Ambling around a book shop in Paraparaumu, Marjorie drew my attention to a ring-bound volume: Puzzles for Musicians: Enigmatic Variations. There’s nothing to stop someone else taking that title for a publication of course – indeed, it may be more of a surprise that it hasn’t been used more often.
Anyway, to the item in question, which has been “deviously devised by Jenny Setchell”. The slightly unusual surname immediately made me think of the Christchurch Town Hall organist, Martin Setchell, who has been in post since 1997. During that time he has developed an international career as a concert organist, while also helping out post-earthquake with recordings and concerts from the organ in the Cardboard Cathedral. I think one could go out on a limb and hazard some sort of family connection here.
Certainly the book is what might be called organ-heavy: the page numbers are on organ stops, while the blurb notes that it will give performers something to do while waiting for the bride to turn up. There is a range of puzzles – spot the difference (try doing that on an ornate set of organ pipes), sudoku (or more precisely wordoku), crosswords, logic problems and others. There are two puzzles running through the book based on Scrabble tiles and on what at first glance I’m taking to be anagrams (MERE TOAD, anyone?). And there are no answers – those, along with various additional grids to assist solving are available from the website of the publisher, Pipeline Press.
Jenny Setchell has her own site where she showcases her work as a photographer – principally of pipe organs, as it happens, so I think it’s reasonable to suspect a thematic interest. It is tempting to assume that the globetrotting required to amass a portfolio of pipe organs has been somewhat curtailed of late, resulting in a diversion into diversions.
It’s a neat collection of not-too-difficult puzzles for the musician in your life. I doubt you’ll be able to get to Paraparaumu (or even Waikanae), but it does appear to be available in Oxford (Oxford, UK, that is, not the town near Christchurch). You can also order from the website of Pipeline Press.
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