Accros à Laclos

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“Quand, après m’être creusé la tête pendant des heures et des jours, je trouvais des solutions à “Collectionneur de papillons” ou “Toujours en tête à la mairie” (“Marianne”), j’étais tout simplement heureux.”

Gérard Jugnot’s homage to the Nobel des mots croisés says it all and well. Happy, indeed, is any crossword puzzle enthusiast who gets to play with — and against — Michel Laclos. For “des heures et des jours,” no exaggeration there, is how long it can take to see what l’empereur des formules — another of Laclos’s nicknames — gives us to look at: rarely the obvious. Collectionneur de papillons? Ditch the butterfly nets, look past the flower fields, think hard — and don’t stop before you’ve remembered (or learned) that papillon is also jargon for parking ticket. Oooh… Now may be a good time for a few letters.

butterfly-clue

No hunter in sight yet? Well then, just look here:

butterflies

Never before did you think of essuie-glaces as butterfly collectors, did you? That’s when happiness kicks in — and that first time is addictive. Fried brains and sleepless nights is the price Mum and I pay for happy Laclos crossword moments. We thought we’d share some of the fun — and sweat — with you.

crosswordHappy wordplay, and please let us know if you need some help. Or, better, share your finds…

PS: Warm up is needed before you cross (s)words with Laclos.

PPS: Even more needed, this magical dictionary, specially designed for cruciverbistes lost in translation. Ça peut servir very much indeed!

— Claire

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