Listen With Others

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Shades of Green by Gos

Posted by shirleycurran on 19 Sep 2014

Listener 4309 (Gos) (1)Everything failed today – computer, both printers and an iPad update, so I was fairly late downloading ‘Shades of Green’ by Gos with no ink to print it, and emails had arrived from two friends saying that they had already completed it when our solve finally started thirty minutes after it appeared on-line. Was that worrying or reassuring? Mildly worrying really, as, no doubt the editors will have a few ‘stinkers’ lined up to ‘compensate’ for some recent ‘easies’.

“Shades of Green? Must be Robin Hood” was my first thought – are we going to be finding the Sheriff of Nottingham as the hunter and Robin as the hunted?” I did a quick run through the clues looking for evidence that Gos qualifies for the Listener Oenophile Organisation (and found none!) but I did find rather a lot of very obvious hidden clues: ‘Portion of mocha weed’ = CHAW, ‘Area of about four square yards forms part of district suboffice’ = TSUBA, ‘There’s some advantage in projecting column’ = ANTA, ‘It’s descriptive of scale of cheap labour at fixed intervals’ = ELO (chEapLabOur), and ‘Things worn by Indians occupying far-flung islands’ = LUNGIS.

A number of other solutions leapt out at us, like ‘Revised notice, although short, is a shot in the arm’ (NOTIC(e)* = TONIC) and ‘Foreign character is often seen at mouth of river’ (Double definition = DELTA and it quickly became clear that we were with a different GREENE when Orson Welles appeared down the right hand side of our grid and Joseph Cotten filled the unclued light along the top of our grid.

Ah we all remember that chase through the sewers of Vienna and the theme- I can hear it now – as well as Harry Lime’s assessment of the Swiss (apparently that was added by Orson Welles; it wasn’t in the original Greene novel).

“You know what the fellow said – in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly.” You can imagine how the Swiss around here (we live just above Geneva) love that assessment of their contribution to World advancement.

So it was a speedy grid-fill and a moment of pleasure when we managed to make JOSEPH COTTEN convert to HOLLY MARTINS and ORSON WELLES to THE THIRD MAN. We had to do a bit of Googling to check the spelling of MARTINS but had no problem with HARRY LIME.  Thank you, Gos.


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