Listener 4254: PC Gone Mad by Waterloo (or Listen With Whom?)
Posted by Dave Hennings on 30 August 2013
We know we’re in for a bit of fun with Waterloo. Nearly all of his puzzles involve some sort of jiggery-pokery. Remember fiDlEDE four years ago and OO! Spectacles? in 2005? I was amazed to see from The Listener website that his first puzzle, Cordial Entente dates back 50 years to 1963. That was, I think, before I bought my very first Listener. Lawks! Since then he has entertained his audience with over twenty more.
So this week a bit of gender-bending, with male references in answers and clues being replaced by their female equivalent. It would be good to get 1ac, a 13-letter word, but that was not to be. Instead 9ac Study Glaswegian grandchild swallowing most of a pint (5) had me wondering what the female equivalent of ‘stud’ was. Of course I was changing sex the wrong way round (!), and the answer was OLOGY, a log being a Hebrew liquid measure. I took a quick detour to 2, 3 and 4 down which gave ELF, BUCKET and AGMAS, Google being required to discover Dickens’s Inspector Bucket, entered as DOEET. 13ac A frame altered colouring (6) also showed the way that wordplay and entries were to be transformed, leading to FEMARA instead of MASCARA. I could see lots of fun ahead.
And so it proved, although not in the acrosses at first, being reluctant to give up their secrets. The downs were slightly better with ten more than the initial three being slotted in. These included 39dn It can remove main source of grain and sugar (3) which showed how sneaky Waterloo could be: it required ‘ma’ to be replaced by ‘pa’ to lead to GAS, a pain reliever. 29dn had me confused a bit, trying as I was to guess what the male equivalent of ‘Maryland’ could be; in fact, it was just the indicator for an American word.
All in all, some good clues and substitutions. In 19ac we had to replace ‘tip of pen’ with ‘tip of cob’; 27ac required ‘damn’ to change back into ‘siren’; and in 17dn, the ‘goose’ became a ‘gander’. 12dn Für Elise once played, hard instead of loud, with sexy implications (12) refused to disclose its male HERO to me for a long time, needing to be entered as LECHEROINEUS. I also liked 14dn Run in shapeless mass and finally make steadier (8) leading to GUY-ROPE/DOLL-ROPE (R in DOLLOP + E), with the definition, ‘steadier’, to be read as a noun.
In the end I was left with one clue unresolved: 30ac Regressive urges to keep Her Majesty constantly queening (6). The wordplay could obviously lead to SNEERY, ER (Her Majesty) in YENS< (urges), and I had the SNEER from the down entries anyway. But even now, I cannot see what the definition is, either as it stands or changing into ‘constantly kinging’ or something similar!
As usual, an entertaining and amusing puzzle from this offbeat setter. Thanks, Waterloo.