Listen With Others

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Listener 4259: Redraw by Nod

Posted by Dave Hennings on 4 October 2013

This week we had Nod’s second Listener, following on from Toga with its Caesar Cipher puzzle two years ago. Nod has also had several Magpie puzzles published since then.

Listener 4259Here we had extra words in most clues, their initial letters spelling out some shenanigans required once we had completed the grid. The preamble also told us that hints would be found among the clues, the sort of phrase that makes me wonder if they were going to be too well hidden for me to find.

I started off well, with 5, 10, 12 and 16 across being slotted into place. Both 10 Miles away from mobile home, units are better than nothing and 12 Champion gymnast [vaulter] losing sight surprisingly might turn to firm supporter (10, two words) were simple compound anagrams. The first was (HOME UNITS – M)*, the second (CHAMPION GYMNAST – SIGHT*)* and both were easy to deduce with a bit of doodling.

I don’t mean to be dismissive of the puzzle; I find that the occasional relaxing and straighforward Listener is a pleasant change, although I know that some solvers want to be heavily taxed every week! Nod’s offering appeared at a time when I was travelling quite a bit, so I was thankful that it wasn’t a tough one. Indeed the clues were solved in well under two hours.

The initial letters of the extra words in the clues spelt out A novel twist reveals twelve new words. I suppose a brute force approach to identifying possible grid changes that would lead to twelve new words could have been a method of identifying what was required, but I’m sure that all of us were put on the right track by the hints in the clues.

I had wondered why there were so many proper nouns in the clues, such as Jessel, Darwin and Charlotte Church! Of course, it was 13dn Hater of Henry, James, etc, administers fluid without ecstasy that gave the game away, as Nod must have planned. Henry James’s most famous work is the ghost story, The Turn of the Screw. I expected to find the title in one of the diagonals, but was amused to find just THE SCREW in a circle around the centre of the grid, and a simple turn through 180 degrees gave the changed words required.

I read the book too many years ago to recall the characters’ names, but Wiki showed that Miles, Jessel, Quint and Flora were the main characters in the novel. Darwin and Charlotte Church, not surprisingly, were not! Have I missed any?

The title Redraw is just the reverse of Warder, a screw in prison parlance.

So thanks to Nod for an entertaining puzzle. I suspected that Listener 4260 by Mango would prove to be a little more taxing!

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