Listen With Others

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Listener No 4492: Mad Tom’s Traps by Hedge-sparrow

Posted by Dave Hennings on 23 Mar 2018

Last year’s H-s puzzle had HS2 running through the grid, much to his disappointment. It looked as though someone called Mad Tom would be causing him grief this week. I hoped that he wouldn’t do the same to me.

Clashes would need resolving in 13 cells. Eventually, a hunter, his equipment, some wild summer flowers and potential quarries would need to be sorted out — somehow!

Progress in the early stages was fairly quick. This was followed by a slightly slower stretch of solving and then another spurt. The last two clues took an age to resolve, mainly because they involved clashes that had me befuddled for far too long. I won’t reveal which ones they were — oh, OK, they were 20dn and 42dn.

The endgame now had to be tackled. It was fairly obvious that those letters forming SUMMER FLOWERS had to be dropped from the clashes to be replaced by a ‘rambling hunter’ The letters that I was left with were DOTIPERSIPLET. Because I sometimes like to cause myself maximum discomfort, I didn’t resort to an anagram helper, but tried my usual doodling to jog the little grey cells.

I SPOTTED PERIL was the first anagram I stumbled on, followed by I’D STOP REPTILE. A few more abortive attempts and I had PI DO PI SETTLER, and this somehow enabled me to spot LEPIDOPTERIST (don’t ask me how). It didn’t take much longer to guess that his ‘usual equipment’ was BUTTERFLY NET.

So, MAD TOM’S TRAPS had to be replaced by the net to catch 12 potential quarries. Well, there were lots of places that the first set of letters were scattered around the grid. It was seeing that GAMEKEEPER could become GATEKEEPER that got me on the right track. Chambers told me that it was ‘any of several large butterflies’.

So it looked as though we would end up with a dozen lepidopterous creatures in the final grid. All I had to do was find them! Again, I decided on a bit of masochism and shunned Mrs Bradford. It was very enjoyable weeding out the butterflies and moths such as the ORANGE TIP and SILVER-Y and that took me about 20 minutes. Who said ‘life’s too short’? Not I.

Thanks for an enjoyable puzzle, Hedge-sparrow. Lots going on from start to finish.


2 Responses to “Listener No 4492: Mad Tom’s Traps by Hedge-sparrow”

  1. dyste said

    Dave, your animated grid this week is a tour de force.

  2. Thanks, Andy. Hopefully it makes up for the lack of excitement in today’s blog.

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