Listen With Others

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Listener 4335: The Old Swan by Jago

Posted by Dave Hennings on 20 Mar 2015

Last year’s Jago was the fiendishly easy It’s Over Here! with its Tour de France theme, and a a few years before that was the infamous wren. Here we had some answers that needed adjustment before entry and a manhunt to identify at the end.

Listener 4335I believe someone wrote in 1ac (an unclued film title, three words) before finishing the preamble. The sadistic part of me hoped they had entered THE INVISIBLE MAN!

Anyway, I had no such early revelation, and wasn’t even sure if The Old Swan of the title was the one where the Listener Setters’ Dinner was being held in Harrogate, or some other. If I had solved the puzzle before the dinner, I might have been tempted to do some detective work and discover the room in which Agatha Christie stayed. (Sorry… don’t you hate people who give the game away and spoil the ending!)

As expected, the puzzle was straightforward, and it didn’t take long to exclude the ten ladies from the answers. In my case, I was lucky to start on the down clues first, there being no clue to 1ac. Hence, getting 1dn [SUE]T PUDDING followed by 11ac PER[SIAN], I was pretty much home and dry, and THE LADY VANISHES appeared at 1ac before too long.

Listener 4335 My EntryI was a bit hung over when I left the hotel on St David’s Day, so I may have missed any “Agatha Christie stayed here” sign they might have had at reception! As it was, I needed to google “The Old Swan Harrogate” to discover the news about Agatha Christie whose initials were, predictably, in the middle column.

So, thanks for a gentle puzzle, Jago. I’m lucky that the Listener isn’t my only fix of a tough weekly puzzle — there’s always the Inquisitor and EV to tackle. And, of course, there’s golf…

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