4012 – Explanation by Lato
Posted by Listen With Others on 3 January 2009
It’s the Sun Junior coffee break 8 X 8 team again. After two disastrous weeks when we couldn’t even begin to solve the Listeners, ‘Explanation’ seemed more ‘abordable’ as the French would say.
We soon had US in 26 ac. and made a lucky wild stab at Julius Caesar (though Decius Brutus would have done just as well and seems to express more wishes). For no reason at all, we guessed ‘past tense’, then floundered in our desultory way, returning to add a couple of clues and slowly building up the upper right hand corner.
Friar Tuck suddenly leapt out weightily and, of course, the obvious ‘Let me have men about me that are fat’. That gave us the momentum to grind on. An almost blind guess at Oliver Hardy and a lucky machine search that produced Henry VIII meant that we had that extra Y and could use the unchecked perimeter letters to find the other characters. Homer Simpson was not too difficult with the letters we had, but who was this ??GREEDY. (We were looking for some over indulgent Renaissance lover called BO GREEDY until CHARACTER gave us the R of Mr.)
It should have been a downhill coast to the finishing line at this point. Words slotted in easily BUT (the big BUT) we could find only three answers clued without definition: TUNA, BALT and MEAT. We aren’t even sure of those. A nut is picked up, for TUNA: earth (E) is covered by Mat for MEAT and cobalt is missing its chemical symbol CO to give BALT – very clever, we thought, but where is the fourth? The conductor clue (44 ac.) is beyond us and seems to yield most of the letters we need, but with an extra BC if it is BEECHAM. We have a little problem somewhere!
So this is the Junior Coffee Break Team’s first funny failure report.
Clearly those fat fellows overate and if there were a conductor called Meefham, we would have managed our second Listener. Our congratulations and admiration for all those who did! It was fun anyway.