Listen With Others

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Death in the Afternoon by Little Hare

Posted by shirleycurran on 3 Aug 2018

No sign of that elusive little hare for over six months then what do we have here? Death in the Afternoon by Little Hare! That sounds like something to do with bullfighting and Hemingway. I scan the grid to see whether Little Hares consume enough to retain access to the Listener Setters’ toping set-up and find evidence a-plenty and also a reference to that novel: ‘Quitting university, journo starts to edit Ernest’s novel Bullfighting with Horses (7)’ What a clever clue! That gives us JOURNO less U anagrammed (novel) with E(dit) E(nest) and we get REJONEO which Chambers tells me is Bullfighting on horseback with rejones. Of course the Hare is offering a red herring.

‘This person who hands out absinthe could be a born hedonist (5)’ provides a subtractive anagram and A BORN HEDONIST less ABSINTHE gives us DONOR. (Yes, the Hare was continuing his red herring and prompting us to look for Hemingway’s lethal cocktail of absinthe and champagne wasn’t he – and we were caught.) ‘Rocky landscape in Japan where one is into – and after – the local wine (6)’ puts two Is into SAKE giving SAIKEI, which Chambers tells me is a miniature Japanese landscape. Not content with absinthe and sake, the Hare moves onto whiskey: ‘Unionist hastened to secure shot of whiskey, a malt (6)’. Disappointment when that turns out to be one of the misprints giving us U(nionist) + RAN + IN = URANIN, a salt. ‘Natural growth in a vineyard in California (7)’ gives us A CRU in CAL = ACCRUAL. The hare must be tipsy by now but is still producing first-rate clues. ‘Soundproof superior bar Henry put in cave (6)’ tells us to bar the H from HEAD and put it into a DEN, so DEADEN. ‘Teeming with Clara’s rum (6)’ gives us W + CLARA* = ACRAWL. This certainly was a record pub crawl! Cheers Little Hare!

As we solved, we have been spotting those extra jumbles of names in the clues. ‘GaLA: DAD SUEs regulator (5)’ gave us an extra DAEDALUS as well as OFGAS, the gas regulating body. USES THE rawhide strip that is discovered in Madagascar (4)’ produced THESEUS as well as RIEM. ‘Remains NEAR AID and bows (6)’ put ARIADNE into 8d, ‘her clue’ where her thread was to start – and what a superb CLUE or CLEW it was. Chambers tells me that a clue is ‘a thread that guides through a labyrinth! (Yes, Listener clues are so often that for us!) ICARUS has to be our fourth character, the one who does not survive. We find him ‘With daRIUS CAring for wild herbs possessing hollow stalks (9)’ putting PRO and WEED round S(talk)S to give PROWESSED = ‘with daring’. Poor ICARUS. We also find him under the SEA in our grid with DAEDALUS steering up the left hand side, safely far from the SUN that is shining at the top.

We trace our CLUE, THREAD OF ARIADNE following diagonally contiguous cells to the arena where, of course, the MINOTAUR is boustrophedonally lurking and, like THESEUS, we eliminate him. What a thematically rich grid! Many thanks, Little Hare!


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