Listen With Others

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Carte Blanche by Chalicea

Posted by shirleycurran on 6 October 2014

'Stripey horse (5)'

‘Stripey horse (5)’

“You will be writing a ‘setter’s blog’ won’t you?” Well, the answer is “No” really. As so many setters have commented to me, about three years after completing the compilation, there isn’t a lot that you remember – but two issues were raised by friends and solvers. Why wasn’t NICE used as another thematic word when it was roughly in the right place in a map of France? Well, that ‘roughly’ half answers the question as Nice is a lot further east; the other half of the answer is that the other seven thematic words (Alsace, Moselle etc.) were geographic regions – yes, I know there is a Numpty  with an oenophilic tendency but they don’t produce much wine in Brittany, so they were not wine regions.

The other issue – the similarity with Samuel’s lovely January one about Napoleon’s sneer that the English were a nation of shopkeepers. The truth is that this one sprang directly from that and a discussion with Samuel (who consulted the Numpties just to confirm the French of that one for whom we did one of the test solves). My comment was that a real ‘Carte Blanche’ should be of France, not England – and this one grew out of a discussion of that idea.

A break from solving Listener crosswords

A break from solving Listener crosswords

However, I did wait a month after his was submitted before sending its ‘offshoot’ and he didn’t object to the ‘copy cat’ thing.

Starting earlyAnother comment that came my way was that there would be no artistic work in this week’s blog. Well, the Numpties have spent the whole month of September in Silicon Valley and I handed over all crossword solving to my one-year old grandson so that we could decorate his bedroom wall (with ‘Stripey horse (5)’ of course).

Yes, that’s Columba’s Spectator he’s just finishing off – but you have to start somewhere.

I was rather anxious that Carte Blanche would be far too easy for solvers and have been delighted by the lovely input so many thanks to all who wrote, and to our great team of test-solvers, vetters and very long-suffering editors.


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