Long gap between planes on the way back to NZ, so I thought I’d elaborate on points made in a couple of emails I’ve received about last weekend’s double post.
One wondered whether the solver should be equated more with the performer of than the listener to a piece of music, making the point that listening seemed too passive, and we should allow for the concept of interpreting a clue. The commenter also admitted that a hard and fast equivalence would be hard to establish. Nonetheless I still prefer listener. Imagine the length of shrift you’d get from an editor if you tried to claim that PANAMA was your creative interpretation of a clue to BANANA.
The other comment related to symmetry. Apparently the quick crosswords in one of major papers do have an asymmetric grid amongst their regular designs. I got the impression, however, that it was of the “blink-and-you”ll-miss-it” variety. I would still have claimed that you couldn’t get a substantially asymmetric grid into a national daily’s slot.
And then I opened the paper on Wednesday, and saw something like this:
Now, admittedly I was in Amsterdam at the time, and this is a Dutch Cryptogram, but it does show that symmetry hasn’t established itself everywhere. Other Dutch grids look like this:
Imagine seeing that on the back page of your Times.
Time for Jetlagged in Hong Kong to sign off while the iPad still has power.