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Mixed Emotions by Miss Terry

Posted by shirleycurran on 2 February 2018

We certainly had mixed emotions when we saw the name of the setter – Miss Terry. Does this really mean that the proportion of active Listener lady setters is going up to about 3%, or is ‘Mystery’ some experienced setter lurking under a new pseudonym or just pronouncing his pseudonym in a new way? This did seem like the work of a pro or a group of pros, not only when we saw the symmetry of the unclued answers, but also when those emotions were extracted with some symmetry too. But does he/she qualify for the setters’ tippling outfit? My initial clue scan was not convincing.

‘Fluid or yeasty growth (4)’ seemed promising until we decided it was FL + OR. It got worse, ‘Medicinal drink waiter put out with meal, not before (6)’ gave us a nine-letter drink, WAITER + MEAL  (removing A before) = LIMEWATER and we extracted our first emotion ‘AWE’ from that but were rather worried about being restricted to limewater. Fortunately one of the last solutions we entered resolved all our doubts. ‘Start up, lacking capital, for Italian concern (4)’ gave us (s)TART<. You can hardly have a trat without good Italian wine (my favourite) so cheers, Miss Terry!

Those two-letter lights were a fine hint and when we had entered NE PLUS ULTRA ‘Neutral ground retaining advantage and nothing further (11, three words)’ NEUTRA* round PLUS. and ETAT  – hidden in ‘Rank revealed by bETA Testing (4)’, we had a couple of Ts for ‘Hell’s upper class when one has become base (2)’. We back-solved. The solution had to be TOPHET (TOP HAT with E for A) and that gave us those four letters OPHE, which clearly anagrammed to HOPE – another mixed emotion.  We were well underway.

Fourteen emotions ultimately appeared: ANGER, ELATION, DESIRE, REGRET, GLEE, AGONY, PITY, ZEAL, LOVE, FEAR, AWE, HATRED, HOPE and WOE but we really couldn’t imagine how we were to produce a final answer until the p.d.m. when PTYALIZE was almost the only word that would fill that unclued light and we realized that it was a mixing of PITY and ZEAL. Suddenly, the puzzle, which up to that point had been hard work took on a new dimension and earned our admiration.

We happily combined those emotions to fill the unclued lights and gave a final WHOOPEE! Many thanks to Miss Terry whoever they be.

No, I am not mentioning Poat’s hare – that couldn’t have been him prancing along the top of the grid or down at the bottom right of the margin. He’s buried or on his hols in Brighton or Blackpool or somewhere.

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One Response to “Mixed Emotions by Miss Terry”

  1. apaultaylor said

    As mentioned on the main Listener website, there was a bit more to this puzzle than people might have realised. We were solving it on the train to Edinburgh where we were meeting a friend to participate (remotely as part of a much larger team) in the MIT Mystery Hunt, a weekend-long competition involving solving dozens of puzzles. When we got there we logged in to our team’s chatroom and were somewhat startled to find that someone on the team had solved a puzzle which led to the message ‘NOW SOLVE TODAY’S LISTENER’, requiring the “final answer” from this puzzle to be submitted. Evidently ‘Miss Terry’ is a member of the Mystery Hunt setting team and had arranged with the Listener editors for this puzzle to appear on the correct day. (The Mystery Hunt was partly themed around the film Inside Out, tying in with the ‘mixed emotions’ theme.)

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