Listen With Others

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Silence by MynoT

Posted by shirleycurran on 7 Jul 2017

Keine Antwort ist auch eine Antwort

Such a large carte blanche caused no real consternation, especially when we worked out that the two unclued lights were going to be symmetrical, probably at the beginning and ends of the two rows encompassing that centre 15-letter word. The clue for that word was astonishingly generous as Tea immediately gave us DURCHKOMPONIERT as an anagram of [f]OR HUMPERDINCK TO. How MynoT must have smiled when he spotted that! German too! I know that he is a fluent French speaker and we were, as yet, nowhere near the endgame and had spotted a few European references but hadn’t an inkling that our German was going to be needed. (My four-year old grandson is a fluent German speaker and his one-year old sister does pretty well so our German is tested regularly on Skype and we should have had less difficulty than we did with the endgame).

I leap ahead. Of course I had carefully scanned the clues to check that MynoT is maintaining his oenophile reputation and my consternation grew as no references to premier crus emerged from the clues but I shouldn’t have worried (like that Poat HARE, the evidence was in the preamble: ‘Bars must be entered.’ Well, there is a real order! Cheers’ Mynot – we’ll share a bottle!

With the grid started and so many generous clues (ONCOGEN and WORKSOP neatly dividing it into quarters) we were almost able to proceed as if the grid were numbered, and the first ten down clues were solved one after the other – a rare thing for us. Of course, we spotted all those European references. ‘Tribe putting idiot in charge of Greek money (8)’ giving MANEH around ASS. I once taught a member of the MANASSEH tribe who educated me about her origins). ‘Love studies about European nymphs in the Alps (7)’ O + READS around E producing OREADES. Then we had another clue with German in it, but this time to be removed in the form of D and G: ‘One way or another two members of Anura acquiring name, not German (8, three words)’ Those members were TOAD and FROG losing those Germans but absorbing N(ame) to give TO AND FRO. What a delightful clue!

Spain came next: ‘Whale found in the east of two Spanish islands (4)’ – we flew over MajORCA and MinORCA exactly a month ago and saw no whales but I like the clue. And so it went on, with an Irishman (EAMONN) – we were there last week to celebrate the newly acquired Irish passport –  a French name, Scotland, Spain again and Paris – and our grid was full except for some rather worrying unching that seemed to be appearing in those unclued lights and difficulty placing BED and TRY. We were muttering at Mynot at this point (about an hour after the start of our solve). How could we be expected to solve two unclued lights that had five unches in seven cells?

Then the first penny dropped with a mighty clang – well, a few letters did and a few went up too, as we realized that we could enter those four consecutive ‘5, two words‘ entries with gaps in the middle making those unclued lights seven consecutive empty cells and somehow, the top and bottom rows of the grid were going to tell us why. The bottom one looked like SUCH (or MUCH) FINE ARTWORK and I vainly Googled that, then took a break for supper and a glass of wine to clear the head (or the frustration!) – and it worked! A fresh look at that top line a good hour later suggested MEINE/ SEINE or DEINE ANTWORT IST and something rang a bell. Of course it is in Chambers: Keine Antwort ist auch eine Antwort. So we were given a couple of answers that, even if they were not answers, were also answers and Chambers explains the title, ‘Silence gives consent’. Lovely, thanks, MynoT.

Squatting hare

The HARES? They are getting everywhere – at least three in this grid but I took to the little one squatting in the lower left quadrant.


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