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Listener 4266: Special Protection by Dysart

Posted by Dave Hennings on 22 November 2013

It was early on the Saturday of publication, and I was off to the Budock Vean crossword event in Cornwall the following day. Normally, I wouldn’t start a Listener until Monday or Tuesday at the earliest, but I decided to tackle this week’s Dysart puzzle with the hope of getting it done and dusted before travelling down early on the Sunday. A quick look at my notes and I remembered his last puzzle, #4187 Prize and Prize-winner, with its Haruki Murakami theme and the delightful Franz Kafka red herring. It was possible that I was in for a tricky time.

Listener 4266Well, it was clash time again, and, as seems to be the norm these days, we weren’t told how many. However, I got 5ac FEDAYEEN almost immediately and was feeling optimistic. I decided to forego my quick read through all the clues, and concentrate instead on the right-hand side of the grid. I’m nothing if not adventurous.

5dn FAMED was followed by Barrack Obama ensuring that we got the American spelling of 6dn, namely ENAMOR. 13ac CADIE and 17ac DEEM came next, and the unclued entry at the top of the column 10 spelt ACL··, which didn’t look like any word that I knew. I was sure time would tell.

8 EDWIN, 9 EINSTEIN and 10 WETTED dropped down from the top right, and I had my first clash with FEDAYEE[N/W]ETTED. This led to 18ac SADIST. Unfortunately the remainder of the right-hand side of the grid seemed to be twice as difficult as the top as I didn’t get any more! I must admit that I was guessing at the ‘twice’ nature of the difficulty…for all I knew, it could end up being five times harder!

Consequently, I moved over to the left side of the grid, and was rewarded with a flurry of activity, and I regretted not having done my quick scan of the clues at the beginning. Oh well, the grid filled up nicely, with some sound clueing on the way.

Eventually the grid was completed, except for the six unchecked letters in the unclued entries. Three of these read N·PI, ACLA· and ·IPNU, so I guessed some sort of jumble would be required there. The others looked as though they would end up being CANARY, TANAGER and possibly SULTAN. These were birds. From the title, I wondered if we were talking about endangered species, but as far as I know, the canary wasn’t on the list!

I really should review my list of helpful Listener solving tips more frequently. One of them reads: “highlight clashes in squares”. I mention this here because it took me some time to realise that, in this puzzle, they were all on the main NE-SW diagonal. Once that was spotted, it was immediately obvious that it read STANLEY BALDWIN. A quick check in my ODQ revealed a quotation from a 1925 article in The Observer: “There are three classes which need sanctuary more than others—birds, wild flowers, and Prime Ministers.

Listener 4266 My EntryWell, I had spotted the birds, and it didn’t take long to highlight the PMs, PEEL, CANNING and HEATH. That left the wild (ie anagrammed) flowers. The two down entries, ACLA· and ·IPNU, looked like they should be LILAC and TULIP, but that would require a misprint as well as a jumble. They were, of course, CALLA and LUPIN, with the third being PINK.

Changing 16dn from CANNER (not TANNER as originally, thanks to Dave R below) to LANNER gave another bird, and ILLY (eventually found after 10 minutes of searching) was the wild LILY. Putting [Harold] WILSON under the grid completed an enjoyable puzzle. Thanks, Dysart.
 

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2 Responses to “Listener 4266: Special Protection by Dysart”

  1. Dave Russell said

    How do you arrive at TANNER for 16D? CANNER surely.

  2. Dave, eagle eyes yet again! On my working copy, it looks as though I originally had CANNER before it got overwritten by LANNER and just made the mistake when creating the diagram and then the blog. Hope it didn’t confuse anyone.

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