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Title A-maze-ing
Setter The Tall'n
Series The Listener
Number 3395
Date 01/02/1997
Grid 1313 barred grid with 180 symmetry. There are no clue numbers. The central square is completely barred off.
Preamble The grid is a partially-constructed maze, with bars representing locked doors which open in either direction. First, complete the maze by putting in answers in pencil, adding bars at the end of words in the normal way. Its 180 degrees symmetry will help in completion of the maze. Clues to the thematic lights have no definition part.
Once the maze is complete, find the path from the entrance (top left) to the centre and gain entry to it. You can move freely along a row in either direction, except where a door (vertical bar) prevents this; but you can only go from one row to another through a door (horizontal bar). The locked doors can only be opened if there is a key in the entrance square: pick up the key, leaving the square blank, open the door, pass through and add the key to the square on the other side, for it will not be needed again. Beware of "trapdoors", where a key is available, but which lead to a dead-end.
Having entered the centre of the maze, retrace your steps by following a famous story-line, using the blank squares as a guide: then ink in the final form of the maze (including all the symmetrical bars discovered earlier) and indicate the story-line. Numbers need not be added. All non-thematic answers are in Chambers 1993, including two abbreviations.
Solution Notes
(Hide Solution)
The "keys" (the letters A to G) are to be added to the letters on the other side of locked doors (horizontal or vertical bars) along the path using their numerical values (eg D added to O gives S). Using the resultant letters, the reverse path from the centre to the entrance (top left) forms the storyline: the MINOTAUR was killed by THESEUS, who then escaped from the maze by following a BALL OF THREAD.
The thematic lights form three famous mazes: HOLLYWOOD STONE is the earliest dateable maze in the British Isles, built in Ireland circa 550AD; the oldest surviving hedge maze in Britain is at HAMPTON COURT, built in 1690; and the CRETAN LABYRINTH was built to house the Minotaur, according to Greek mythology.
Acknowledgements Preamble and solution notes © 2022 The Times. Reproduced with permission.
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