The Foxer

Gone are the days when Flare Path flair points were dished out to every clue clarifier and theme finder. In these times of austerity, Roman only operates the converted gumball machine next to the office formicarium when a defoxer has demonstrated exceptional incisiveness and/or persistence. Fancy an FPFP carved from the timbers of the Grace Dieu or one made from a penny squashed by King George V? You must sweat and ponder and eureka like AbyssUK did last week.

Ladder Cat by Kim Ledin

Word ladder assembled by AbyssUK with help from…

20. Speke – Sought the source of the Nile (Stugle, AFKAMC)
19. Snake – RAMC reptile (AFKAMC)
18. Shaka – Civ leader (AbyssUK)
17. Cheka – Brutal Bolsheviks (Stugle)
16. Chiba – This city boasts a monorail (Stugle)
15. Chirk – Site of a Thomas Telford structure (unacom)
14. Shire – 20th Century Italian victory (phlebas)
13. Shard – Piano design (AbyssUK)
12. Spark – Tank landing ship severely damaged off Guadalcanal (AbyssUK)
11. Spore – [A] Name shared by three different video games (AbyssUK)
10. Sorpe – Dam that withstood two aerial attacks (iainl, unacom)
09. Sorel – [A] Battle orchestrated by the “The Father of New France” (iainl)
08. Leros – Heavily bombed Greek island (iainl)
07. Letov – Central European aircraft manufacturer (phlebas, Shiloh)
06. Lemon – Fruity hand grenade (unacom)
05. Melon – Sonar system component (AbyssUK)
04. Talon – Long-serving jet trainer (AbyssUK, unacom)
03. Baton – Dönitz, Raeder, and Göring all owned one (Stugle)
02. Gator – Crocodilian cluster bomb (unacom, Stugle)
01. Razor

*       *       *       *       *


Foxer Fact #1803

Janet Knockwood, one half of Knockwood and Travers, the glamorous couple that won the Defoxing World Cup mixed doubles four times on the trot in the Fifties, was a practising medium who claimed to be able to locate the crash sites of lost aircraft with help from her spirit guide, Charles Nungesser. Planes found, allegedly with Knockwood and Nungesser’s assistance, include British South American Airways Flight 121, an Avro York that disappeared over the Amazon in 1952 together with 48 passengers and crew.


  1. Stugle says:

    I misread “office formicarium” for “office fornicarium” and thought Roman was showing us a deeper insight into his elusive character than usual…

  2. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    Bottom right hand corner is a Citroën 2CV.

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      phuzz says:

      It’s a post 1970 model (when they first added round indicators to the fender), can’t pin it down any more than that.
      As Stugle adds, it’s called the Deux Chevaux in French, meaning Two Horse (power), there’s also many other nicknames.

  3. Stugle says:

    The topdown view of the car in the bottom right looks like a Renault Deux Chevaux to me (CV2? Whatever it’s called in English).

  4. Shiloh says:

    We have a steel rule running across the middle of the Foxer this week. Add your own Theresa May punchline…

  5. All is Well says:

    The logo to the right belongs to the Sopwith Aviation Company, I believe (it’s been turned 90 degrees though).

  6. Stugle says:

    The gun barrel looks a bit like a Sterling submachine gun, but the sights are not right. I’ll keep looking.

    • Rorschach617 says:

      Patchett machine carbine mk1, the prototype to the sterling?

      link to

      Saw action in the attack on Walcheren, Operation Infatuate.

      • Stugle says:

        I think Matchstick has it. He even beat me to the Bergmann comment…

        • Rorschach617 says:

          You’re right. As soon as I saw the picture, I knew I had goofed.

        • Matchstick says:

          I’m wondering if it might be the updated MP 28 which is featured in the boat scene of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (which is almost an obscure enough connection to be the solution ;) )

          I’m not entirely convinced it’s an M18/28 though as there looks to be a little bobble on the bottom of the barrel shroud just behind the sling point that I can’t see on any other pictures nor can I find the white AN(?) marking at the front.

  7. mrpier says:

    The artillery shell looks to be a illumination round with a parachute of some sort.

  8. Matchstick says:

    The SMG looks quite a lot like the Bergman MP 18

    link to

    Are we into depressing European Movies as a theme ?

  9. mrpier says:

    Tail is a Ka-32 belonging to Swiss Helicopter, HB-XKE.

  10. Stugle says:

    I wonder if the ox wagon (on the gun barrel) has anything to do with Oregon Trail (the educational game).

    • richard says:

      I agree. I’ve spent 30 mins googling for this particular sprite with no success and have died of dysentery. [There are 15 released versions of Oregon Trail]

  11. AFKAMC says:


    Helix (gastropod)
    Sopwith Snail

    • AFKAMC says:

      The illumination round is a type of shell

      • Matchstick says:

        According to wikipedia the Bergman MP18 SMG was designed to used the snail drum magazine of the Luger Artillary Model pistol

    • AFKAMC says:

      The Bergman had a “snail” drum magazine

    • AFKAMC says:

      Is the 2CV the “tin snail” by any chance?

    • AFKAMC says:

      The steel rule is 12 inches – that’s a foot

    • Shiloh says:

      Hmmm… “imperial” volute is a kind of sea snail shell, credit to richard above at 13.27 for spotting the “imperial” (as opposed to “steel”) rule.

    • Matchstick says:

      Airfield map underneath is RAF Snailwell

      link to

    • AFKAMC says:

      If the stagecoach graphic is indeed from “Oregon Trail” – snails leave trails

      • Matchstick says:

        Have we got anything on the photo top left or the Green/Yellow logo middle top ?

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          phuzz says:

          The picture is Patricia Highsmith (see below).
          Nothing on the logo yet, except that searching for “triangle logo shell” brings up many images of women in underwear for some odd reason. Certainly a change after looking at pages of 2CVs I suppose.

          • AFKAMC says:

            Dublin DART: link to

            I think the dart sac is one of the ickier parts of a snail

          • Matchstick says:

            Could it be that google just knows you too well ? :)

            I’ve tried cleaning up the logo to remove the background detail but that’s not helping with the image search either (Google just thinks it’s Origami)

          • AFKAMC says:

            Wikipedia tells more more than I ever wanted to know:

            “A love dart (also known as a gypsobelum) is a sharp, calcareous or chitinous dart which some hermaphroditic land snails and slugs create. Love darts are made in sexually mature animals only, and are used as part of the sequence of events during courtship, before actual mating takes place. Darts are quite large compared to the size of the animal: in the case of the semi-slug genus Parmarion, the length of a dart can be up to one fifth that of the semi-slug’s foot.”

          • Matchstick says:

            Well spotted :)

            Is that everything then ?

          • AFKAMC says:

            Yes, I think we’re done.

          • AFKAMC says:

            mrpier set me on the right path by correctly identifying the Ka-32 – and there I was, looking at pictures of Ka-26’s!

          • Stugle says:

            I also was shown a large amount of swimwear when Googling “logo green yellow triangle”, whatever that says about me (I’ve noticed before that defoxing at work can lead to unexpected visual hazards – the time I tried to find a particular nude bronze statue… [shudders]).

            A more educational Foxer than usual: I learned about Patricia Highsmith’s character, and have the ‘love dart’ to investigate.

          • AFKAMC says:

            If only one of the clues had been Brian Blessed… or Gary Cooper.

          • Matchstick says:

            Are you thinking the foxer regulars should create one for Tim to solve ?

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    phuzz says:

    The map in the background seems to be of an airfield, presumably military from the RESTRICTED marking at the top and bottom.
    Doesn’t seem to match up to any of the large RAF bases in the UK that I can see.

  13. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    The lady is Patricia Highsmith (thanks google image search!).
    She apparently loved snails (possibly more than people).

  14. AbyssUK says:

    Appears I was a little sluggish this week *groan*… well done everybody!