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Listener 4163: Brock’s Aversions (or Who’d Be a Proofreader)

Posted by Dave Hennings on 2 Dec 2011

I started this puzzle very late, having been delayed by Mash’s Carte Blanche from the previous week. So it’s the second Sunday after publication, and about 4 in the afternoon. I suppose this may have been a bit of a mistake, since Brock’s first Listener puzzle involved a few tricks and needed greenfield and brownfield sites to be detected in the two halves of the grid.

Here we had two types of clue: those containing a misprint in the definition, and others containing an extra word, which defined its grid entry, and left the remainder as a full clue to a misprinted form of another entry of its type. A strange device! Luckily Brock took pity on us, and marked the latter type of clues with an asterisk.

I decided to leave the asterisked clues during my first pass through — dealing with simple misprints was enough to be getting on with. 12ac Dart, small product from S America, one coated with a curari at tips was obviously ACAI, and dart was almost certainly the misprinted word, but I wasn’t sure what it was meant to be (it turned out to be dark. Anyway, ACAI went in the grid. I had a similar problem with 21ac Lift restriction on robbers in exercise with gun waving around. I entered UNPEG, but again I couldn’t mark the correct letter for the misprint against the clue (it was jobbers).

After 20 minutes, the grid looked quite sparse, with only a dozen clues solved. I turned my attention to the asterisked clues. Another bit of help from Brock was that the length in brackets after this clue type was not for the entry at its number, but to the other asterisked entry given by the clue without its extra word (if you get my drift!). It was, however, worrying that the numbers in brackets and the lengths of the asterisked grid entries did not agree; for example, the grid entry at 1ac was 11 letters, but no asterisked clue led to an 11-letter word.

I turned my attention back to the misprinted clues!

About an hour later, the grid was pretty full. On the way, a number of clues had confused or amused me.

15ac PECTIN It helps preserve thicker paint no longer moving within
thicker becomes thicken, with PEINCT (paint, no longer) having IN moved to the end
33dn IRENE Triune? She confuses such one or three deities thus
the misprint is or for of, where TRIUNE SHE is an anagram of IRENE THUS; I think this is an &lit, which I guess is valid for a misprint clue?
35dn SMUT Slight uphill putt at Augusta
SNUB reversed and putt misprint for butt; nice misdirection


The correct letters of misprints spelt out King James Bible; Brewer’s Phrase and Fable. We had been told that this supplied a reference which would be useful, and it was a simple matter of looking up entries under Bible in Brewer’s to find specially named editions, and of special interest to us were the names reflecting misprints that had been included (accidentally) in various editions.

Clue Answer Becomes At Defined By
1ac AGAINST AFTER 2dn regarding
10ac CHARGE DISCHARGE 4dn unload
11ac DAMSELS CAMELS 40ac floats
16ac LOINS LIONS 31dn heroes
30ac CAUSE CEASE 16ac die
2dn VINEYARD VINEGAR 9dn energy
4dn IDOL IDLE 11ac unedifying
9dn HEAR EAR 20dn organ
20dn LIFE WIFE 10ac Dutch
31dn STRING STING 30ac rob


The initial letters of the extra words spell out N D U D R F R U E O H. Now the preamble said that reading this in an order determined by the grid would give the age of the subject. Well, like most, I knew that we were celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James bible, so FOUR HUNDRED was an easy anagram to find. However, I am still at a loss as to what the “order determined by the grid” refers to.

So, a fine, entertaining puzzle from Brock, with a nice misdirection of “misprinted” clues. I’m looking forward to his next.

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