Listen With Others

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Comment on SPAD by Wasp

Posted by erwinch on 26 March 2011

I have put the comment up here since I wanted to add an illustration.
My rule for the Listener and similar puzzles is a bit stronger than you state Shirley:
If you have any doubts whatsoever over a solution then it is almost certainly incorrect.
You can usually forget the almost but we do occasionally see an unsatisfactory solution, even in the Listener.
I did have some doubts with this puzzle when having trouble identifying two of the bits.  We were told in the preamble that thematic entries were clued without definition but this appeared not to be the case with the following:
2dn Put up paintings, perhaps coated with sap extract (8) restrain – ART (rev) in RESIN
28dn Bit of stone found in cherry (6) morsel – S in MOREL
Bit is doing double duty in the second, which is not usually allowed in the Listener, but it might be considered a semi & lit.  Anyway, it seems incredibly weak to have bit in the clue at all.  However, all doubts evaporated when, as Dave says, it was seen that the bits and bobs paired diagrammatically – a most pleasing construction:
I am really surprised to hear of the number of solvers prepared to leave this puzzle with the theme undiscovered – I just would not be able to get to sleep at night.  I will not leave a puzzle until the theme and wordplay of every clue is explained.  I add an asterisk to any doubtful clue and had one here but since explained:
4dn Prison where one’s dispatched for having points (6) burden – URDE for I in BIN (no definition)
I had no such problems with the title: SPAD = SP + A(N)D representing odds and ends.

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