Listen With Others

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4024: Waterloo’s Symmetry (or Going for a Spin)

Posted by Listen With Others on 27 March 2009

The junior 8 X 8 team was faced with a new challenge this week. We’re nonplussed when faced with a carte blanche by Salamanca or Zebedee, in the Listener or in the Crossword Club’s ‘Crossword’. Perhaps it is the cold solving that separates the men from the boys (you experts from us learners!)

Waterloo’s clues seemed very fair to us and the wordplay slightly more decipherable than we are coming to expect in the Listener. We had the good fortune to cold solve 5ac. RUNG, 7 ac. LEAF, 30 ac. STOT, and 32 ac. EKES, as well as about half of the other clues, including a rather surprising ELIDES that reversed SEDILE, and REWARD that reversed DRAWER (didn’t think much of the ‘pant?’ part of that clue!) but the light didn’t dawn and we reached the limit of our solving skills.

Despair almost ensued with Crossword Compiler and a vast consumption of paper failing to produce any way that the solutions would fit into a grid. With the four-letter answers in the obvious place and ALPACAS going in the only direction it could, as well as eight intersecting five-letter words coming out from the centre, and four nine-letter words fitted in, we simply could not find anywhere for the final eight-letter words.

Those four six-letter down clues were the obvious culprits. Spotting that they were down clues that could reverse across clues and serve a dual purpose was an epiphany. Sheer joy! (After a few hours of frustration.) The good sense of the word play meant that it was pleasure all the way to the finish line with TENNER going in as our final word. We didn’t like the three unches there and still don’t know what RENNE has to do with a cathedral city (Is this an English spelling of RENNES?).

Just like last week’s colouring in, there was still a monkey trick to perform. (Is it a Listener rule that there has to be a final hoop to leap through?) Filling in the bars was no problem but we had a real squabble over the orientation of the numbers with Mr Math finally prevailing and pointing out how obvious and easy it was.

We were delighted with the ingenuity of ‘An Additional Symmetry’ and solving it was a wonderful tutorial in grid structure. Thank you, Waterloo for a superb and very, very challenging puzzle (for us!) We are only hoping that next week’s Listener does not need quite so much cold solving.

Shirley Curran.

4 Responses to “4024: Waterloo’s Symmetry (or Going for a Spin)”

  1. Simon Melen said

    From memory….was I the only person who had a problem with the clue for Osmose? I felt it would have been brilliant clue if only his name had been spelt slightly differently.

  2. listenwithothers said

    I’m sure you weren’t the only one who was perplexed. Personally, I just assumed that the setter and editors knew what they were doing and ‘Moseley’ was how it was spelt. As I said on the Crossword Centre message board, I think we should all club together to change Mosley’s name posthumously by deed poll to make the clue work!

    Dave.

  3. shirley curran said

    The junior 8 X 8 team had spotted the problem but we were happy to have a word that fitted, and found the queer spelling of Moseley on the Internet too. I am still wondering about the cathedral city RENNE in RENNET/TENNER. We were more concerned about that – but, again, it was confirmed by the TENNER note. But we are not in the ‘all correct’ class or even aiming at it, so we settle for what ‘must be right’.

  4. Anne Chambers said

    RENNES with time(T) for(replacing) southern(S) gives RENNET (fruit)

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