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Listener No 4316: Delightful Punishment by MynoT

Posted by Dave Hennings on 7 November 2014

This week’s puzzle had the title which basically describes what I go through with the Listener every week! And, if I’m not mistaken, this was the second MynoT of the year. A quick check in the Database and I see that we had some homophone shenanigans from him six months ago. Here we had an unknown number of clashes to resolve and a relevant explanatory word to be entered below the grid.

Listener 43161ac OAT was slotted into place, followed by 4 EASED and 8 ACTS in double-quick time. This wasn’t what I had been expected from MynoT, who I generally consider to be on the trickier side of the spectrum. So the top row was complete, and it seemed logical to tackle the first dozen or so clues dropping down from it. Sadly 1 QUINSY, 2 ANAPESTS, 3 GEOSTRATEGY and 4 LIGHT would have to wait until later before they were solved. Luckily though, 5 ANAMNESES, 6 SEESAW, 7 DISEUR and 9 COURANTE came to the rescue, as did 10 TWEE and 11 SEND IN.

I went back to the acrosses. I passed on 12ac, but 13 For Edmund to linger in Edinburgh is swell (4) needed Mrs B to resolve. I’m not an expert on Spenser words (nor Scottish ones really), but HOVE appeared under both linger and swell so in it went. Except that its V clashed with the W of TWEE.

Despite being less than ten minutes into the puzzle, I thought I could see what the nature of the clashes could be. This was confirmed a few minutes later with the P of STEEPED clashing with the R of COURANTE and it seemed likely that the clashes were resolved by adding a stroke to one of the letters to give the other.

With this knowledge, it was good fun trying to see what clashes MynoT had used, in all cases resulting in a new word being formed. I spotted the following: F and L both became E, I became T, P became B and R, O became Q and V became W.

There were some interesting clues along the way. 19ac Beat dirty untidy woman? Not half (4) could be either SLAT or SLUT, although when the L became E, only SLAT worked (to give SEAT). Moreover 30dn Line to make safe (6) could be either ENCASE or INCASE, and needed a reference to case2 in Chambers to verify the definition for in case (“…to make safe, make sure, etc”). 2dn American feet in Morse’s uniform patterns? (8) was a cryptic definition, with an anapest being two short syllables followed by a long in the same way that U (for uniform) in Morse code is dot dot dash. Great stuff! My favourite surface reading was 36ac Models sat awkwardly in bits of lace and satin (5) for LASTS!

Listener 4316 My EntryFinally, the “hinted-at explanatory word”. Well the only thing that I could see that might give us a hint was the title… the first and last letters of the clues being meaningless. The first thing that came to mind for punishment was ‘lines’ which seemed to tie in with what had been added for the clashes. Unfortunately, neither superlines nor extralines were real words. However, I was encouraged by the fact that super had ‘delightful’ as a definition. I consulted Mrs B for the last time, and there, under punishment was ‘imposition’ and SUPERIMPOSITION fitted the bill nicely.

Thanks to MynoT for an enjoyable puzzle… one that I think would be an ideal workout for a novice Listener solver.
 

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