The Old Swan by Jago
Posted by shirleycurran on 20 March 2015
The Listener Setters’ dinner tomorrow evening at The Old Swan in Harrogate, organised, as usual, by the setter Jago so I hope tonight’s crossword isn’t too demanding. Couldn’t do with a Sabre thrust tonight! We download it and what do we see? The Old Swan by Jago. We are Yorkshire folk (well Yorkshire/Scottish) and know all about the ten-day disappearance of Agatha Christie when there was a massive ‘manhunt’ since her abandoned car was found and foul play was suspected.
She made The Old Swan famous by being discovered there – so we suspected that we had the theme before we even started solving the crossword, but the film made about the episode was called Agatha and that wouldn’t fill those 15 cells on the top row of the grid.
Just time to check that Jago still qualifies for the Listener Setters’ Oenophile club (no doubt he’ll demonstrate it by his fine choice of wine for tomorrow’s event). I have to read through lots of rather unsavoury foody clues ‘Such food is not allowed a bit of putrefaction (5)’ giving TREFA (hidden), and ‘Super duet in G & D – but the Queen not present – all about stodgy dessert (8, two words)’ an anagram giving SUET PUDDING from which we realize we have to extract SUE, since, while I am checking for the tipsy clues, the other Numpty has half filled the grid and found THE LADY VANISHES to fill his empty cells on row 1.
Then I find the source of all that wine: ‘A very large vessel – which could perhaps hold your in-flight duty-free purchases? (9)’ Well, for all those thirsty setters keen to talk about their crosswords, they might need an AIRCRAFT CARRIER. Of course, we can extract CARRIE from that clue.
And so it goes. A speedy fill as we tease out GRE[NADINE] from ‘in garden E’*(Eden’s first), GILL from another anagram that gave us ASPER[GILL]US, DE[CORA]TIVE, GR[ADA]TORY, R[EVE]STS, TREP[ANNE]D, S[KATE]BOARD and PER[SIAN]. We have ten vanishing ladies so all is well.
A full grid and there is one task left to perform. We have to highlight the initials of the subject of the manhunt in two adjacent cells in a column. Agatha Christie – there she is, lurking, or hiding in The Old Swan in the central column. Thank you Jago!