Listen With Others

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Listener No. 4327: The Alcoholic Baseball Player by Waterloo

Posted by Dave Hennings on 23 January 2015

Listener 4327The first Listener of 2015, and it’s a puzzle from my favourite quirky setter, Waterloo. His last, no. 4254 Political Correctness Gone Mad had entries like redaughterant instead of resonant and auntared for uncleared! Those of you with longer memories will no doubt recall OO! Spectacles? back in 2005! This week, Waterloo must have been to the theatre to see Sheridan’s The Rivals as we had a puzzle based on the musings of Mrs Malaprop.

Out of 51 clues, 22 were based on her “misread, misheard or otherwise distorted titles” of books, plays and films. I play golf with someone who, intentionally or not, comes out with such annoying plays on words, so I felt at home here. I just hoped that none would be as tricky as the example given by the title of the puzzle (which probably had Shirley feeling even more at home).

A dozen acrosses and half-a-dozen downs had me off to a less than encouraging start, none of them being thematic titles. Bizarrely, we were given the number of letters and number of words in the wrong title, plus the number of letters in the entry.

The down entries that I did solve enabled me to see SINGIN’ at 12ac, with Sinnin’ in the Rain being the first themed title. This gave me IL, H and S in 5dn’s Shabby hobbyists (30;3;15) and PHILATELISTS seemed a good guess, but it needed some googling to find Ragged-trousered as the Philanthropists in Robert Tressell’s novel. I hoped that the other titles wouldn’t be as obscure.

In fact, most of them weren’t, and many produced a giggle or two. I particularly liked the folowing:

3ac The adolescent’s nightmare (16;3;9) The Scarlet Pimple
22ac Cowboys have a tea-party (21;5;8) Bunfight at the OK Corral
33ac A village of deceived husbands (18;3;7) The Midwich Cuckolds
40ac Adventures of a female furniture-restorer (16;3;8) The Lady Varnishes
20dn How someone incurred seven years’ bad luck (20;3;7) Threw the Looking-Glass

Slightly trickier were:

9ac A tailor’s unadorned tweeds and worsteds (17;3;4) His Stark Materials
36ac An appalling sporting event (12;2;5) Horrid Henley
23dn The boss in the office: (14;4;5) Lord of the Files
32dn The right choice at an outfitters (12;3;3) A Suitable Buy

Listener 4327 My EntryFor me, the trickiest was 38dn Why it is not worth learning to read (24;4;4). The entry was obviously USES, but The Uselessness of Literacy by Richard Hoggart took some researching!

Anyway, great fun as always from Waterloo, and a gentle introduction to 2015.

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