Listen With Others

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Listener No 4498: Name That Tune by The Ace of Hearts

Posted by Dave Hennings on 4 May 2018

Here we had The Ace of Hearts’s (?) second Listener after last year’s Fifth Wheel (or was it Spare Tyre?) puzzle last year. That was also a circular grid, but this week the cells for the radial entries didn’t quite line up neatly and I found that somewhat confusing at times.

The clues were of the Letters Latent variety, with the wordplay reflecting the 6-letter entry. Moreover, and I think this is a first, as well as going either inward or outward, the radials could start anywhere in their entry, cycling as necessary.

1 (M)ODESTY, 2 R(A)CIEST and 3 SECTIO(N) were rattled off in pretty quick time, and it looked like we were dealing with Manfred Mann (most of whom are still alive and coming up 80). Unfortunately, 4 SCAND(I)C put paid to that.

It wasn’t too long before the true theme was revealed with Man in Black. Well that was Roy Orbison, wasn’t it? [No. Ed.] No, it wasn’t, it was JOHNNY CASH. [Bravo. Ed.] And so, with the theme identified relatively early, the end of the puzzle was in sight.

If only that were true! The clueing technique proved very difficult, and I’m afraid that I decided that I couldn’t wait until the third ring revealed the song lyric, so I scanned the singer’s song titles under his Wiki heading. RING was already in the grid, courtesy of clues 2–5 which were quite easy, and Ring of Fire was soon identified.

That enabled Fire to be identified as the missing definition for the perimeter entries: DISCHARGE, DETONATE, IGNITE, SHOOT, ENLIVEN and SACK. So I had the outer ring and the third ring filled in and the end was in sight. Well, it was, but only with a pair of very strong binoculars! Even the last few clues came very slowly, but eventually all was done. Checking that my final submission didn’t include a silly transcription error took a bit of time.

Quite a challenge, thanks TAoH. I look forward to your next, preferably using a nice 12×12 grid.


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