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Addresses by KevGar

Posted by shirleycurran on 10 Feb 2017

kevgar-burns-001It took the Numpties forever to work out how to start filling our grid. I had, of course, scanned the clues and found what should have been a hint about the thematic character in the clue ‘Issue in Scotland – drunken ceilidh’s losing restraint (3)’ (We removed CE from the wordplay of that clue as those letters were absent from the ‘part giving the wordplay’ then removed LID and were left with ISH = Issue in Scotland) Of course the drunken ceilidh confirmed KevGar’s admission ticket to the Listener drinkies and I needed to read no further.

With every clue that we solved, I needed to go back to the preamble to check whether we were going to enter two letters into one cell or extract two letters from the wordplay and store them to be later put into conventional clue order to spell out the first line of an address, we found it very difficult to decide which act we were performing each time. I have to confess that we short cut the stage where we had to work out the address as, when AULD LANG SYNE had appeared down the leading diagonal, we were suddenly awakened to the fact that this is the week of the Burns Night supper. The other Numpty has been called upon on a number of occasions to recite the Address to a Haggis and to sharpen his knife and split the poor beastie in two, and thus he recited the line ‘FAIR FA’ YOUR HONEST SONSIE FACE …’ and we were able to work backwards, eliminating those pairs of letters that we had put in our pink column until we had only one left – the YO.

We needed that YO in order to work out what was the solution to ‘Some in coveY Or shoal abandoned local stubble field (4)’. It had to be the hidden ERSH which I believe is a variant of ARRISH but I couldn’t find that in any dictionary or even on-line. However, that did confirm TOSTI and Wikipedia confirmed that he was probably our culprit for ‘Singular knighted Italian -born composer (5)’ with only the S(ingular) in the wordplay and two double letters so that it was entered in a light with just three cells.

I have rather jumped the gun, as we had at least three hours of cold-solving before those four long words (AQUEOUS HUMOUR, QUADRILATERAL, UNIONISATIONS and CLOTHESHORSE) intersected for us and allowed us to fill our grid. After the AULD LANG SYNE hint and our realisation that the addresses were going to be by Robert Burns, we knew we were looking for a HAGGIS but suspected that we would also find a LOUSE or a MOUSE or even MARIE or MRS C. UNCO GUID appeared next, and of course the DEIL and TOOTHACHE but there had to be a fourth and somehow we were not happy to highlight AULD LANG SYNE since that is hardly an address. I wonder how many solvers will catch that red herring. Fortunately those rather odd four-letter words down the right hand side of our grid finally gave us EDINBURGH.

A challenging solve and we appreciated the Scottish theme. Many thanks, KevGar.


Golden hare squatting on the haggis.

Golden hare squatting on the haggis.

(Ah, that elusive golden HARE – still cavorting and not willing to appear in a straight line yet but of course he was there – squatting on the HAGGIS!)

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