Listen With Others

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Listener No 4309: Shades of Green by Gos

Posted by Dave Hennings on 19 Sep 2014

Gos puzzles have tended to be of a literary nature, including Wilkie Collins, Ellery Queen, Edgar Allen Poe and, most recently, John Dickson Carr. Here, the preamble talks of the “major players”, so perhaps a theatrical work was on the cards. The only slightly worrying aspect of the puzzle was that there were only two entries which connected the left and right halves of the grid; unusually, the central square was blocked. The clues, however, were all normal, so a straightforward solve was a possibility.

Listener 4309I went through the clues in order, and was pleased to find that I had solved twenty clues after as many minutes. Two in particular needed a bit of understanding. 32dn At a stretch, director Stanley gets his head down (5, two words) was ON END and a reference to film director Stanley Donen (still alive aged 90) who was responsible for a host of fine films including Singin’ in the Rain (with Gene Kelly), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Arabesque and Bedazzled. 36dn French guy returns the day after Hallowe’en (4) was IVON (NOV 1<) and I needed my trusty 11th edition of Chambers to verify that it was a variation of the French name Yves.

At this point, I could also see that the right-hand unclued entry was ·RSO·W·····, and it wasn’t rocket science to see ORSON WELLES lurking there. With the title, Shades of Green, Graham Greene, The Third Man and Harry Lime soon came to mind. I needed Wiki to connect JOSEPH COTTEN across the top of the grid with the character he played, Holly Martins. In the final grid, HOLLY MARTINS replaces Cotten, and THE THIRD MAN replaces Welles.

Listener 4309 My EntryIt didn’t take too long for me to finish the grid, and an enjoyable, if fairly easy, puzzle came to an end. For some reason, I particularly liked the clue at 11ac Dangerous animal? Prepare to shoot one, following compliance (6) with its sadistic image of a poor, obedient lion… well, you get the picture!

Thanks, Gos.

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