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Listener No. 4411: Extra English by Raffles

Posted by Dave Hennings on 2 Sep 2016

This week we had the second Listener from Raffles, following on from his Mashonaland last year with its Verdi Rigoletto and non-turning Margaret Thatcher theme. [As I write this blog, I am reminded of another musical puzzle: Ferret’s Feature Film in 2014 which had the musical Swing Time as its theme. One of the songs in that movie includes the lyrics “Get right up, Dust yourself down, Start all over again” — which is exactly what I’m doing after the total Horlicks I made of the Yellow Submarine endgame last week.]

Listener 4411 AnimationRaffles required us to remove a letter from several clues to reveal a remark and its speaker. Two clued entries would contain clashes and they would need resolving at the end, as well as replacing two unclued thematic entries.

1ac Spenser’s wonky pants jarred with him (7) was an anagram of pants him minus a letter, and I managed to get from MIS-something to MISHAPT fairly quickly. I thus decided to concentrate on the north-west quadrant, and was rewarded as MESARCH, INTRO, STAY OUT, HAITI and AGRIN all went in without too much hassle.

This looked as though it was going to be a quadrant-by-quadrant solve, and I found myself going down the left side of the grid. As ROOIN•• got slotted in, I wondered if I had made a mistake (perhaps it was STAY PUT at 3dn) or if ROOINED was a word, but a check in Chambers showed that ROOINEK was what I needed, an Afrikaan nickname for a British or English-speaking person.

As I worked my way round the grid anti-clockwise, the extra clue letters were sporadic and weren’t making the remark obvious. In the south-east, though, the unclued entry looked like it could be LIMEY, another word for a British person, “(N Am sl)” this time. Interesting, but no use in helping with the rest of the grid.

After two hours, most of the grid was complete, but the north-east corner was still looking a bit sparse. Luckily, the extra clue letters finished with g…eg…ryi, and this looked as though it would be GREGORY I. ODQ gives only one quotation from Pope Gregory the Great (540–604): “Non Angli sed Angeli“, “Not Angles but Angels”, and that seemed to fit with what was going on.

The grid was eventually finished. Two of the last clues to be resolved were the ones involving clashes. 7dn Running after child in Greek clothing (6) was CHITON, CHIT being the child, not the usual CH; and 30dn Raffles bringing in money to expand first half of police beat (6) for POMMEL — M (money) in ME (Raffles) in POL[ice]. The meaning of NUTMEGS used at 27dn was new to me: “to kick or pass the ball through the legs of (an opposing player)”.

Listener 4411 My EntryMy favourite clues (the first perhaps for obvious reasons), were: 20ac Dull heartache’s ending after swimming nude with German (6) for UNEDGE; and 29dn One might go on one’s knees to work with [g]round hashish after recession (6) for LAPTOP with its deviously worded definition.

It didn’t take me too long to resolve the endgame, whereby words for angels were to be used instead of those for Brits: BRITON, not CHERUB and AZRAEL, not POMMIE. Elsewhere, ROOINEK changed to RAPHAEL and LIMEY became ARIEL (I was trying to fit ANGEL in for ages).

Thanks to Raffles for a very enjoyable puzzle with its well-crafted grid and entertaining clues.

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