Listen With Others

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin

Listener 4099: Double Devilry by Pointer (and Not ‘Y/es, Tin Gone’!)

Posted by Dave Hennings on 3 September 2010

This is, as far as I can see, Pointer’s first Listener puzzle. He/she has had a few in Magpie over the last few years, and about half of those have been of difficulty D (ie tough). Also, and I’m not sure if this bodes well, but the preamble has almost as many words as the clues! There are just twenty clues, and two very straightforward diagrams. The only minor worry: it’s printer’s devilry.

I quite enjoy PD clues, although they don’t come along frequently enough for me to become particularly adept at them. And Azed’s can be quite tricky.

My eyes flit from clue to clue, but my brain just gets confused … and worried. So a more concentrated approach is called for.

Grid I
1 Unlike most, bird’s early. Don’t fly! Eagles perhaps; or ‘clearly’ with a word ending ..cle? Yes, MUSCLE with emus. A good start.
2 This starts Any sensitive? I serve … which reads badly so that is probably where the break is. How about ‘sensitive issue’? That leads to SUEDES.
3 The Gondoliers sounds like a Venice clue, but nothing immediately obvious, so I’ll come back to it.
4 A complete blank with The robbers tell of an ordeal with a cellist.
5 The man in funny closet must be ‘funny clothes’ leading to THESIS. Slightly non-Azed here with a break between words: ‘funny clo/thes is/ set to become clown’ but no harm done.
6 Tim was tiny, but nothing else; well, OK, Dickensian!
7 The shepherd in Snowdonia reads vaguely sensible, so no obvious place for a break. Come back to this one.
8 Starts Ad is placed which shouts out ‘a displaced’, and LIENAL comes fairly quickly with an alien always wanting to go home.
9 The hungry boy will get to the ‘table’ first, so we have ‘table at speed’ and BLEATS.
10 Last of the Grid I clues, and Was this bold … with its car theme must be ‘banger sold’ giving ANGERS.
Grid II
1 This one ends a present tone phew (you can ignore all punctuation in a PD clue!), and that must be ‘nephew’; what goes with nephew … ‘uncle’, and he’s at the beginning (well, Unit is), although I have to look in Chambers to see words beginning cle.., and there’s CLEVIS.
2 the interval between high tiers and lunar eclipse, shouts out ‘high tides’ and ‘alters’ seems logical: DESALT.
3 Is a Jock eyed … must be ‘jockeyed’, but I’m not sure what else.
4 Who wrote The Forsyte Saga? John Galsworthy. So the seaworthy swords become ‘Galsworthy’s words’ and REGALS.
5 A blank with the anaesthetist!
6 There’s always a quiz round called ‘Trivia’, so here we have Trim I shed our record leading to ‘trivia’, VIABLE, and ‘blemished’.
It was here that I realised that the normal order in the preamble meant that VIABLE didn’t necessarily go in column 1, which is where I initially put it, but meshed with CLEVIS and DESALT in rows 1 and 2.
7 ? (straggling ivy)
8 Another ? (wagon train)
9 ??!! (John Gielgud?)
10 Finally, Muslims place their faith … ‘in Allah’, giving NALLAH.


A bit of a disappointing ending with a few missing answers, but a quick glance at the grid, and MUSCLE-CLEVIS and SUEDES-DESALT leaps off the page … BOTH GRIDS ARE IDENTICAL! From then on it is plain sailing, although the robber, the cellist and Sir John Gielgud take a bit of unravelling.

The full versions of all the clues are therefore:

Grid I

1. Unlike most birds, emus clearly don’t fly
2. Any sensitive issue deserves care from a counsellor
3. In Venice, captive audiences applaud The Gondoliers
4. The robber steals a cello for deals with cellist
5. The man in funny clothes is set to become a clown
6. Bob Cratchitt’s Tim is little
7. The shepherd hopes not to find welsh ewe dead in Snowdonia
8. A displaced alien always wanted to return to his home country
9. A hungry boy will get to the table at speed
10. Was this banger sold to the buyer wanting an old car

Grid II

1. Uncle visits the house to give a present to nephew
2. The interval between high tides alters during a lunar cycle
3. Is a jockey cap lined to give head protection
4. These are Galsworthy’s words from The Forsyte Saga
5. The anaesthetist continued to use ether during my operation
6. My quiz team through. Losing the round on Trivia blemished our record
7. The ivy straggling over the rooftop is a tangle of tendrils
8. Travellers on the wagons-lit rest all through the night
9. Even when Sir John hummed and hawed, Gielgud runs always had full houses
10. Muslims place their faith in Allah‘s divine power

So there we have a nice compact Printer’s Devilry puzzle. And the unchecked letters in the across clues which need to be unscrambled to go beneath the diagram … UCEIDSPLAT? It doesn’t take long to sort out DUPLICATES. Not a difficult puzzle this week, but entertaining all the same. And no typo! Interesting one, thanks Pointer, especially for not being grade D … at least not for your first Listener outing!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: