Puzzlemaster

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The Independent Culture
I NEEDN'T have worried about last week's Great East Hagbourne Treasure Hunt. No children fell head-first down a hole, nor did any adults discover unintended ambiguities in the clues to lead them off up the A34 never to be seen again. It all went to plan, in spite of the fact that there were 15 Greek boys and girls visiting, whose presence required the clues to be translated into Greek. This my second father, being the son of the late Greek Ambassador to the Court of St James, rather rustily did.

Modern Greek is much altered from the ancient Greek I learned at school. Two of the vowels and most of the diphthongs, distinct in Homeric times, are now all pronounced EE. Yet modern Greeks have no simple way of writing D or B. Ken Dodd's surname translated into Greek and transliterated back into English comes out as NTONTNT, while Hagbourne becomes HAGMPORN.

Anyhow, it was a great success. I've already been booked to devise a millennium version. Roll on weddings and bar mitzvahs. And the recipe? A scenic route with landmarks at which to site cryptic clues for the adults and activities for the kids.

If the adult puzzle is completable without solving all the clues, everyone has the satisfaction of finishing and there's the incentive to compare notes over the missing clues. In this case each clue contributed a letter to the target phrase: TREASURE HUNT, making the whole thing as satisfyingly circular as the route.

Points to ponder

1 These words have been translated into Greek and transliterated back into English. All you have to do is identify them.

a) TSOURTSILL

b) SOUEPSTAIEK

c) PHRAGK NTOMPSON

2 Solve these clues from a Treasure Hunt:

a) Might he live in a house with a KEHO in it? (5)

b) Which institution is an anagram of:

i) HOLY TENT ALTERATION (3,8,7)

ii) TUNE HURT EARS (8,4)

3 How many squares and rectangles are to be found in Garabaggio's "Wimbledon from Memory"? (see Fig 1)

comments to: indy@puzzlemaster.co.uk

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