Listen With Others

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin

Telling Lies by Somniloquist

Posted by shirleycurran on 4 January 2019

An unusual grid, 14 X 12. We commented that there must be a reason for that, and of course there was – it had to fold into that little book. The preamble was unusually short too. We prefer it when all (or none) of the clues have an extra letter produced by the wordplay (not half) but that gave us no real problem tonight as the clues were gentle and fair and we had no doubt at all when there was an extra letter. Indeed, we hadn’t solved long before were aware that we were being told to CUT OUT EXTRA WORDS AND FOLD.

“Extra words?” said the other Numpty, but we had already wondered what VENOM was doing in the clue to GLOBS, ‘Drops of venom in edges of gerbil bites (5). We put O(f) intoG(erbi)L B(ite)S. YEAR was the same, ‘English are separating your own four quarters (4)’ We put E A into YR and highlighted the OWN as extra. ‘None find fault with fish (4)’. We already had CAR in our grid so that had to be CARP and we had NONE as an extra word.

Changes had to take place, we were told, in five clues. OGRE was next, since BERE (a pillow case) was hidden in ‘NumBER Eight conceals bedding (4)’

‘American kisses awkwardly and loses self-control (7)’ gave us LOSES as our final extra word (A + KISSES = ASKESIS, self-control – none of it lost) and by this time, with a nearly full grid, we had seen that those five words were happily placed on the left hand side of our grid, ready to be cut out. Symmetrically opposite, I read ALBERT ANGELO, BS JOHNSON, and had to go to Wikipedia to find out what that had to do with ‘telling lies‘. I learn something with every Listener crossword I solve.

I enjoyed chopping into my grid and folding it into a small book (a kind of sadistic pleasure in chopping into one of the things that give me so much stress now and then) – this was a different and ingenious end game. Many thanks to Somniloquist for a couple of hours of fun. Our ski resort opens tomorrow morning so I am very grateful not to be struggling with a ferociously difficult stinker.

Of course I haven’t forgotten to check Somniloquist’s retention of his entry ticket to the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Knees-up and he did have me worried at first with his ‘Sober eastern character (4)’ SAD + E, followed by ‘Herbal drink to stop ailment of intestinal section (5)’ where we put [T]EA into ILL to get ILEAL. But all is well. ‘Drunk Scots crave hot drink (6)’ we were told and we added [F]OU to LONG to give OULONG. Cheers, Somniloquist!

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