Listen With Others

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Garden Scraps by Colleague

Posted by shirleycurran on 2 September 2011

The Numpties are on holiday in the Yorkshire Dales, sitting at the foot of Ingleborough, one of the Pennines. Of course that Listener Deity knew that and, yet again, we meet a familiar theme. The Lancashire border is just four miles away and the locals know all about the Wars of the Roses.

Of course, that made this one a cinch? You must be joking! On seeing the title and the requirement to appropriately colour one protagonist, I smugly announced, ‘This looks like Lewis Carroll’s red and white roses!’ Hah!

Solving went well, with no complaints or real difficulties except perhaps that rather obvious and, at the same time, obscure ‘Short-story teller quoted in Southey’s elegies (5)’ (HEYSE). I can just imagine those Magpie vetters saying, ‘You can’t have that obscure German writer as a clue – he isn’t even in Chambers!’ and Colleague pleading, ‘Sorry Guv, but I’ll give him a really obvious clue that even dumbos will be able to solve.’ The trouble was that it was almost too obvious even for us, and we doubted our solution – still do.

It was fine, clear cluing, though, on the whole, with some lovely helpful anagrams as openers, ‘A court sounded put out having discovered the lie of the land (13, two words)’ (SCOUTED AROUND), and ‘Asian tree somehow yields poisonous salt (9)’ (ARSENIATE). In record time we had a complete grid and when I had understood that ‘Do best with pink, for example, in bloom project (7)’ was OUTSAIL (referring to the fourth meaning of pink) and not OUTSWIM, LANCASTER and YORK appeared and we were on home territory.

A confession now! 6 down hadn’t yielded its secrets, but I followed my own advice and hunted along the diagonals for more help.  When I saw TEWKESBURY and BLORE  HEATH (that well-known Yorkish victory) the need for crossed swords became obvious (Oh what a subtle snidish trick Colleague played on us leading us to expect clashes in these solutions! We wasted a fair bit of numpty energy deciding that flawed solutions were possible because of those fictitious clashes!)

For 6d, we had D?LES  ?E?NIN?S. It obviously wasn’t fellow blogger Dave Hennings. Between Lancaster and York, we have the Dales and the Pennines, so they went into the grid, appropriately positioned between the wound-up roses of the preamble and I sat and wondered what 5,8 anagram I was supposed to be discovering. Yes, I realize now that it was SNIDE and ENPLANED ‘Base metal I had extracted at first gets on board with small width and smooth section’ (sn + I’d + e(xtracted) and en + plane + s) and that I was supposed to have gone via that – but I wonder why and how many other solvers went directly to the Dales.

This was great fun, thank you Colleague. Sorry but I had to put in the Yorkshire rose – just holding up our end. Have you seen the exquisite rose window in York Cathedral? Visiting it used to be one highlight of the school year!

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