Listen With Others

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Listener No. 4371: Our Announcer by Ploy

Posted by Dave Hennings on 27 November 2015

This is Ploy’s first Listener for over five years, his last being based on Gertrude Stein’s somewhat self-evident rose being a rose being a rose… etc.

Listener 4371Here, we had to find a famous individual. He/she would be identified by means of more letter counting in clues (acrosses) and then some slightly easier word counting (in the downs, if a word begins with the same letter as the answer).

I gave all the clues a quick scan. Sadly only half dozen acrosses came to light, although 17 and 44 (ET AL and EL AL) looked as though there might be a symmetrical aspect to the puzzle. [Ed: yes but nothing to do with airlines, etc.]

I fared much better with the downs. Well over a dozen got slotted in, including the last seven, all in the lower right. Back to the top, and the W in WAHOO gave SWOOSH at 1ac which meant the whole grid started falling into place. With two 45 minutes sessions, it was complete and the across and down messages spelt out Thus swindle concerning Ploy and 2431 2342 4231 1342.

Now, was it the groups of four numbers that shoved me in the direction of 4-letter words? I don’t know, but I wrote down ERGO for Thus and IN RE for concerning and rearranged the letters into the order from the numbers, thus ERGO became ROGE and we were obviously looking for Roger Somebody!

After a couple of half hour sessions trying to come up with 4-letter synonyms I was getting depressed. I should have told myself to think outside the box, but that’s easier said than done!

The following morning, still in bed, and I wondered if I shouldn’t be looking for 4-letter words. What if PLOY was to give SETTER. Well, that didn’t help.

An hour or so later, with my first cup of coffee in hand, SO just popped into my head for Thus and two nanoseconds later I had SO DO RE ME. I needed a web site piano-player to play the tune, and was delighted to hear the chimes of Big Ben. I was relieved at what seemed like it may be a week of failure was avoided.

Listener 4371 My EntrySo that was over two hours work to date: 1½ hours on the grid and over an hour on the endgame. I’d like to be able to say that was it, but I must have spent another hour trying to get that damned bell shape overlapping the letters of BIG BEN in the grid… and no others.Talk about tricky!

No matter, I got there in the end. So thanks to Ploy for an excellent puzzle… with its devious little title’s missing apostrophe!
 

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