Listen With Others

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Travel Guide by Aedites, The Clockwork Orange.

Posted by shirleycurran on 4 March 2011


Compilers must have very unusual synapses operating. Do you think that while I am hunched into my coat, clutching that polystyrene mug of coffee and gazing at the gobbets of discarded gum on the platform, Aedites is thinking, ‘Now if I subtract Etruscan from Buchanan Street, I get Theban’. One of the numpty team travelled to and from Glasgow Academy on the Clockwork Orange via Buchanan Street station every day for six years without coming up with that inspiring snippet.

But familiarity does help. Yet again, that Listener deity is smiling on us. That word ‘Kelvin’ (‘Kelvin series acquires right marker’ (5) leading to LINE + R) alerted us to the fact that, for the sixth time this year, we were on home ground.

As soon as the misprints had spelled out UNDERGROUND CIRCLE, we knew where we were heading. (Of course we had to resist the urge to select the correct letters – the habit has become so deeply ingrained!)  We had a hint of trouble finding the second C of circle. Wasn’t that cleverly disguised? ‘Child’s cot among choices less wobbly with two equal sides’ (9) ISOSCELES was the obvious solution to that clue with the rather odd surface reading, but we had to work backwards to see that we were using the C of COT, which had to become NOT – so we were removing the CH(ild), leaving ‘OICES LESS’ to be anaground!

Home territory indeed, though THE RIVER CLYDE doesn’t actually flow in a straight line – but it does flow through GLASGOW, the city so helpfully spelled out for us by those intriguing little crosses, when read in the order they appear in the grid.

All that was left to do was put together the 35 extra words we had highlighted. While one numpty reminisced and made irrelevant comments like, ‘Do you know it’s the only railway in the world with a 4 foot gauge and the third-oldest underground railway in the world?’ ‘It had to wriggle around so much to avoid old mine-shafts’, and ‘Aedites should have required solvers to launch the QE2 at Govan by cutting a QE2 hole in their grid!’ (I ask you!) the other was busy combining those words. This was great fun:

OX + RIB = IBROX, GO + VAN = GOVAN, TAP + RICK = PARTICK, HALL + KELVIN = (can’t work this one out!), ILL + HE HAD = HILLHEAD, BRED LINK + GIVE = KELVIN BRIDGE, GORES + GETS CROSS = ST GEORGE’S CROSS , COWS + DANCED = COWCADDENS, ETRUSCAN + THEBAN = BUCHANAN STREET, COST + HEN = ST ENOCH, BRIDGET + TREES = BRIDGE STREET, WE TEST + REST = WEST STREET, SHALE + SORDID = SHIELDS ROAD, RANK + PINK GIN (aah- the oenophilic Listener compiler touch!) = KINNING PARK, COCKS + SEN = CESSNOCK.

What a fine puzzle – this one goes onto my list of favourites. Many thanks, Aedites.

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