A wild hare chase

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, and a rather unusual puzzle from Poat for a number of reasons.  One is that he hinted this would be difficult, and the other is that it gives the origin of an old obsession of mine.

So what do we have – normal clues seven clashes, messages a trail and a goal.  OK… sounds deceptively simple at the start.  Let’s get to solving then…

There was a 1 across but I didn’t get it on the first pass through – it took until O(UT,LEAR)N to get the grid going, but that ended up being a good place to start as JETSAM gave me the first of the clashes, and an unlikely set of letters in PU?EE?O?? gave me another with PULVEROUS.  At the end of the first sitting I had most of the grid and a message that was looking like READ EVERY T????.  Read everything?

The bottom left of the grid was giving me the most grief, but into the second solve I got lucky – I had all seven clashes so I could hunt and peck through the last few entries knowing there were no clashes left to be found.  I also have READ EVERY THIRD as the message.

I made another copy of the grid in Crossword Compiler and deleted the checked letters, then circled every third…

finding the message in Listener 4422 - buried treasure by Poat

ONE OF THREE ACROSTICS.  Aaaah – let’s take every third letter – two of them lead to false trails, the other came up with CLOSE BY AMPTHILL.  I googled Ampthill and learned it was the location of the Golden Hare from the book Masquerade.  I had not heard of the book, and the wikipedia page on it was a rather fascinating read.  So we are looking for a HARE.

There’s no HARE in the grid… hmmm.  It can’t be anything else, surely?

What does the preamble say… in “the search area” – ahhh, there’s the HARE.

Anyhoo – I wonder if anyone else got suckered into this?  There was another attempt re recreate Masquerade as a collectible card game.  It was called Perplex City and there was a small cube buried somewhere in the forest in England. As the cards were released there were more and more gradual clues as to the location of the cube – some shapes that appeared on cards could be joined together to form a map of the National Park for example.

I was obsessed with Perplex City – all the cards had puzzles on them, and you got rewards from solving the puzzles (I still have the little plastic tokens).  I would trade cards in the mail with players from California and New York so regularly that I had a stack of padded envelopes just the size of the cards.  Unfortunately it was discontinued during the second season, though I still have my stack of cards in a desk drawer in my room.  Vale Perplex City.  Anyone else play it?

So thanks Poat for a fun puzzle with some nice twists – not as difficult as you had intimated!

2016 tally: 36-2-6.

Feel free to tell me I should have buried my solution, and see you next week when Phi apparently has us join the Mile High Club.



2 Responses

  1. Hi George
    I never played Perplex City, but I do have a bit of info on the guy who created it, as I was at school with him. As you say, the game was mothballed, as it wasn’t commercially viable. He did, however, have greater success with his next project which was the creation of Moshi Monsters. That has been phenomenally successful in the UK, not sure about US. Incidentally, the Moshi Monsters inhabit ‘Monstro City’ – see what he did there?

    • I remember that Mind Candy made Moshi Monsters and I’m glad it was successful. Thanks for the skinny – I really did enjoy Perplex City and took part in a few of the online events that were centered around the hunt, lots of decrypting of messages

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