Listen With Others

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Listener 4220: Falsehoods by Aedites (or I Don’t Believe It!)

Posted by Dave Hennings on 4 January 2013

Aedites’s last puzzle had the Glasgow underground as its theme, and very enjoyable it was. Before that, we had George Crabbe’s Question, “What is a church?” for ‘a tall building, with a tower and bells’; the editors allowed campanile, bell tower and belfry as alternatives. I was a campanile, and to this day, I think I should have been marked wrong.

Listener 4220Anyway, this week’s puzzle seemed to have no possibility of confusion. Four entries were unclued (11, 13, 24 and 31), and, going by the preamble, were probably the names of people who seemed to be writing and gossiping about each other! In addition, the perimeter spelled out two statements about two of the protagonists.

We were helped by some generous unching, especially 16ac CHLORATE and the corresponding 31ac, which was one of the unclued entries. I suppose one could say that letters which strayed into the perimeter were semi-unches, since they could only help or be verified once the two statements in the perimeter had been identified.

For me, the way in for the final step of the puzzle was the unclued entry at 11, •T•BB•, which could only really be STUBBS. A check in the ODQ revealed an entry for William Stubbs (1825–1901), and the revised preamble became obvious:

Stubbs wrote a letter to Green including a verse about Froude and Kingsley. Two statements attributed to Froude and Kingsley fill the perimeter, reading clockwise.

The perimeter thus needed filling to give extracts from a letter from William Stubbs to JR Green:

Listener 4220 My Entry

Froude informs the Scottish youth
That parsons do not care for truth.
The Reverend Canon Kingsley cries
History is a pack of lies.

Some nice clues here, many suitable for Listener novices. These included:

14ac ETUI Heads of equity traders unknown in small case
initial letters of Equity Traders Unknown In
16ac CHLORATE Clear hot brews to yield salt
38ac AVENA Grass found among Mohave narcotics
hidden in mohAVE NArcotics
5dn DAHL Author of pulse
2 meanings
My favourite was
7dn OCEAN Vast amount of washing after opening of laundrette is cancelled (5)
O (of) + CLEAN (washing, as in ‘give it a clean’) – L (opening of Laundrette); a lovely surface reading … unlike 36ac, Capital lieutenant missing among frenzied sultanas (6), for NASSAU, which had my head swimming!

A nice relaxing couple of hours from Aedites, and thanks for not interfering too much with the Christmas shopping!


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