Four weeks ago I was lamenting falling over, and not being able to type long enough to put up a puzzle. Three weeks ago, one of the cats was shot with a crossbow, requiring a rush to the emergency vet, and making other weekend activities less important. She’s doing much better now – in fact, she was sat on the windowsill next to me a few minutes ago. Over the three weeks she’s regained a remarkable amount of mobility and is (somewhat unsettlingly) making bigger leaps on to climbing posts than she ever did. Her hair is growing back and her injured shoulder is less swollen. There she is, entirely pissed off that she isn’t on the other side of the French windows, and not even mollified by food.
To be honest, I thought I had put something up a fortnight ago – it certainly looks as though I managed to prepare a BBC Music magazine puzzle that weekend. But our host was down for a few days following an assault on their servers, and I am wondering whether material posted that weekend was lost.
And, in the midst of all that, I won the Azed Cup for the first time in 14 years. Being in New Zealand has meant that postal entries became a bit of a no-no, and my entry record was desultory even after email entries from overseas were given the green light. The cup is currently sat beside my keyboard. I noticed that I had referred to its previous trip to New Zealand in a post last year, stating that it would be unwise to try sending it over again. But I’m delighted to say it took only a couple of weeks. The plan was to replicate one of the photos we took in 2009 (repeated in that 2022 post), but the weather yesterday was a mixture of gales and heavy showers, and you could not see Wellington from Petone, far less have it bathed in sunlight. Better luck next weekend. Meanwhile, here is another cat investigating the new trophy (a different cat from the one in the Facebook post).
Today’s weather, by contrast, is heavier gales but lighter showers, which may be meant as some sort of conservation law. The shrub with yellow flowers, which was blown horizontal a few weeks ago, and which was lodged upright by bags of compost, has keeled over again. But it’s a good day to add content to websites. This week’s puzzle is one from 2019 in the Enigmatic Variations series. There’ll be another Kcit EV puzzle a week before Christmas this year, if all goes to plan – you do get early proofs sometimes, and the EV ones were the second for Christmas week that I’ve handled in recent days. More on those puzzles nearer the time; meanwhile, it’s seventy days and counting…
To take your mind off that dreadful prospect, there’s another Pangakupu puzzle coming up in The Guardian next Thursday (19 October) and a Times daily a week later (apparently 26 October is Howl at the Moon Day & Night, but the puzzle is not thematic, not that I remember anyway). The usual Friday Independent appearances continue.