Listen With Others

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Listener No 4469: Follow-My-Leader by Harribobs

Posted by Dave Hennings on 13 October 2017

The previous Harribobs Listener had us spelling out “What hath God wrought” in Morse code. Before that was the Game of Life created by John Horton Conway. This week, no highlighting to perform, just a location to find, perhaps GCHQ.

There were clashing squares here, initially with several letters in each cell. They would eventually be replaced by their first letter. Meanwhile, there were 34 extra wordplay letters to find.

1ac Mascots set problems (7) looked as though it should be easy, but wasn’t for me since I always spelled it telly when I was growing up — TELE (set) S[U]MS. Luckily 6ac Force redistribution of wealth (6, two words), devoid of an extra letter, came to the rescue with THE LAW.

I decided to tackle the acrosses in order, and was happy to get a dozen or so. These were followed by significantly fewer than a dozen downs! That pretty much determined progress from then on, and that wasn’t helped by failing to get more than one clashing entry for a cell until very late on.

The first of these clashes to reveal itself was GOSSAMER ([B]OSS in GAMER) and MILKERS (MI [C]LERKS*) where I had never realised the word could refer to the cows not just the humans. Unless there were two clashes lurking here, the letters looked like MER/LKE, and it took no time to spot Mrs MERKEL. So European leaders, perhaps?

The next one out of the box was ESKI/REIGN, which looked like it should be Henry Kissinger, but wasn’t. Then it was EA/AUNDRE’s turn. Don’t ask me how I saw his name, but ADENAUER (who always reminded me of the most draconian of school headmasters) soon appeared, although I’d forgotten he was a Konrad. A bit of a google, and Kurt KIESINGER was next. We were obviously dealing with German Chancellors.

Luckily I’m old enough to remember a few more of them, specifically Ludwig ERHARD, Willy BRANDT, Helmut SCHMIDT and Helmut KOHL. Don’t ask me why, but Gerhard SCHRODER (Merkel’s predecessor) eluded me, as had Kiesinger earlier.

My favourite clue was 34ac A month before university, all within capital’s borders must go back (6) for KISLEU. Who’d have thought that most of the capital of Finland could feature so prominently in a clue?!

So what next, apart from just entering their first letter. Well, the extra wordplay letters finally revealed themselves as Use bottom row and left column as indexes. I went from top left to bottom right, listing the coordinates of each Chancellor, and got APAHALGRMUUBSICS. [I can’t believe you didn’t give up after 3 or 4 pairs. Ed.]

I started switching the pairs round, but gave up after PAHALARG. [I should hope so. Ed.] “In order” from the preamble now obviously meant chronological order, and all was made clear with Palais Schaumburg, according to Wiki the residence of the Chancellor of Germany from 1949-1999 and now the secondary official residence of the Chancellor.

This wasn’t a quick solve, but entertaining and nostalgic nonetheless. Thanks, Harribobs.
 

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