Listen With Others

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Listener 4264: Commission by Aedites

Posted by Dave Hennings on 8 November 2013

Before the main blog this week, I just need to comment on the crossword break I attended for the first time at Budock Vean in Cornwall, now in its fourth year. It consisted of an excellent two days of crosswords and discussion (and food and drink) organised by Tom ‘Doc’ Johnson, editor of the Spectator crossword (or ‘Speccy’ as I discovered it is known). The main solving competition was won (not for the first time, I believe) by John ‘Nimrod’ Henderson, editor of the Inquisitor (or IQ). So thanks to Tom, and well done to John. I shall be practising hard over the next twelve months so that I can improve on my somewhat puny performance.

Listener 4264So on with this week’s blog for Aedites, he of the Glasgow underground puzzle in February 2011, as well as the tricky ‘What is a church?’ puzzle in 2009. In Commission, we had a misprint in each clue, with the incorrect letters spelling out an act and a date. I knew that I would fall into the trap of noting the correct letter if I wasn’t very careful. The misprints could appear anywhere in the clue, a device that I always found a bit tricky, but oftentimes fun. Finally, the victim would need highlighting.

AsI have said before, having an unclued perimeter deviously disguises the unchecked letter count, but hey, I’m a big boy! My first pass through the clues was fairly quick, with only six acrosses and four downs were obvious to me. The grid was therefore a bit sparse at this point, but a few more clues came a few minutes later and I was on my way.

After only 35 minutes, I had · · G N I · G O · · spelt out by the misprints at the start of the across clues, so it looked like it was the signing of something. I pencilled the F against 19ac, which went nicely with the O at 18ac, where I had fallen into the aforementioned trap of entering the correct, rather than incorrect, letter in the misprint (‘woad’ the misprint for ‘wood’).

The end of the downs also looked promising, with  · ·X ·E E N F · · which would probably turn out to be something like 164x or 165x. Whichever, it looked like we were in Charles I and Cromwell territory.

Finishing off the grid went well, and the misprints spelt out SIGNING A DEATH WARRANT, SIXTEEN FORTY NINE, and we had to enter seven Commisioners who had consigned Charles I to the block. I saw CROMWELL lurking in the top left corner, and he confirmed the entries in that quadrant. Well, he confirmed the first letters of some words, but what of the last letters, especially 4dn Fast times not including tin shoot (4). This was LEN·, and seemed to want to be LENT. Of course, there was a misprint to deal with, and I eventually ended with LENTS (fast times) – T (tons, for tin) to give LENS. I suppose Lent can be plural: “For the last three Lents, I haven’t given up anything!”

Listener 4264 My EntryFinally, I had to complete the perimeter and find the victim, Charles I. According to Wiki, there were 59 Commissioners who sat in judgement, but it didn’t take long to slot them in the perimeter. After looking for CHARLES in the diagonals, he could finally be seen (as KING CHARLES I) symbollically around the centre of the grid, ie in the shape of a C.

A bit of royal highlighting thus ended a relatively easy week, courtesy of Aedites.


4 Responses to “Listener 4264: Commission by Aedites”

  1. Mike Draper said

    And congratulations on your win for this puzzle.

  2. Liz Geear said

    Oh modest Mr Hennings, who never said a word about his win. Congratulations!

  3. Thanks, Mike & Liz. One win in eight years is about par for the course, I think!

  4. Jaguar said

    Congratulations on your win Dave! I had Lent instead of Lens, sadly. Oh well!

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