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The Glady Marsh by Salamanca

Posted by shirleycurran on 12 February 2010

One of the ‘Stripey horse Z???A (5) team re-read Conan-Doyle’s ‘A Study in Scarlet’ at Christmas and wittered about it as we attacked this one.  “Must be REDDEN, though that doesn’t quite fit the clue – the DEN should be in the RED” … and so on. We had a fine start; no misprints to find, no words to invert, no verbal antics at all – just our style!

We even spotted LESTRADE when the bottom half of the grid filled with unusual speed. RABETTING SAW was a lucky start (thrown up by an anagram solver – Oh dear! But it didn’t find LEASING MAKER for us, and whoever would have thought that was a ‘speaker of seditious words’?) KOP caused us a problem. Yes, we know that was a hill in South Africa and it was confirmed by its intersecting words, RECKAN, DITTO and ENSEPULCHRED, but what has it to do with ‘one of Scotland’s hill’s round’? (perhaps Denis will explain the wordplay and that strange apostrophe?)

There we were with half the grid filled and no idea at all what NEST, WAND and BETS had to do with anything. We should have gone back to ‘A Study in Scarlet’ at that point and found GREGSON, but we usually spend so much time fishing for scarlet herrings that we resisted the urge, this time – sadly!

It was ESTREPED that was the break through. 1ac and 1d suddenly seemed to be within reach. We could choose between WRITING ON THE WALL and DENIZEN OF THE DEEP. With our dread of red herrings in mind, we opted for the former, and, of course, the rest fell into place.

“Ah yes, that was it RACHE – ‘vengeance’ in German – and those two warring detectives thought it was RACHEL written in blood. We have to think erroneously like them. That gives us THEA, GLADYS, MARSHA – lovely!”

The rest fell into place. WAND(A), BETS(Y), NEST(A), SOPH(Y) – nice clue that one and Chambers filled the gap in my knowledge with the information that SOP came from the drugged sop the Sibyl gave to Cerberus to enable Aeneas to enter the Underworld – PEAR(L) – I am wondering why a PEA is Catherine’s veg. – LAR(A), LIND(A) and ANGEL(A).

How nicely it all came together in the end. Of course, I had to get out the pencils and add a few red-herring clues, dripping blood down the wall.  Sometimes this Listener solving thing can be a pleasure and not a nightmare. Thank you, Salamanca.

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2 Responses to “The Glady Marsh by Salamanca”

  1. … which has finally given me my subtitle, Shirley!

  2. Denis Martin said

    I went through a very similar process to Dave below or above, not understanding why I couldn’t find Pok Hill in Scotland, before eventually finding ‘kip’. A very good clue, I thought.

    Nice artwork as always, Shirley.

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