Listen With Others

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Translate Into Spanish by Cagey

Posted by shirleycurran on 12 October 2018

“Cagey”, I murmur. “We’ve been solving his in the Magpie for a few years but I believe this is his first Listener.” We print that most unusual grid and I scan the clues to see whether he merits entry to the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Outfit and I don’t have to read far: ‘Cartel’s overcharge on whole barrel (4)’ The other Numpty assures me that a BLOC is a cartel so we have BL + OC, but why is the barrel ‘whole’? Maybe that is the first of our nine extra words. Whatsoever, it certainly admits Cagey to that exclusive set of cruciverbal tipplers. A whole barrel! Cheers!

A couple of lucky early solves give us the start of our grid fill: ‘Volunteers, then I go into obsolete nick (10)’ (TA + I TURN in CLY = TACITURNLY) and ‘Founder isn’t about to utter rubbish about head of high inquisition (10)’ (INST* + UTTER* round I(nquisition) = a founder INSTITUTER) and we have a second extra word ‘high’. There is a lot more fiddling with those four-letter words (Where do we put THUS, HYPE, NEEP, SAFE, EARL and TORI?) Those are the ones that always give problems in a carte blanche grid aren’t they?

However, TORI gives us another extra ‘item’ – 180 – and we now understand why ‘item’ and not ‘word’ was used in the preamble. We have the messages ‘Moving whole columns advance 180 years’ and ‘Highlight event’.  What’s more, we have spotted that the first row of the crossword gives us SIXTEEN EIGHTY-EIGHT and the other Numpty immediately says “That’s the Glorious Revolution”. Sure enough we have a rather convoluted GLORIOUS REVOLTUION in row seven of our grid.

It is a simple sum that takes us to 1868 and we know there was a glorious revolution in Spain in that year but we were instructed to ‘Translate Into Spanish’ in the title so I waste some time attempting to find the Spanish name of that revolution, LA GLORIOSA, in the reconstituted columns that I have chopped up. I do wonder, at this point, how solvers who work from the Times newspaper version of the crossword manage these final hoops that the Listener crossword sometimes asks us to leap through.

The other Numpty is the solver, I am the grid compiler and endgame expert, and he has thrown up his arms in despair and gone to bed with ‘Energy and Empire, A biographical study of Lord Kelvin’ (yes, honestly!) leaving me to fiddle with my bits of paper.

That hint about the PACT is a great help and I soon realize that I was trying to be too clever. Cagey has simply lowered the GLORIOUS REVOLUTION down one row in his grid and, either to give us a hint that columns had to be shifted, or because it was impossible to fit the words into his original grid (the second, I imagine) put the letters in the correct order this time. I find PACT in the version I opt for and see that the hint was there as there was a potential ambiguity with the seventh and fourteenth columns both beginning with E and having U in the key position.

So I highlight the revolution with thanks to Cagey for a most enjoyable puzzle.

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