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Listener No 4526: Quads III by Shark

Posted by Dave Hennings on 16 Nov 2018

This was the fifth Shark Listener puzzle, and the third in the Quads series. I suppose it would be natural to expect a fourth, but this one would be hard to top.

There’s only time for some brief thoughts from me this week. For a start 33 out of 44 clues used a gimmick that took me a few minutes to get my head round: “… one letter and spacing have been changed in the definition…”. This was thoroughly entertaining, and made some of the clues a real pig (apologies to pigs). The first clue I solved was Five rallying game with Croatia (4) which became River allying game with Croatia (4) leading to RUHR (RU + HR). Shark clues are generally pretty tough but this added an extra dimension of toughness. Here are some highlights:

14ac EASES Almost stand opening of sitcom for us (5) became
Almost stand opening of sit comforts (5)
EASE(l) + S(it)
30ac QUI-HYE No longer arrogant after unionist’s introduced to chief fluent Anglo-Indian (6) became
No longer arrogant after unionist’s introduced to chi affluent Anglo-Indian (6)
HYE after (U in QI)
40ac ATTEST Man of estate travels round Thailand with mum (6) became
Manifest ate travels round Thailand with mum (6)
ATE around T + ST
8dn OLE In Spain, who online gets sucked into withdrawn game? (3) became
In Spain, whoop line gets sucked into withdrawn game? (3)
L in EO<
25dn MOGHUL Tom, possibly, with bulk to evict one liberally nasty member from India (6) became
Tom, possibly, with bulk to evict one liberal dynasty member from India (6)

Eventually, the message spelt out by the wrong letters in these clues gave Fourth letter in words — standard clues. It took a few minutes to sort this out. At first I thought it must be the fourth letter of the first word in each clue. Nope! It turned out to be the fourth letter in all words that had 4 or more letters — a nice thematic touch that fitted into the overall theme. These gave: Each grid corner’s four-by-four region taken en masse. Snipping the four corners out and rearranging them revealed the two-word term for what was left: GREEK CROSS.

Finally, the preamble told us that this remainder had to be cut into four identical pieces and rearranged to form another square with a 10-letter thematic word to be highlighted: TETRAMERAL was the word, meaning four-parted.

Fantastic puzzle, as expected, Shark. How can you top it?!


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