Friday Foxer #170

This week’s handmade co-op puzzle won’t defox itself. If you’re a dab hand at quizzes, lateral thinking, and search engine sleuthing, why not help out.

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, on, or close to a factory or similar industrial facility’ missing vowels foxer

1. CR LCNNR – carla connor (ylla)
2. T RGD – tour guide (Colonel_K)
3. TRPLL VS – triple elvis (ylla)
4. MLSCVN GR – mule scavenger (Colonel_K)
5. P RVTSDNG – private siding (ylla)
6. MS CW HLYWR K – music while you work (Colonel_K)
7. PR ST NSMTT NMTC – preston’s mutton-o-matic (Electric Dragon)
8. RFT PTSTTR CK – rooftop test track (ylla)
9. NDS TRLSPNG – industrial espionage (ylla)
10. STRBTR – ostarbeiter (Electric Dragon)
11. RTDCR CHTC TR – art deco architecture (Aergistal)

12. SL GPTCR RR – slag pot carrier (Colonel_K)
13. CHRLCH PLN – charlie chaplin (ylla)
14. RDRCH ST RVTR – red orchestra avatar
15. HL THNDS FT YSS – health and safety issue (Colonel_K)
16. T LN DDM KR – tool and die maker (Colonel_K)
17. SKRS CHNDLR – oskar schindler (Aergistal)
18. STDW NST RK – sit-down strike (ylla)
19. MR LSBYD VRDMN CH – murals by edvard munch (Colonel_K)
20. CRM FRDDLLR – cromford dollar (Colonel_K)
21. NCN DSMLT RSTCK – anaconda smelter stack (Aergistal)
22. SC RRBT – scara robot (Colonel_K)

23. MNTNTT – munitionette (Aergistal)
24. RDFN DRS – ear defenders (Electric Dragon)
25. SHPSTW RD – shop steward (Electric Dragon)
26. RB YLF TSSC RWN GBRC HRNG – ruby loftus screwing a breech-ring (Electric Dragon)
27. DR HMSPRL FLR D – durham’s pure leaf lard (Electric Dragon)
28. VR CSLT – veruca salt (Phlebas)
29. NDLD D – ned ludd (Electric Dragon)
30. BLTWG HR – belt weigher (ylla)
31. PHS SYJW – phossy jaw (ylla)
32. SNGLGR DRLCTR CVR HDTR VL LNGCRN – single girder electric overhead travelling crane (Electric Dragon)
33. T HFF TNML LNTHM DLTFR D – the fifteen millionth model t ford (Electric Dragon)


  1. Borrowing Commodore L’s Guide to Signals again, I reckon A1. is the letter P

    ETA: Signifying:
    – In harbour: All persons to report aboard as about to depart
    – At sea: possible fishing vessels meaning ‘my nets have caught an obstruction’

    • It seems most of the new towns went for some sort of public art; in this case it’s
      A3. Victor Pasmore’s 1969 Grade II*-listed sculpture/bridge for PETERLEE new town, County Durham

  2. C3 is a map of Tasmania but I can’t find what it’s a map of. I trust that Roman’s sense of decorum means that the category isn’t Australian euphemisms.

  3. I assume D1. is a propane cannon of some nature. Without a munition it’s used for scaring birds and other animals from crops. This has a bipod, so maybe for chucking potatoes/gourds.

  4. E4. “The guided-missile frigate USS Underwood (FFG-36) passes beneath the Buzzards Bay Railroad Bridge after transiting west through the Cape Cod Canal”

    Named after a Captain, and the class of ship is named after a Commodore. Rather puts the kibosh on Colonels as group (keep looking out for those K pennants, though!)

  5. State of play:

    A1 – Blue Peter
    B1 – Peter No-Tail
    C1 – Black Peter
    B2 – Battle of Petersburg
    B3 – Petr Pavel

    D1 – AeroVironment Switchblade 300
    E1 – 12 Angry Men
    C2 – Switchblade Sisters
    D2 – Samson Switchblade
    E2 – Fallen Aces

    A2 – Corby
    A3 – Peterlee
    A4 – Harlow
    B4 – Bracknell
    one of C3/A5

    E3 – Colonel Parker
    E4 – unknown
    E5 – Colonel Custer
    two other cells, maybe D3 and D5?

    known cells not in groups
    C3 – “sightings” of thylacines/Tasmanian Tigers
    D4 – Leroy Anderson (1908-1975)
    C5 – James Walker Tucker (1898-1972) “Hiking”

    unknown cells
    A5, B5, D5, C4, D3

  6. It needs someone to confirm it, but D3. might be the Carnival of Ivrea / Battle of the Oranges.
    (I presume it’s not the team that’s being sought)

  7. 1936 is a group.

    B5 – Beehive building opened – 6 June 1936
    C3 – last Tasmanian Tiger died
    C4 – First flight of the Handley Page H.P.54 Harrow on 10 October 1936
    C5 – The Hiking painting

  8. I need someone to double-check: I believe the revolvers in E5. belonged to Ulysses S Grant.

    (Can be seen on a page not accessible in Europe)

  9. I think the COLONELS group might actually be about TYPEWRITERS:

    D3 – OLIVETTI typewriter company was based in Ivrea
    D4 – Leroy Anderson’s The TYPEWRITER for orchestra & actual typewriter (featured on the Wikipedia article for Typewriter)
    E3 – Wellington PARKER Kidder and the Noiseless Typewriter Company?
    E4 – UNDERWOOD typewriter company
    E5 – REMINGTON typewriter company

    • E3. “{Tom} Hanks is a collector of manual typewriters and uses them almost daily. In August 2014, Hanks released Hanx Writer, an iOS app meant to emulate the experience of using a typewriter; within days the free app reached number one on the App Store.”

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