Listen With Others

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Listener No. 4413: Edit by Jago

Posted by Dave Hennings on 16 Sep 2016

After last week’s tough mathematical, I saw that we had Jago and breathed a sigh of relief. I hoped that we were in for a fairly gentle solve. His last two Listeners have been about Agatha Christie at the Swan hotel in Harrogate in 2015 and the UK stage of the 2014 Tour de France… which passed through Harrogate. Hmmm…?1

listener-4413Four thematic words, one starting in each quadrant, were to be entered normally and indicated how the answers to the remaining clues in their quadrant were to be affected. Those of us with a suspicious mind focused on the use of the word ‘deficiency’ in the preamble. Those of you with very suspicious minds would have looked up ‘deficiency’ in Chambers.2 (On this occasion, I wasn’t one of those.)

1ac Maybe contract’s no good for a newly-wed (5) was a nice clue to start off with and led to BRIDE. How obliging of Jago to tell us answer lengths. It seemed obvious to move on to 1dn We burp drunkenly, emptying beers in places where they’re very local (8), a clue which no doubt had Shirley rubbing her hands with glee. A bit of thought led to BREWPUBS (entry length 6), and it looked like it would be the Bs that were deficient.

9ac BENEFIC, 3dn BEFANA and 16ac UMBRAE all confirmed this, and I liked the way that both the B (from the NW quadrant) and two Is (in the NE) of BRANDISHING went missing. As the preamble said, entries spanning two quadrants had appropriate deficiencies in both.

And so I worked round the grid, 8dn INCONTINENCE and 14dn EMBELLISHED helping with the missing C from the SE qudrant and missing D from the SW respectively. It was, in fact, the SE unclued entry that gave the game away for me with SCURVY, lack of Vitamin C. With BERI-BERI and RICKETS dealing with the vitamin B and D deficiencies in the NW and SW corners, all that remained was to check that GOITRE was caused by a lack of vitamin I Iodine.

listener-4413-my-entryAs I suspected, this was a straightforward solve — about 1½ hours — but nonetheless good fun. I was surprised that the theme hadn’t been used before.3 Thanks, Jago.
1 I couldn’t find any reference to Harrogate this week.

2 Chambers gives deficiency disease n a disease due to lack of necessary substances (esp vitamins) in the diet, such as rickets, scurvy, beri-beri, pellagra.

3 An Independent Weekend crossword back in 2001 did have Xerophthalmia as its theme — a complaint leading to dry eyes, which can be a result of vitamin A deficiency, hence some entries were entered without an A.

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