The Foxer

Warm-up Foxer (Where am I?)

I’m 30km due north of a whaling station. I can see an orangutan and a chimp. I’m 5km from an international border. The name of this road includes the local word for ‘bridge’. I’m in a country that has a lyricless national anthem. The Romans processed fish at a site 1km from here. I’m at the same latitude as the capital of a Middle Eastern proto-state. The speed limit on this section of road is 30kph. There’s a strong smell of oil and oil byproducts in this vicinity.

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 (some past themes: Harry Potter, gold, postage stamps) Identifying this theme is a vital part of the defoxing process.

*       *       *


Last week’s warm-up foxer: I was here (defoxed by phlebas)

Last week’s collage foxer theme: geese (defoxed by Gothnak)

a snow goose (phuzz)
b goose step (unsolved)
c emden goose (AbyssUK)
d scania goose (unsolved)
e grumman goose (unsolved)
f toulouse goose (mrpier)
g normandy goose (Shiloh, Gothnak)
h nottingham goose fair (Artiforg)
i shetland goose (unacom, mrpier)
j wild geese (Teek)
k barnacle goose (Rorschach617, unacom, Stugle, Artiforg)
l mother goose (Artiforg, Gothnak)
m golden goose (Artiforg)


  1. Gothnak says:

    Maybe early areas to concentrate on…

    C6 – The Two Gs which aren’t part of an ING. I can see ‘GIBBS’ in case the theme is high pitched male pop groups?

    M6 – That W doesn’t have many ways in.

  2. Gothnak says:

    K1: LIBERAL(S)

  3. Shiloh says:

    The A at B1 could be the start of ANVIL (via C2, C1, D2, E3)

    • Gothnak says:

      That section could also be used as an A1: PAVIA in case it’s something Italian.

  4. Gothnak says:

    B4: SENNA but can’t find another other F1 drivers as yet.

  5. Stugle says:

    The warmup Foxer is roughly here:

    link to

    • Stugle says:

      Okay, moving one frame to the left is probably a better fit, but it’s close enough. Chimp and Orangutan mural, on the Camino PUENTE Mayorga Guadarr, which has a 30 km/h speed limit, besides an oil refinery, in Spain which has a lyricless national anthem, roughly on the same latitude as Erbil in Kurdistan.

      • Rorschach617 says:

        I was just about to ask people to have a look around in that area.

        My connection to google maps is playing up and I am not getting any access to streetview.

        Oh, the spot is 30km north of the Old Whaling Station in Belyounech, Morocco btw. Just in case you wanted more confirmation.

        • Stugle says:

          Nice! The ruins of Carteia, a Roman city that processed garum, are about 1 km to the west. They can easily be spotted from the satellite view (oh, and it helps that it’s marked as an archaeological site).

  6. Gothnak says:

    I6: BRIDGE (Dunno what bridge as yet)

  7. Gothnak says:

    F1: LEONIDS (As in Meteor Showers)

  8. Stugle says:

    H11 backwards can spell PORTLAND

  9. Gothnak says:

    F9: MOONFISH (God everything overlaps!)

  10. AFKAMC says:


    (Channel Tunnel. A bridge-tunnel is a thing. And Portland has the Shanghai Tunnels, apparently.)

    • Barfo says:

      J3 starts FLORIDA which apparently is notable for only having one tunnel.

      but I am starting to think that it is boxing/boxers cause overlapping that is
      I3: SCUFFLE

  11. Gothnak says:

    I did go down another path… Found some boxers…

    I4: EUBANK
    B5: BENN
    C5: BRIGGS


    K4: ILFORD (Where Eubank was born)

  12. JohnnyG says:

    E6: Caltrops. Not that I can find any relationship with this word.

  13. Gothnak says:

    Other dead ends involved:

    Zodiac -LEO, ARIES & LIBRA

  14. Gothnak says:

    Ok, surely this one is in…


    God knows how these go together, sounds like a Benny Hill Sketch.

    • Gothnak says:

      Ok, so he did do a sketch of him being Ironside, and a song about a Milkman… Dunno about the Boomerang though :).

      B5: BENNY

    • Little_Crow says:

      That does all nestle together quite nicely.
      TINY at G13 could become Field Marshal TINY IRONSIDE, and mess with things further

      • Gothnak says:

        They could all be nicknames?

        Then you have (Something)FISH at G11

        CALTROP still fits at H6

  15. Little_Crow says:

    BIGBEN starting at C5

    • Little_Crow says:

      Link is The 39 Steps, I Think

      • Gothnak says:

        My run is over!

        I’ve not seen it is my excuse :).

      • Gothnak says:

        I like the fact HANNAY is at H7 but screws up 2 other clues.. :)

        H3: HANDCUFFS

      • Little_Crow says:

        I haven’t read or seen it in any of its many forms.

        Boomerang and Forth Bridge were the search terms that got me there. So far I have:

        An awful lot of hive to go if the link is correct

      • Gothnak says:

        Ooh, my initial LIBERAL(S) is still right then.

    • Barfo says:

      FORTHBRIDGE creates a nasty set of letters at I7/I8/J6/J7:
      surrounded on three sides. I have tough time seeing how that can be part of the answer.

      tiny ironside, boomerang, milkman, big ben, all fit together and fill the upper right. You can also toss in portland and fish/fishes/fisher, but im pretty uncertain on all those two as they are on the outskirts. I just can’t figure out what the connection is between the words which would help to evaluate the other parts

      • Little_Crow says:

        I’d say forth bridge is incorrect in favour of Portland and Fisher – Roman has smashed it out of the park with the red herrings in this one

        • Barfo says:

          Although the red herrings (forthbridge in particular) actually were crucial in determining the actual theme. A few months ago I got sort of obsessed with this puzzle format and designed a trio of honeycombs. For the most evil one I devised an entire red herring theme which had almost half of the grid covered in fake-thematically consistent, non-overlapping entries which for the most part didn’t leave any obvious deadspots.

    • Barfo says:

      F5: ST PANCRAS ; 39 steps is definitely right

      I6: BUCHAN, director of the 1959 version
      G8: LT something

      • Barfo says:

        oops buchan not the director, the author of the book

        this is a nasty one to research because there are so many versions (multiple films plus a book) that I am getting confused reading all these wikiepdia pages in parallel

      • Gothnak says:

        H11: is PORTLAND PLACE, which means BUCHAN goes down, not up, and G8 isn’t needed.

        G11: FISHER (As in MISS)

      • Barfo says:

        C2: NANNY,
        and somebody earlier had PAVIA at A1 which closes off the entire top half

      • Gothnak says:

        K9: STEP? :) (probably not)

      • Gothnak says:

        J7: KAROLIDES, Greek chap, assassinated.
        M5: DIGBY

      • Gothnak says:

        I’m left with:

        K9: SPLEEN (No idea)
        & WORT or TROW in the bottom right, but can’t use any of them…

      • Barfo says:

        F1: LENTONITE

        I feel like rowdy is still the only way to use the W at M6, not exactly sure the link to 39 steps but it seems like it might be.

        L5 starts BIG-something but i havent gotten any farther cause it has to go to “E” from there

        • Gothnak says:

          You didn’t like my DIGBY at M5 then?

          Captain Theophilus Digby that is…

          • Barfo says:

            oh i completely missed seeing that. yeah thats much better than anything I have.

            Maybe its something ROW, not sure if the letters left are one or two clues
            This is where I miss having the total number of words.

          • Little_Crow says:

            I think the last is SPLEENWORT – but can only find one vague reference on a forum.

            Post #7, here:
            link to

            Wiki article:
            link to

          • Little_Crow says:

            I think SPLEENWORT is the last word, but other than a vague reference on a forum to it being mentioned in the film I have nothing to back it up

          • Barfo says:

            Little_crow had a post (now deleted?) talking about SPLEENWORT, I think thats as good a guess as anything – that is at least a thing, and its native to south africa and apparently so is Hannay, so its at least plausible, im calling it:

            Theme: The Thirty-Nine Steps
            A1: PAVIA (its important part of Scudders notes in the book, maybe other refs)
            C3: NANNY (opening encounter in 1959 movie)
            C5: BIG BEN (climactic scene of 1978 version)
            F1: LENTONITE (explosive used for one of the escapes in the book, apparently)
            F5: ST PANCRAS (railway station in 1978 movie and also book)
            F8: MILKMAN (character in multiple versions)
            G9: BOOMERANG (Macguffin of the 1959 movie)
            G11: FISHER (, Miss – companion of at least in the 1959 movie)
            G13: TINY IRONSIDE (could be two answers this one i can’t connect to the movie)
            H3: HANDCUFFS (important plot point in climax of multiple versions)
            I6: BUCHAN (author of the book)
            J7: KAROLIDES (Greek PM target of assn plot in 1978 version – also the book)
            K1: LIBERAL (Actually I guess we got this one so early i don’t know the connection here either)
            K9: SPLEENWORT (a plant native to south africa, tenuous link to it being a weak plot point in the 1959 movie)
            M5: DIGBY (Character in the book and probably other places)

          • Gothnak says:

            ‘The Hay wagon finally stops at a Girls School, where Hannay is mistaken for a travelling lecturer and has to give a lecture on the Spleenwort. ‘

            Hannay was apparently based on the bloke who became General Tiny IronSide.

            And he meets a Liberal Candidate on his travels.

          • Little_Crow says:

            My missing comment is awaiting moderation – might have been the link to a forum I posted