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Five One-time Pads by Poat

Posted by shirleycurran on 25 December 2015

PoatNot too many clues here and we soon established that there were five unclued lights as well as a three-word unclued phrase at 1ac. There was a sigh of relief when we saw that the clues were normal with no extra letters, omitted letters, words skipping from one clue to another, misprints, jumbles or any other of those Listener staples that I love to grumble about.

Of course I checked Poat’s continued membership of the Listener Setters’ Tipsy Club and he barely crept through the door with only ‘Filthy sink, apply cold water to one in pub without end (6)’ (C + A in LOCA[l] = CLOACA) – is some inveterate boozer having cold water poured over him? Then ‘Short measure  backing little volume with old plain face (5)’ (what a clue! OZ< + CC + O = ZOCCO, a plain face on a plinth). However, there were some queer relationships in the surface readings of Poat’s clues: ‘Best mate’s strong feeling when hugging bishop (7, two words) (Might round RR = MR RIGHT) and ‘Prisoner and topless warder grew together way back (9)’ (CON + [s]CREW + ED = CONCREWED)

An enjoyable set of clues, all in all and we quickly had an almost full grid with some doubt about YELLS at 36ac. ‘Thematically, you’d get offer from patsy with these encouraging cries (5)’. This was where we really paid attention to the preamble and the other Numpty did a quick calculation and announced that indeed, if you alphanumerically added YELLS and PATSY, you got OFFER.

We had five words and five ‘pads’ of four letters each (well, no, actually we hadn’t yet sussed what that H?NT ?L? CA?RE? at 1ac was telling us, so one of our pads had only three letters. There was just enough to go on and we carefully did our alphanumerical maths coming up with:

ULEMA  SDYIF   OOAOJ  ESLYC   SSCNR                                                                                                                                                                                               BURGE  SSBLU  NTMAC  LEANP  HILBY

Yes, I’ve cheated there and jumped the gun as there was a bit of head scratching before those four infamous names appeared and, of course, led to ARNOLD DEUTSCH as the ‘associated talent scout’ (which anagrammed into that rather uncomfortable ‘HUNT OLD CADRES’ – a new use, for me, of the word ‘cadre’ – ‘a group of activists in a revolutionary, orig Communist, party; a member of such a group’, according to the BRB). TEA had obligingly produced THE CAVERN CLUB as a potential 1ac and I had been toying with the idea that Beatles were somehow going to emerge from those encrypted words!

The fifth name had to be CAIRNCROSS but, even though I had looked up CATTABU half an hour before in Chambers, I was still red-herringed into thinking that the STONES of ‘RIBSTONES’ had to be the cairn and that a five-letter cross would somehow appear in the grid. It was only after supper and a couple of glasses of red that light dawned and I was able to highlight BARP CATTABU.

Nice one Poat. Many thanks.

 

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