Listen With Others

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3990 – I know My Place by Syd Lexis

Posted by Listen With Others on 1 August 2008

Before I down loaded this puzzle I checked the solution to Fizz Buzz by BeRo and immediately became confused. What’s all this about highlighting the unchecked letters? I look at my copy of the puzzle and see no reference to highlighting in the preamble. Did the preamble get changed after I downloaded it? How unfair I thought. I went to Derek’s site and there is no angry exchange on the message board about a poor preamble. So I went back to the Times site and see I missed a whole paragraph of preamble – yes the one about highlighting. I now remember I thought it odd at the time that the crossword was not very thematic – just a strange entry method justified by Fizz Buzz. I had expected mistakes to be made by entries failing to turn at the required letter and a drink being inserted, but none of it. The really odd thing is in checking my grid entries I drew wiggly lines through the letters to ensure I had correctly positioned them. It would therefore have been a job of seconds to highlight the letters with only one line through them; but it was not to be. So I hit my first incorrect this year through a stupid mistake. Not untypical of me I have to say but annoying nevertheless.

After carefully downloading the whole of I know My Place and reading the preamble which means nothing to me yet I set about the clues, starting at the end.
43d is MIR two mngs
41d is AIL, I in AL
39d I twig after looking up Anthony in C is RUNT, un in RT
Crossing them is 42a is alternate letters giving IMBUE with B unclued.
B lies on a diagonal as do the unchecked cells so maybe unclued letters are on diagonals.
As a check I look at 44a, a long entry crossing both diagonals. It is clearly an anag of doings stain meaning names but that is 11 letters not 10. It is DESIGNATIONS but only the E is unclued not the last N as I was expecting.
Going back to the downs.
38d is DITA, DIT plus A
with three letters in it I go for 46a which is STARETS, STARTS around E.
37d is ETAT, 36a is GED, 35d URDU(U on the diagonal is clued), 33d TEMSE with M(on a diagonal) is unclued, 45a is DELF and 40a is REMANET with M unclued as it was in TEMSE.
Now I’m going to cut this short because I found the cluing very straight forward and with a few exceptions worked my way up the grid until it was complete taking about three hours in total.
And then?
Well I had the unclued letters Y?URYY?B and I?URYY?ME on the diagonals. I chose this way round to read them because of the symmetry of URYY and the top to bottom reading of both but I could be wrong.
Certainly, these letters meant nothing to me so I had something to eat and came back later when it still meant nothing.
I tried googling various letters in different orders and eventually under URYY space ME found a reference to Two wise… and thence via another google to the completed YYURYYUB ICURYY4ME which fitted with the preamble. It was a relief because even when I found it, I didn’t recognise the rhyme. I had never encountered it before. (The next day I showed the letters to a friend and it meant nothing until I said it out loud when they remembered seeing the puzzle as a child. Thank goodness for google because I would never have got this without it.)
So overall I think I found this short but sweet. The cluing was fair and the denouement fair too even though Syd was very nearly YY4ME. Now, do I have to highlight anything?

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