Listen With Others

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3996 – Half a Ton by Llig

Posted by Listen With Others on 12 September 2008

I’m late starting this week having just returned from Hampton Court. A friend was visiting London so as it was a nice day I suggested the four hour trip up river. A nice picnic and half a bottle of wine passed the time until we arrived at the palace. Palace tour, a spot of puzzling in the maze, a wander round the gardens and a cup of tea in the sunshine completed the afternoon. Anyway it is 7.30pm before I download this week’s offering from Llig. I hope it easier than Argentum by Radix, the solution of which I check first. Phew what a battle that was. Like many I found the final step very hard to make. I got there in the end but it could well have been otherwise. Thankfully I didn’t have a busy week at work. And so to this week; not much to say really but here goes.


Parts of the perimeter and a number of clues are connected.
I wonder what is in the rest of the perimeter? For a change, no misprints, no encoding, no special clues or method of entry and no letters emerging to spell a useful message, just normal clues and normal entry. A quick scan of which shows they all have a musical theme though what that has to do with the title is for the moment a mystery to me. I decide to start with the downs to see if I can get some letters in the perimeter. With a bit of luck the words will begin in the NW corner.
1d It’s sickening as Jenufa collapses, lacking force and justice
A straight forward anag of ‘as Jenufa’ minus F and J giving NAUSEA.
2d Aristophanes’ satire remained a supplement
WAS PS is the satire concerned.
3d Put through Enigma perhaps, Elgar begins adding various notes round cipher
Must be ENCODE. Surely various notes isn’t N,C,D,E. Yuck, I hope I’m wrong.
4d Playing ocarina with no ordinary contralto bit in Abuja
anag of ocarina minus oc giving NAIRA. Is Abuja in Nigeria?
5,6,7d can’t do.
The perimeter starts ?NWEN
8d A light-hearted act in Verdi dominates
DIDO hidden. Looking at what crosses the answers I have got:
9a Beethoven’s ninth is included in miscellany that’s suitable for Pineapple Poll perhaps
ANA– seems to be ANANA – that’s a very long and weak definition.
12a Some not attracted by Rolling Stones savaging music
Anag of music – MUSCI which I seem to recall is a moss – I like the definition here.
14a Abduct alto at start of Seraglio, tune follows
-SPOR- must be ASPORT which I can’t remember encountering before.
The level of cluing was fairly easy so to cut a short story shorter, using cross checking to the max I progressed quickly through the clues down the LH side. With the musical theme in mind I saw Vaughan Williams emerge. Wikipedia gave me On Wenlock Edge. The rest of the clues all came out very easily and Wikipedia again provided Serenade to Music. Half a Ton presumably refers to 50 years since RVW’s death. Total solving time was 90 minutes. So this has to be the easiest Listener for a while but still enjoyable. My only grump would be the only thematic material in the grid was the perimeter. This meant the clues had to be thematic; some by referencing RVW’s works (hence the preamble reference linking the works in the perimeter with the works in some clues), but also by giving them all a musical twist. This in turn put considerable strain on some definitions.
For example
One might participate in Carnival of the Animals – TENREC
…that’s suitable for Pineapple Poll perhaps – ANANA
Possible venue for Oxford elegy – ORIEL
But that apart I still enjoyed it. Plus it did mean that a friend I have been encouraging to take on the Listener managed to complete it. So patently a good puzzle for new solvers. The bonus was I had lots of time to spend in the garden and psyche myself up for next week’s numerical. This is the first year I am attempting all four. I never used to bother as they cause me such angst and so little pleasure but writing these occasional blogs has made me persist with puzzles I might previously not have bothered with.


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