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Title Black Box
Setter Arcturus
Series The Listener
Number 3245
Date 19/03/1994
Grid 1313 barred grid with 180 symmetry. The top and bottom of six columns, and the left and right of seven rows, are labelled with the twenty-six letters of the alphabet.
Preamble In the Black Box game, the position of atoms within a grid must be discovered by observing where a ray reappears after entering the box at a known starting point on the edge. A ray encountering an atom in the same row or column is deflected through 180 degrees. A ray encountering an atom in a diagonally adjacent square is deflected away through 90 degrees.
The crossword diagram represents such a black box with nine atoms concealed; two of these are known to be located at the isolated squares. In the correctly completed diagram, the letters at the atom positions spell out a name (5,4), reading from left to right, top to bottom. Solvers should fill in the isolated squares.
Two unclued thematic lights have a titular connection: corresponding pairs of letters taken from each of these lights provide seven ray paths, each letter matching one printed at the edge of the diagram. For example, if the first letters of the two lights were A and B, a ray entering at position A on the edge of the diagram reappears at B.
From all the clue answers, one letter must be omitted, wherever it occurs in the word, before entry in the diagram. Definitions in clues refer to the full answers; subsidiary indications refer to the mutilated forms to be entered in the diagram. Numbers in brackets show the full lengths of words. The letters omitted form a relevant quotation from the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (1992).
Solution Notes
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The two unclued lights are OBSCURE and WHAMPLE, synonyms of BLACK and BOX. These provide seven ray paths: O-W, B-H, S-A, C-M, U-P, R-L and E-E.
The letters omitted from a spell out "All science is either physics or stamp collecting", a quotation by Lord Rutherford.
The letters at the atom positions read NIELS BOHR, who, with Rutherford, developed a model for the atom (the Rutherford-Bohr atom) that is the basis of modern atomic theory.
KeywordsBlack Box game atoms ray All science is either physics or stamp collecting Lord Rutherford NIELS BOHR Rutherford-Bohr atom atomic theory
Acknowledgements Preamble and solution notes © 2020 The Times. Reproduced with permission.
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