Listen With Others

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Good to Go by Flying Tortoise

Posted by shirleycurran on 12 October 2012

This must be the first time I have written a Listen With Others blog before dinner on Friday. No, I am not complaining but rejoicing that Flying Tortoise’s Good to Go was such a gentle and enjoyable solve. We were laughing even before we started as the setter’s name itself provides an enchanting picture and I had visions of people quitting Ryanair, where, we are told, it isn’t so
‘Good to Go’ and opting for a ride on the back of a tortoise.

No, but seriously, we did wonder, right from the start, whether G or Good was somehow going to go. Of course, the endgame demonstrated that that was, indeed, the case as we added a G to ‘Key pitch robin[G] trills’ to anagram and complete those familiar words (I played the third witch once and know that Macbeth scene by heart “By the pricking of my thumbs/ Something wicked this way comes”).

We had been marking clues where the wordplay didn’t quite make sense as our speedy solve progressed and were now able to understand clues like ‘Distributer provides work for Jud[G]e apparently’ (ISSUER), and ‘Fizzy cola with ice for the ca[G]y diner’ (COELIAC) – a bit vague, that one, I would say.

It was one of those nine clues that had to have extra letters added that gave us the confirmation of the G thing. ‘Lances, furtively stolen from kin, hiding in sediment’ There seemed to be two Gs missing from that clue, as LEERS was the obvious solution and they are GLANCES, but we also needed the KIN to become KIN[G] to produce the R that was to go into sediment (LEES).

We had actually found DEFYING GRAVITY before the Macbeth quotation led us to something WICKED and I have to admit that I know nothing at all about the musical, ‘Wicked’. Yet again, I give thanks to Wikipedia. I thought this all fitted together so nicely – the curtailed quotation (well, Shakespeare did use o’ for ‘of’ didn’t he?) leading to the musical containing ‘Defying Gravity’ and that inspired title. I wonder whether Flying Tortoise is a new pseudonym for a familiar setter who simply couldn’t resist the idea of a great clunky tortoise defying gravity and lurching into the sky, with that lovely ambiguous phrase ‘Good to Go’ telling us that Gs had to disappear, as well as the fact that it might be a positive experience to fly on the back of a tortoise. (I remember how people hostile to the old BOAC used to claim that it meant ‘Better on a Camel’.)

There wasn’t much of the usual Listener oenophilia in Good to Go so I shall have to go and cook dinner and drink a toast to this fine little compilation that had not a single misprint, no clashes, no carte blanche, no jumbles. It provided all the enjoyment we look for in a crossword solve.

Many thanks Flying Tortoise.

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One Response to “Good to Go by Flying Tortoise”

  1. […] about it through a Listener a couple of years back, Flying Tortoise’s Good to Go, Listener 4208, but had never seen it myself. Well worth a watch, I should […]

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