BOMBING is the only word I feel confident of.
Since Bombing disallows Booming, our possibilities for the 2 sevens are:
Bombing + Quantum – most likely, I fancy
Bombing + Tripled / Triple-D
Bombing + Ratskin – outside chance
– – – – – – – – – –
Sixes that have been put forward in the interim, one of which ought to be correct:
Theme suggestion – CARPET
E10. PDX – Portland International Airport’s carpet has a Wikipedia entry
ETA: G1. INSPIRAL
(looks like Python finishes at H2.)
Then there’s D2. BURN
That gives us:
M7. PAZYRYK – oldest surviving carpet
“the earliest surviving pile carpet is the “Pazyryk carpet”, which dates from the 5th-4th century BC. It was excavated by Sergei Ivanovich Rudenko in 1949 from a Pazyryk burial mound in the Altai Mountains in Siberia. This richly coloured carpet is 200 x 183 cm (6’6″ x 6’0″) and framed by a border of griffins.”
ETA: I reckon i9. BEATER is back in.
Fantastic! I am learning more than i ever expected to know about carpets.
One left to find on the lower right edge, formed of EIS RP NI SI K
(unless part of of it is a two word term that belongs to Beater, PDX or Bowls).
1. B2 PIROT
2. A7. FITTER
3. B3 LOTTO
4. D5 RED
5. E6 PILE
6. B7 TABRIZ
7. E9 TACK
8. C8 – SHARK
9. F1. MAGIC
10. D2. BURN
11. G4 – PYTHON
12. G1. INSPIRAL
13. I5 BOMBING
14. F5 QUANTUM
15. H10 BOWLS
16. E10. PDX
17. M3 MEDALLION
18. M6 AXMINSTER
19. L5 BAG
20. M7. PAZYRYK
21. I9 – BEATER
G13 – SIERPINSKI