Listen With Others

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Resolution by Raich

Posted by shirleycurran on 9 November 2012

We had been expecting this theme. How well I remember those thirteen days back in 1962! Yes, it was October wasn’t it when, for thirteen days we lived in terror, convinced that the cold war was finally going to erupt into a conflagration that would end us all (especially those of us living not far from the Fylingdales early warning radar station in Yorkshire)?

Still, there was a lot of solving between us and the resolution. We struggled to decide how to distinguish the two types of clue and opted for coloured strips down the side of the clues – green for the event and yellow for the participants. We worked with real method – and we needed to. Raich had provided an impeccable set of clues with plenty of fun and stretching of the numpty ability (and, of course, early on we saw that he was, in true Listener compiler style, enjoying his tipple, ‘Australian drunkard first to imbibe wine (4)’ AS(O)T I[mbibe], producing Asti with and extra O).

For a moment, we suspected that CONNERY was appearing (there is a Bond anniversary too, isn’t there?) but a K put an end to that conjecture ‘Most worn, having to accept constant support (7, two words)’ BAREST around C giving us the missing letter K, and, with KENNEDY in place, we could easily extrapolate KHRUSHCHEV and CASTRO from our letters in our yellow strip.

We had ??MA?EDDO? IN L??E OCT??ER in our green strip. It is called ‘the October crisis’ in Cuba, I am told, and ‘the Caribbean crisis’ in the USSR, and the other numpty immediately spotted ARMAGEDDON as the potential outcome of the drama, and there we were, smiling happily with a full grid before dinner.

Well, almost full. We had spotted CUBA lurking down in the Caribbean area of our grid and the USA jumped out at us. Of course, we had entered ATLANTIC OCEAN early on in our solving, thanks to a fairly generous anagram, and now it proved to be appropriately placed. Raich had obligingly provided the shape of the eight letters we were going to move en bloc. (Missiles pointing upwards – how much easier than the actual dismantling of those missiles that we saw in aerial photos during the real crisis and the stealthy transporting of them back across the ocean!) Clearly the USSR had to fill our remaining gap in the north-east corner.

We teased out our final clues learning a couple of new words in the process –  a SIS is a ‘trick that is disgusting in Cape Town, and a US citizen who hits the JACKPOT is in an awkward position. Well, well!

All that was left to do was to highlight those eleven cells, put the missiles where they should have stayed all along, and thank Raich for an impressive compilation. It was difficult enough to keep track of those spare letters: it must have demanded immense mental agility to create this.

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