Listen With Others

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin

Onepo by Artix

Posted by shirleycurran on 26 Dec 2014

ArtixIs it my imagination or are puzzles becoming more and more difficult as we approach the end of the year? Another almost carte blanche! We know Artix has a reputation for providing toughies so we approach this with trepidation but notice with relief that there is conventional clue-numbering and that we will be able to divide our grid into six letter units to fit in those answers. We are even given the useful information that there is a 24 down and a 24 across which helpfully pins down the centre.

I take a deep breath and scan through the clues to check that Artix is still a member of that elitist Listener compilers’ imbibers fraternity (I know he is a connoisseur of fine wines) but, oh dear, I almost reach the end of his clues before, with a sigh of relief, I find ‘Rum chaser, ask Jeeves perhaps’ (yes, of course, that RUM was actually an anagrind indicator but it was reassuring all the same!) So we ask the SEARCH engine Jeeves, but, of course, soon learn that we have to anagram that to get ESCHAR.

We are cold solving for quite a while before useful words like SUIVEZ (As instructed by conductor, follow quartet visiting seaport – IV in SUEZ) intersect with VIVDAS (With trace of Donkey found inside, examines meats treated offshore – VIVAS round D(onkey)) and we are at last able to create the skeleton of a grid.

12 is a kind gift ‘During break from work, men may go here’ (RESORT) but, ominously, tells us that twelve of our solutions need to be resorted or jumbled before entry and we keep on forgetting that and triumphantly putting the solution WAR GAS, (after revolution drop cruel chemical weapon SAG RAW<) when we need to anagram it to SWARGA to fit our developing grid. RISQUE for SQUIRE, DOABLE for ALBEDO and so on.

Still, our grid does develop and soon we are suspecting that we have SIX OF ONE AND HALF A DOZEN OF THE OTHER appearing in the perimeter and another word ?E?A?A?T?LO?s completing it. What a blessing TEA is! That can only be HEXADACTYLOUS. We learn some new words: LINSEY, SURBET (an anagram of BUSTER when we have subtracted the MINUS from BUS TERMINUS – oh but this is clever stuff!) and that gives us CHURRO (I used to enjoy those with thick Spanish hot chocolate for breakfast during a summer university course in Madrid – yummy!)
Thus we struggle towards a full grid and light dawns. What was that strange title? ONEPO? Aaaah! That’s five eighths of ONE POUND isn’t it and wasn’t that TWELVE AND SIX in the old currency? So that is what the sixes and twelves were all about and now we have to find it in the grid and highlight it. There are two Es in column six but Artix has kindly told us which one to highlight and the same for the three sixes in column ten.
What a challenge! Many thanks, Artix.

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