Listen With Others

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Listener 4523: ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ by Wan

Posted by Encota on 26 October 2018

2018-10-07 13.50.34

Two of the harder clues in this tough puzzle by Wan got me writing ‘Crikey!’ in the margin alongside them!

Firstly, 2 down’s

More than one group using translator for the French in phoned-in notices (7).

You may recall that, in this puzzle by Wan, some clues contained an extra word to be removed before solving, which made the solve harder as one didn’t know if such a word existed in the given clue.  In this case it didn’t, but when solving one didn’t know that!

Eventually the crossing letters in 2d suggested that the above’s answer might be TETRADS, defined as ‘more than one group’.  It still took me a while to parse the rest of this, namely as TELE-ADS (phoned-in notices), but with the LE (the French) replaced with TR (abbrev. for Translator).  Like any substitutions in clues, they are much easier to work out once you have the original (pre-substitution) word – here TELE-ADS – in front of you!

This was immediately followed by 3d’s

One award a dandy lacking class had fixed (8)

Again here the checked letters suggested it might be IMBEDDED or EMBEDDED (with the definition ‘fixed’) – but why?  Again the ‘Is there a word to be deleted?’ thought threw me for a while, but eventually I spotted:

I (one) MBE (award) D(u)DE (dandy lacking class (‘U’)) + ‘D for had.  So IMBEDDED it was!  Four parts to a charade plus a deletion all in an eight letter clue is pretty heavy duty in my book …

The puzzle eventually yielded the playwright Aristophanes and his Cloud-Cuckoo-Land, with Athens down at ground level (with its HEN having gone elsewhere).  Hidden birds in that land in the sky were replaced by their first letters and the ‘interloper’ from the Preamble, IRIS, was ‘thrown out’ and moved to replace 35ac.

Great fun – thanks Wan!

Tim / Encota

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