Getting There is Half the Fun (solution)
by Michael Colao; cryptic clues by Michael Colao and Francis Heaney
Identify or solve each list of clues. You should discover that each list actually clues a particular type of transportation.
A Numbers Game
There are thirteen clues for people. There is an obvious question here in that the title suggests that we are looking for numbers, and yet, we have identified names. The key aha here is that these are all names of trains or train services. However, the Wolverine and Lincoln services have multiple trains per day. The requirement to travel as early as possible on any given day identifies a unique train for each person.
Go to the Head of the Class
The obvious first step is solving the clues.
|[N.] Wear out German agreement before the first and second of December||[N.] Jade (Ja+de)|
|[N.] Programming language incorporates a valuable piece of wisdom, perhaps||[N.] Pearl (Pe(a)rl)|
|[N.] Margaret returns with precious item||[N.] Gem (Meg backwards)|
|Final profit extracted from alluring trickery||Magic (Magnetic – net)|
|Draft beer spilled on ultimate British character, unfinished||Breeze (Beer*+Ze(d))|
|Amazing story’s finish follows part of a race||Legend (Leg+end)|
|Car going backwards mid-mile is a phenomenon||Miracle (car< in Mile)|
|Quiet conveyance to Simba’s rock||Pride (P+ride)|
|Genius of brain cell I mixed up [otS]||Brilliance [otS] ((Brain cell I)*)|
|Outdoor musical performance is dry and inordinately electronic [otS]||Serenade [otS] (sere + and* + e)|
|Initially justice evolved when everyone lusted for a precious ornament [otS]||Jewel [otS] (initials)|
|Taking time off, expert embraces unfulfilled Lord Cook, for one [otS]||Explorer [otS] (EXP(LORd)ERt)|
|Exploit tavern due to be renovated [otS]||Adventure [otS] ((tavern due)*)|
|One finding a way for Pandora’s people to meet swamp resident [otS]||Navigator [otS] (Navi + Gator)|
|Remain unhappy before resistance of seaman [otS]||Mariner [otS] (remain*+R)|
|Rump hit harshly in coup||Triumph ((Rump Hit)*)|
|Six against a hundred: a Conservative win!||Victory (VI + C +Tory)|
|Adding cesium to active yeast yields illegal drug||Ecstasy (Cs in Yeast*)|
|Southeast nation’s troubled feeling||Sensation (SE + nations*)|
|Disturbing satanic info provides captivation||Fascination ((satanic info)*)|
|Creativity from one country containing wizards||Imagination (I+magi+nation)|
|Muse on pain I stir around||Inspiration ((on pain I stir)*)|
|Euphoria from boundless intercourse||Elation (r elation s)|
|Elysium exists in procession||Paradise (is in Parade)|
|Stellar assemblage of battered colonial tents||Constellation ((colonial tents)*)|
|Lack of boundaries for one in nifty convertible||Infinity (I + (in nifty)*)|
|Two thousand in business attire at meeting of government heads||Summit (MM in Suit)|
|Removing “ass-backwards” from list of defined terms provides acclaim||Glory (Glossary – ass<)|
|Primeval organism displays courage||Valor (primeVAL ORganism)|
|Terribly wrong to lose right of independence||Liberty (Terribly* - R)|
|Autonomy comes from more Fed activity||Freedom ((more Fed)*)|
|Tailless equine and bovine start to fall||Equinox (Equin(e)+ Ox)|
|Overshadow movie excerpts with something transcendental before and after||Eclipse (E + Clips + E)|
|Outline renovation of hotel suite||Silhouette ((hotel suite)*)|
|Act of contemplating relic, often, is stirring||Reflection ((Relic often)*)|
|Buzz Lightyear’s enemy returns with one young adult to Georgia, as the neighbors say||Gruziya (Zurg< + I +YA)|
|Hear “banzai” translated on the outskirts of Zaire’s capital, or alternatively, a country in the Caucasus||Azerbaizhan (Z in (hear banzai)*)|
|Infielder Matsui has tank travelling to the largest landlocked country||Kazakhstan(Kaz + (has tank)*)|
|Yes, penetrating air leak damaged Russian republic||Kareliya (Y in (air leak)*)|
|[MS] I unfortunately gain sin as a badge of honor||[MS] Insignia (I + (gain sin)*)|
|[MS] New gold tee by one California clothing company||[MS] Nautica (N+Au+T+I+Ca)|
|Lend clothing, for example, to someone larger than life [otS]||Legend [otS] (L (EG) end)|
|Don’t be thrifty having left our majesty [otS]||Splendour [otS] (SP(L)END + OUR)|
|Regretted northern Argentina’s revolution leading to glory [otS]||Grandeur [otS] (RUED+N+ARG reversed)|
|Overwhelming pleasure disturbed shady pro [otS]||Rhapsody [otS] ((shady pro)*)|
|Slovenly men can’t then charm [otS]||Enchantment [otS] ((men can’t then)*)|
When cruise ships are ordered and manufactured, it is common to order several identical (or near identical) ships to reduce costs. These are known as a class of cruise ships and the class is normally named for the first ship to roll off of the line and into service. So if I ordered the Strawberry, Blackberry, Blueberry, and Gooseberry ships and the Strawberry was made first, then these would collectively be the Strawberry class of ships. Each of the thirteen boxes lists all of the ships in a class, apart from the first ship which gave its name to the class. It is now relatively easy to identify the missing head of the class.
|Other ships in class||Cruise line||Class|
|[Norwegian] Jade, [Norwegian] Pearl, [Norwegain] Gem||Norwegian Cruise Lines||[N] Jewel|
|Magic, Breeze||Carnival Cruise Lines||Dream|
|Legend, Miracle, Pride||Carnival Cruise Lines||Spirit|
|Brilliance [of the Seas], Serenade [of the Seas], Jewel [of the Seas]||Royal Caribbean||Radiance [otS]|
|Explorer [of the Seas], Adventure [of the Seas], Navigator [of the Seas], Mariner [of the Seas]||Royal Caribbean||Voyager [otS]|
|Triumph, Victory||Carnival Cruise Lines||Destiny|
|Ecstasy, Sensation, Fascination, Imagination, Inspiration, Elation, Paradise||Carnival Cruise Lines||Fantasy|
|Constellation, Infinity, Summit||Celebrity Cruises||Millennium|
|Glory, Valor, Liberty, Freedom||Carnival Cruise Lines||Conquest|
|Equinox, Eclipse, Silhouette, Reflection||Celebrity Cruises||Solstice|
|Gruziya, Azerbaizhan, Kazakhstan, Kareliya||Black Sea Shipping||Belorussiya|
|[MS] Insignia, [MS] Nautica||Oceania Cruises||[MS] Regatta|
|Legend [of the Seas], Splendour [of the Seas], Grandeur [of the Seas], Rhapsody [of the Seas], Enchantment [of the Seas]||Royal Caribbean||Vision [otS]|
Combining the Trains and Ships
We now have 13 rows of trains and cruise ships. We can put them together. We now use the train number as an index into the ship name. If the train were number 142 and the ship were called the Cypress, then we would extract the 1st, 4th and 2nd characters to get “CRY”.
This makes the 37-character nonsense phrase “We wed. Is dad agreed? An alumnus, so close, gains.” This is less elegant than I was trying for, but it was seriously constrained. Hopefully the fact the the first sentences of the flavor text convey the same meaning should give adequate reinforcement that we are on the right track.
Isn’t Air Travel Amazing
For the third part, Isn’t Air Travel Amazing, it is pretty clearly an airline identification exercise. For airlines, there are really only two codings possible: the International Air Transport Association (IATA) codes, which are two letters, or the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) codes, which are three letters. IATA codings are more commonly used and likely to be the default choice, but for the avoidance of doubt, the initials of the section title spell out IATA.
|Skyway Airlines/Midwest Connect||AL|
|Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras||AD|
|Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia||DK|
|Delta Air Lines||DL|
|Japan Asia Airways||EG|
|Astar Air Cargo||ER|
|ULS Airlines Cargo||GO|
|LTU International Airways||LT|
|MIAT Mongolian Airline||OM|
|Aeropelican Air Services||OT|
|MN Airlines (Trading as Sun Country)||SY|
|Blue Islands Limited||SI|
|South African Airways||SA|
|UM (Ukraine Mediterranean) Air||UF|
Putting It All Together
The key observations here are that there are 37 of these airlines and that they are almost, but not quite, in alphabetical order.
We already have the phrase “We wed. Is dad agreed? An alumnus, so close, gains.” Now we just have to turn that phrase into an answer. This is a simple substitution using the key provided by the airline IATA codes. We should note that there are exactly as many airlines as letters in the phrase, and indeed the distribution of first letters of the airlines is exactly that in the odd phrase. We can substitute directly.
Rearranging our airlines so that the first column reads “We wed. Is dad agreed? An alumnus, so close, gains.”, the second column of the airlines now reads:
CEO Gary Kelly directs this firm IATA code “WN”.
Gary Kelly is the CEO of Southwest Airlines, which has the IATA code of “WN”.
The answer is SOUTHWEST AIRLINES.