Friday Foxer #178

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.

Roman, THC’s Chief Foxer Setter, is old enough to remember the days when smog shovellers were a common sight on London’s streets and tripe & onion-flavour crisps were purchasable in most British hostelries. He also recalls the time when all Friday Foxers were collage foxers.

(To complete the defox, identify the hidden theme and explain how each component relates to it)

* * *


Last week’s Manual of Map Reading, Photo Reading, and Field Sketching missing vowels foxer:

1. PRFP RS MS – pair of prisms (Electric Dragon)
2. VDFNC YWR TNG – avoid fancy writing (Phlebas, Electric Dragon)
3. B RDSHLLS – buried shells (Electric Dragon)
4. NC HSFMRC RY – inches of mercury (Phlebas, Electric Dragon)
5. LB BRLN – lubber line (Phlebas)
6. KN DHRBLCK LDPNCL – kandahar blacklead pencil (Phlebas)
7. MCD MZDRDS – macadamized roads (Electric Dragon)
8. TRNCHMRT RS – trench mortars (Electric Dragon)
9. HCHRS – hachures (Phlebas)
10. V NFPP LRTR S – avenue of poplar trees (Phlebas)
11. LNS TCLQDCM PSS – lensatic liquid compass (Phlebas)
12. BSLT SMP LCTYSSS NT LNM LT RYPN RM – absolute simplicity is essential in a military panorama (Electric Dragon)
13. BRMTRC – barometric (Electric Dragon)
14. MSCFR M – mosaic form (Phlebas)
15. PCKTSTR SCP – pocket stereoscope (Phlebas)
16. DRNLVR TN – diurnal variation (Phlebas)
17. ND CTVFSLP RS – indicative of sleepers (Phlebas)
18. SQRMBT TL DTWR – square embattled tower (Electric Dragon)
19. PRF CTLYS MTHSRFC – perfectly smooth surface (Electric Dragon)
20. BDN MBRN GFCNT RS – bad numbering of contours (Phlebas)
21. THCH S SMNRFR SHRTND – the chessmen are foreshortened (Electric Dragon)
22. NDNCLN MTR – indian clinometer (Electric Dragon)
23. CNSD RTHM NWTRC RS – consider the main watercourse (Phlebas)
24. THSC LLDN NJ CKM T HD – the so-called union jack method (Electric Dragon)


      • The 4711 Echt Kölnisch Wasser label, though german, only came about because the french assigned address numbers to every house during the napoleonian occupation of cologne.

        The Puma Helicopter -I think it´s some AH225M-variant would be in the same vein. Airbus being franco-german-spanish…

        So I´m guessing it´s a trans-national cooperations-theme.
        But im guessing wildly here.

  1. The Bayrische Oberlandbahn utilizes Alstom Coradia LINT54 diesl units. These were developed by Linke-Hofmann-Busch (LHB). However LHB were taken over by Alstom.

    Tank bottom left is a german a7v. So things are swerving from cooperation to (hostile) takeovers… with the caveat that this theme is actually much too broad to really qualify for us cornerites.

    Back to the drawing board, I guess.

  2. I believe I have the theme but haven’t managed to tie all identified elements to it yet.

    The hands on the keyboard are a cover for Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Player Piano’.

    Remaining to be defoxed:
    Ship in dry-dock
    dMb text – I suspect is not in latin script and may have been manipulated by Roman
    medieval game icon – why twice? Is it dice based or “made with Unity”?

    • The medieval game icon is “100 Years’ War” developed by HexWar Games and edited by Hunted Cow Games. Available on Steam and Apple store. I could not find any information on the game engine.

      • Does that fit your suspected theme? Did you ever tell us what that was? I’ve been trying to guess based on your question about the game engine, but haven’t got anywhere!

        • Sorry! I should’ve replied to a_monk that I’d figured out how it pertained to the theme and that my question about the game engine was a distraction (I’m still curious what’s the cube hidden behind the shortcut symbol).

          Anyway, to hopefully get you back on track:
          1. No, Phil is not helpful.
          2. I ought to have guessed the game as being either ‘Hundred Years’ War’ or ‘100 Years’ War’
          3. There is absolutely nothing comment-worthy about the BMW503 as a car (no colourful owners, interesting accidents, exotic incidents; nothing)

          ETA: Oh! And when you’re getting close to the answer, don’t dismiss Google Suggestions as ridiculous.

          • It’s We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, isn’t it?


            The numbers are all parts of character names (e.g. the protagonist is called D-503), and were taken from the specifications of the St Alexander Nevsky.
            Player Piano by Vonnegut was inspired by Brave New World, which in turn has lots of similarities to We (though Huxley denied any direct influence).
            The city is depicted as being made mainly of glass and is surrounded by a Green Wall.
            The Guardians are the secret police of the dystopian state the book is set in, and it takes place after a “Two Hundred Years War”.
            Bayerische Oberlandbahn uses “Integral” trains, which is the name of a spaceship being built in the novel.

            The “dMb” text is a rearrangement of the elements in its Cyrillic name: Мы.

          • I suspect it’s the specific sole surviving A7V “Mephisto”.
            The Mephi are the rebels.

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