The Foxer

Looking at him today it’s hard to believe that Roman was once a wealthy man. During the boom years of the early Eighties, my Chief Foxer Setter’s collages were syndicated all over the world and made him millions. When I first met him, he lived nextdoor to Billy Ocean, drove a russet-coloured Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato, and owned more Franz Marc art than the Guggenheim and Tate put together. Things started falling apart circa ’92. First his best friend/brother-in-law/accountant disappeared with a substantial chunk of his fortune, then a business venture – Roman and some associates were in the process of converting a vast underground air base in the Balkans into the world’s first museum museum – was scuppered by the outbreak of the Yugoslav Wars.

The 127-cell honeycomb below is a fancy form of wordsearch in which every cell is used, and words can curl and zigzag but never overlap. Each hive foxer has a unique theme – the last one was ‘boxing‘– but Roman respects the defoxing community far too much to disclose it prior to defoxing. What he is prepared to tell you is how many answers you’re looking for. The perfectly interlocking solution to today’s puzzle is made up of 19.

*       *       *


The theme to Gothnak’s foxer: the Battle of Lake Trasimene  (defoxed by Little_Crow)

a. Ambush board game – “Hannibal’s victory over the Roman army at Lake Trasimene remains, in terms of the number of men involved, the largest ambush in military history” (Arioch_RN)
b. Dornier 217 (Little_Crow, JohnnyG)
c. Flag of Insubria/Milan – Flaminius was killed by an Insubrian, Ducarius (Little_Crow)
d. Robert the Bruce statue, Bannockburn (Lazzars)
e. George Peppard (Artiforg)
f. Malpaso Dam, Mexico (unsolved)
g. Battle of Blood River memorial (Little_Crow)
h. Joseph-Noël Sylvestre (unsolved)
i. SAI-Ambrosini SS.4 (AFKAMC)
j. MV Gaul (unsolved)
k. Earthquake (Little_Crow)
l. Operation Carthage (Stugle)


  1. Gothnak says:

    Let’s all fire out some random words and see what we get!

    I can see BULLION at I1.

    ZOD at H8 (Generals? :))

    MESSI at J1 (Or MACHINE, but that leaves a word starting or ending with CD so unlikely!)

    • Stugle says:

      The one thing I saw, and you beat me to it! :) Well, strictly speaking that’s not true: starting at A4 to the right (with a little dip to B6) spells ‘Boise’, capital city of Idaho.

    • Gothnak says:

      COVER at H12
      BONEHILL at A4 – A D&D adventure, unlikely! :)

    • Gothnak says:

      DELVE at J7. That V pretty much has to be a word ending in LVE, or VERNON.

  2. Stugle says:

    More suspected randomness: LEVELLER (D4, C3, D3, E4, E5, E6, F6, G6). link to

  3. AFKAMC says:

    KIOWA starting at G2. Native Americans? Helicopters?

  4. Little_Crow says:

    L6 – VERN
    J1 – MELLIE

    Would be amazing if it was Viz characters

    I1 – BARKEEP

  5. Stugle says:

    G7 up towards northwest spells PELLET.

  6. Gothnak says:

    Ok, the C at M2 is key imo… It has to be used in a word where it is preceded by N from L3 and followed by H (CINCH, INCH, SINCH, Something ending in ENCH) unless can anyone see a word that it starts and goes M2->L2, so CI something?

    • Stugle says:

      Is the H at M1 still available? In that case, you can spell CHINESE.

      • Gothnak says:

        Oooh, nice, that’s going in for me.

        Bugger, doesn’t leave much for the D at M3. :p.

    • Gothnak says:

      The B at M6 seems very tricky to use too, almost certainly begins a word BA, i can BASEL, in Switzerland.

    • Little_Crow says:

      CHISEL could start at M2.
      Doesn’t look to set up any completely improbably letter combinations

      • Little_Crow says:

        FLOAT at E2 is also a woodworking tool, apparently


        LEVEL at D4 would conceivably fit this theme

        • Gothnak says:

          Possible, how do you get that Z in?

          I’m out of time, will revisit later, probably solved by then :).

  7. JaguarWong says:

    I’ve got Hovercar(s) starting at, what, h11?

  8. Little_Crow says:

    CHARON at e10

  9. chuckieegg says:

    Looking at that Z in the middle, it must surely have the E and O on both sides of it. But the only word I can then see is DOZEN.

  10. Gothnak says:

    I managed an impressive dead end with these three names that European countries call themselves:

    D6: SUOMI

    • Gothnak says:

      Unless it’s all to do with Stamps?

      B1 – HINGE?

      • Gothnak says:

        Oh god, i think it is…

        M6: BASEL DOVE (God knows)

        I10: COVER (As in first day cover?)

        C4: HILL (Rowland Hill invented the postage stamp… Clutching at straws here)

        A4: BLUENOSE

        • Gothnak says:

          H12: CERES (Series of stamps)
          B7: INVERT
          E10: CHARADE (Film with stamps in)

          • Gothnak says:

            E1: PERFORATION

          • Gothnak says:

            Dammit, Mr Stone has put some in to flummox me, some of these are wrong methinks… The letters i have left are nasty!

            More guesses!

            I4: FDC – First Day Cover (Probably means other cover is wrong)
            L1: CHINESE

          • Gothnak says:

            G7: PRINZ… Got you, you blooming Z! PERFORATION is wrong if anyone out there is awake..

          • Gothnak says:

            Oooh, just thought, was ZOD a nasty trick as it was Terrance STAMP? :p

            There is obviously the Lion Stamp for Eggs, but that means Chinese is wrong…

            I can also see SAMUEL at K2, but not much to do with Stamps unless it is Samuel Adams and the Stamp Tax.

          • Gothnak says:

            That’s me stamped out. I’ve got reasonable sized gaps on the left and right but the top and low right looks good.

          • Barfo says:

            Its definitely stamps, or philatelic terms or whatever

            F10: GUM
            G9: GRILL
            I10: CRASH COVER (which expands on H12’s COVER)

            Those perfectly fill in the hole on the right side in between those found by gothnak: basel dove, ceres, charade, prinz.

          • Barfo says:

            L1 chinese is wrong and instead it is

            J1: MACHIN and
            P4: FDC (first day cover) as noted by Gothnak.

            Also I1: BULLSEYE fits (which one reference notes is a cancel that is perfectly centered on teh stamp), however with Machin this orphans E/S at J2/K2 so it is probably wrong

          • Tim Stone says:

            Sorry. E and S are indeed orphans. Roman is for the high jump on Monday.

          • Gothnak says:

            Nice work finishing it off Barfo, i did see Gum but couldn’t fit it in with other stuff!

            The Foxer last week didn’t have any errors. ;)

          • Barfo says:

            Its not totally done yet:

            G2: KILOWARE (a type of stamp sold by weight)

            also the Z i think goes with grill to make

            G8: Z GRILL (some sort of famous Ben Franklin stamp)

            this leaves a cluster of 6 letters in the center where prinz used to be (E,R,P,F,I,N), but releases the trapped F at H5.

      • Stugle says:

        Good job figuring out and paring down the Foxer, Gothnak and Barfo! It’s unfortunate, but not surprising, that I was unable to contribute – here’s hoping I do better next week. :)