Listen With Others

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Listener 4094: Wet Wet Wet by Lato

Posted by erwinch on 30 July 2010

Most setters remain anonymous to most solvers, at least with regard to their appearance, but we do have a picture of Lato taken at last year’s Listener Dinner, courtesy of The Crossword Centre:
 
 
I do seem to have encountered Lato an awful lot over the years – The Crossword Database currently lists an impressive total of 60 puzzles, 11 of them Listeners and there was a further Listener under the pseudonym Vlad the Compiler.  It may be due to confusion with the similarly named and even more prolific Loda (92 puzzles) but I have not managed to gain a general impression of Lato’s work, except, might he perhaps have a penchant for puzzles with an unusually large number of unclued entries?  It was certainly the case here with 11 out of 49 entries unclued.  The consequence of this is that it can take quite some time for the theme to be discovered – we have learnt to ignore such blatant hints such as the title and extra words (song, songwriter), which appeared to indicate a musical theme.
 
For me the penny dropped when six of the seven misprints had been corrected (not the T of banter, 32dn):
 
ECGOTA? = COTTAGE: linked with 10ac to give Dove Cottage, Wordsworth’s home in Grasmere.
 
So, the theme was confirmed as the principal Lake Poets: Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey.
 
However, I did make a bit of a meal of tidying up the loose ends.  For a long time I had rude words (not in Chambers) for row so not exchange words then Hey Jude for song.  I was also confused by the possibility of having Cole in place of pole although this would be at variance with the preamble.  I was not familiar with any of Southey’s poems so my final entry was La Pucelle (La is the article missing from Chambers) the two-word synonym for his poem Joan of Arc.  This gave the completed grid as follows:
 
 
It all fitted together very nicely to make a lovely puzzle.
 
I had never knowingly met or corresponded with a poet but by coincidence did on the day before this puzzle was first available online.  None other than Verity Hill commented on my blog The Domino Effect by Googly.
 
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