Thursday 2 October 2008

Osama Bin Laden

The names of the US Democratic Party nominees for President and Vice President - Obama and Biden – share a quirky coincidence. When placed together, the result is eerily similar to ‘Osama Bin Laden’.

This was put to ingenious use in Guardian puzzle 24507 (Paul). 25,26 Across ran:
Who's after Bush, given the Second Amendment? His running mate's secured northern state; so who's Bush after? (5,3,5)

Perhaps an unusual clue like this is better solved with creative thinking than by going into crosswording nitty-gritties. When I took a print of the puzzle, this wordy clue against the blank grid looked so intriguing that I promptly showed it to my friend Ankur. He isn't much into crosswords but to my amazement he answered OSAMA BIN LADEN in a glance. We then worked out the full annotation backwards.

Who's after Bush = OBAMA
given the Second Amendment => OBAMA changes to OSAMA
His running mate's secured northen state => BIDEN contains N LA(state of Louisiana) => BI{N LA}DEN

Put together, this gives OSAMA BI{N LA}DEN, whom Bush is after. A super clue!

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