Listener No. 4362: Spots by Colleague
Posted by Dave Hennings on 25 September 2015
Eighteen or so months since Colleague’s last Listener with its Animal Farm theme. Before that, we had the Nato communications alphabet with How to Hotel being required under the grid, rather than How to Spell or How to Tango. This week, just ten clues with a misprint to deal with, spelling out the name of a discoverer of something. (I found myself wondering what decided whether the preamble would give the actual number of a certain clue type rather than just ‘some’.)
I failed on both 1ac and 5ac, so decided to tackle the down clues. 2 IRENE, 3 PIRATIC and 4 EGG were slotted in. They enabled PIPE to go in at 1ac, although I’d never thought of PPE as a university school. 11 TRIGLYPH and 13 TERGUM found me starting down the left-hand side of the grid and, with INELASTIC going in at 18dn Sex being flexible — is it clean? (9), I knew I had found one of my favourite clues of the puzzle!
Having completed an anti-clockwise tour of the grid, it didn’t take too long to plug the remaining gaps, and a finished diagram was staring at me in about two hours. I enjoyed being reminded by 39ac of a hideous fashion while I was at school: “One designated Kipper is broad and loud”, an Asian said (3) with reference to kipper ties which were almost as wide as they were long. Elsewhere in the grid, I was left wondering what the hell was molar latent heat as referenced in 33dn.
The sum of the misprints and their correct letters gave JOHN AUBREY. I was immediately reminded of the great Roy Dotrice, now aged 92, in the fantastic one-man show, Brief Lives. I’ve seen it twice, once way back in 1967 and then again at its revival in 2008.
Of course, this had nothing to do with the theme of this puzzle. Instead, WikiGoogle told us that the Aubrey Holes at Stonehenge were named after him. On a visit there in 1666, he noticed five circular holes, but now a total of 56 have been discovered. Unfortunately, I was now being asked to highlight 26 cells which were thematically arranged and whose combined total fell short of the discovery by two.
It didn’t take too long to find STONEHENGE in the grid, but I needed 16 more cells to highlight. Luckily, I spotted EAGLES running diagonally SW to NE in the top left quadrant and all became clear as I traced HOYLAKE, ST ANDREWS and back to GLENEAGLES in a diamond shape in the grid. So that gave three rounds of golf and a total of 54 holes, two short of the 56 (somewhat different sort) named after Aubrey. Stonehenge didn’t need highlighting at all.
A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle from Colleague, thanks, and a shame that the editors couldn’t get sponsorship from the three courses for a free round of golf for all correct solvers.