Listen With Others

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Listener No 4521: Translate into Spanish by Cagey

Posted by Dave Hennings on 12 Oct 2018

Cagey was a new setter to me, but a check of the database revealed that there were a few Magpies to his credit. His first was a mathematical, but subsequent ones have all been word puzzles of B and C grading. What would his first Listener be like?

There were nine extra items to be removed in clues. Strangely, they were “delimited by spaces”. I assumed that one or more items would consist of two or more words. These items would give two instructions to be followed after the grid’s initial fill.

I started on the across clues but soon gave up because my brain obviously wasn’t in the right gear to solve more than a couple. Maybe Cagey would be more forgiving with the downs. Indeed he was, and SABMI, IDLE, TACITURNLY, EST and NAUNT were slotted in. 5dn Start off by appearing after scene in play — no longer heiress’s choice (6) failed me, mainly as I hdn’t heard of ESNECY (SCENE* after (b)Y) before.

So, the top left was looking good, and it seemed that 1ac, which was unclued, started SIXTEEN…. Ottorino’s Lost in Translation had told us that there were only 21 letters in the Italian alphabet. Given the title this week, it crossed my mind that Spanish might have a similarly strange number of letters. In fact, it has 27 — our 26 plus Ñ.

I guess my favourite clue was 10dn Trawler trailing frigate would catch such fish (5) which used a technique I’d not come across before where trawler after frigate would supply TETRA.

Eventually, 1ac was, with unchecked letters filled in, SIXTEEN EIGHTY EIGHT. A quick scan of Wiki for events in 1684 soon revealed GLORIOUS REVOLUTION, and we had GLORIOUS at 36ac. Moreover REVOLUTION almost followed on with 38ac REVOLT and then UION. Intriguing.

Of course, the extra words in nine clues gave us Moving whole columns, advance 180 years. Highlight event, and more Wikiness showed that there was another Glorious Revolution in 1868, this one in Spain — aha! — and resulted in the deposition of Queen Isabella II. I’m still not really sure why the “delimited by spaces” was in the preamble unless to ensure 180 was taken in full.

Careful rejigging of the columns so that 1ac read EIGHTEEN SIXTY EIGHT revealed another GLORIOUS REVOLUTION in row 8. Two columns began with an E and had a U in row 8, so the PACT in row 5 ensured a unique solution.

An entertaining and original endgame to finish with. Great fun. Thanks, Cagey.


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