The Foxer

Sorry about all the boxes. I accidentally over-ordered Foxer merchandise. I thought I was buying 600 bumper stickers; it turns out I was actually ordering 600 boxes of bumper stickers. If you know anyone who might be interested in purchasing industrial quantities of ‘Runs on Fairey dust’, ‘Think Kettenkrad’ and ‘Honk if you can tell the difference between a Handley Page Hampden and a Handley Page Hereford’ decals at a bargain price, please get in touch.

The solution to last week’s word-ladder foxer

20. PARIS German gun with 80-mile range (Stugle)
19. SARIN 28 times deadlier than mustard gas (Little_Crow)
18. BARON Aircraft included in FSX and X-Plane 10 (Little_Crow)
17. APRON Garment worn by French Army axemen (Little_Crow)
16. APRIL A bad month for the RFC (Stugle)
15. SPOIL Samphire Hoe is made of this (AFKAMC)
14. SNAIL A Herbert Smith design (AFKAMC)
13. QUAIL The natural habitat of this bird is the bomb bay of a B-52 (AFKAMC)
12. QUANT Punt propeller (AFKAMC)
11. GUANO Sparked a war in the 1860s (Rorschach617)
10. GIANT Fifties movie that received ten Oscar nominations (Stugle, Little_Crow)
09. PIANO Word that can go before or after ‘player’ (AFKAMC)
08. PIAVE Crossed at great cost by the Austrians in 1918 (Stugle)
07. SLAVE Obsequious SF flight computer (Little_Crow)
06. BLADE Foxhole radio component (AFKAMC)
05. MEADE AI personality in SMG (Stugle, Little_Crow)
04. MOLDE Scandinavian city (Stugle)
03. MOUSE Followed by the Streak and the Kite (Little_Crow)
02. HORSE Tandem rotor helo (AFKAMC)

* * *

Foxer Instructions

The ‘collage foxer’ – for many, the classic form – hints at a hidden theme* with a disparate collection of picture clues. The ‘defoxing’ process is communal, individual commenters proffering clue identifications until some bright spark, spotting a link between clues, announces the secret theme.

It’s rare for a clue to have a direct or obvious connection with a theme. If you spot an Avro Lancaster in a puzzle, then you’re probably not looking for ‘Operation Chastise‘. A ‘Wars of the Roses‘, ‘Wyatt Earp‘, or ‘musical roads‘ solution is far more likely. Erroneous guesses are par for the course and inexperience is no reason to hang back. Think you recognise that partially obscured mugshot, company logo, or game sprite? Believe that turret belongs to a Saluki armoured car, that wingtip to a Percival Pursuivant ASW aircraft? Sing out.

*Recent themes have included Sid Meier, The Siege of Sidney Street, darts and pigeons.


  1. Stugle says:

    The plane in the background could be a B-1 Lancer, but the the tapered end under the tail fin looks too pointy in this picture.

  2. unacom says:

    The ship in the photograph looks like a Cog.

    • Firenz says:

      I think it’s the Hanse Cog

      • unacom says:

        I do think so, too. The city depicted on the sail may be Hamburg. Two towers flanking a spire above a castle´s gate.
        I´m not convinced though.

  3. unacom says:

    The knot, bottom right could be a Carrick Mat. Whatever that may be.

  4. foop says:

    The coin is an Austrian 10 Euro silver coin, featuring Hellbrun Castle. Part of a “Castles of Austria” series.

    link to

    Schloss Hellbrun is in Salzburg and is known for its “trick fountains”.

  5. unacom says:

    The drawn ship may be a galleon.

  6. Stugle says:

    The pistol top left looks a lot like the Derringer LM5. Searching for the actual gun: I assume the embossing on the grip is relevant.

    • Stugle says:

      Also looks like a Browning 1906 or a Colt 1908 Vest Pocket, but the barrel’s not quite right.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      Not of use in this case, but maybe in future Foxers, has plenty of photos of firearms, with a search function.

    • Stugle says:

      Maybe the relevant thing is simply that it’s a semi-AUTOMATIC design?

    • Panzerschwein says:

      Based on the monogram it seems to be Jacquemart Monoblock automatic pistol.

  7. phlebas says:

    The lady with the trees and rainbow in the bottom left is Carole King, from the cover of her debut album Writer.

  8. Premium User Badge

    bsplines says:

    The game character in the middle is Peacock from Skullgirls.
    Real name Patricia Watson if that helps

    • JB says:

      This would probably explain how she fits in with the mechanical-seeming theme thus far: “Peacock was originally a human girl by the name of Patricia Watson who was turned into an Anti-Skullgirl biomechanical weapon”

  9. phlebas says:

    The torn photo is Sir Sydney Camm, designer of the Hurricane:
    link to

  10. Stugle says:

    The icons strewn across the Foxer are from Clockwork Empires. See the bottom left of this screenshot:

    link to

    • phlebas says:

      Hmm. Cog, Cam(m), Clockwork…?

      • Rorschach617 says:

        There is a Peacock Clock at the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg.

        And Schloss Hellbrun has a mechanical theatre as well as the trick fountains.

  11. Little_Crow says:

    Was going to post just that, but in the pub so hard to search for evidence of it.

    But it’s looking quite engine/mechanics not sure where clockwork comes into it yet

  12. phlebas says:

    The crest bottom right looks to be a French one – I can find the same crown (featuring fleurs-de-lys) on some, but not this particular one so far.

    • Stugle says:

      I’ve been struggling with this one for a while. And can I just say that I hate Etsy and Pinterest? Google keeps throwing up image results that sorta, kinda match, but then it’s invariably some idiot selling a replica brooch on one of those sites and they never include any useful information like where it’s from or what it’s based on. Raahhh!

    • Firenz says:

      British crowns also include the fleur-de-lys motif.

      I’m wondering whether it is a military badge/insignia.

      • phlebas says:

        I think the British ones have other emblems too though – this is all fleurs-de-lis, and appears to indicate a French King:
        link to

        • phlebas says:

          …or Queen. It’s not a crest but a monogram – entwined M and A for Marie Antoinette!
          link to

          • phlebas says:

            And Marie Antoinette had a clockwork automaton:
            link to

          • Stugle says:

            Awesome! Now if you can use the same squiggle-deciphering skills on the logo (?) on that pistol stock, I’d be much obliged…

          • Little_Crow says:

            The Marie Antoinette is the most expensive watch in the world, so my mate informs me.

            So maybe we’re going with clock/watches as the link?

          • phlebas says:

            Clockwork automata, I think. The peacock clock is more automaton than clock, and the other references can go directly.

        • Little_Crow says:

          Sounds very much like my neighbors homemade plum wine – the wine was probably strong enough and didn’t need the bottle of vodka he added…

    • Stugle says:

      Okay, I’ve found this image on an antependium (I learned something new today), but it STILL doesn’t tell me what the crest is for.

      I found it via a Google image search, but the original image no longer exists. Take a look at this:

      link to

  13. Shiloh says:

    My brain’s in no fit state for de-Foxing today (don’t ask) so I’ll just pop in an order for a couple of “Little Willie on board” bumper stickers and leave it at that.

    As you were, gentlemen.

    • Stugle says:

      Good to hear from you. Hopefully, the contents of your cranium will be in fine form for renewed Foxer-tussling next week!

      • Shiloh says:

        Thanks for your kind words Stugle, the wound is very much self-inflicted alas. Who knew 8 year old Albanian plum brandy packed such a powerful punch?

        Note to Roman: I have a quarter bottle of very fine 8 year old Albanian plum brandy to add to the growing list of top shelf tipples in the Annexe (or the cleaning cupboard – it’s an ace stain remover as well) if you’re interested. Just drop me a line at