Listen With Others

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Listener No 4537: Rollerball by The Ace of Hearts

Posted by Dave Hennings on 1 Feb 2019

This week we had TAoH’s third Listener following on from the fifth wheel last year and the Blarney Stone the year before. Here we had a circular grid, not that it should have been a surprise since the previous two were as well. (Confession is good for the soul — circulars aren’t my favourite.)

However, there was a lot going on, so it looked as though it would be interesting. Indeed it was. Most radials would go inwards, but seven (thanks for the info) would go outwards. Unfortunately, they all needed to lose a letter before entry and these letters would spell out a definition.

The perimeter and Ring 5 were clued by wordplay only, but TaoH was kind in making most of them very straightforward. Although I quickly slotted CAISSON, GONDOLA and TELEGA into the perimeter, I failed to see what they might have in common. The first two had a watery connection and the last was a Russian wagon. A quick check in the BRB showed that they were all types of wagon.

Fiddling around with the Radial clues took a fair amount of time, even though some were helpful. Sometime later and I had a few of the letters in Ring 5 such that I could solve its outstanding clues. Thus the definition was A MOVABLE PIECE OF FURNITURE WITH SHELVES. More failure to understand on my part, and it was some time before I looked up wagon in Chambers.

The remaining two perimeter wagons were DEMOCRAT and KIBITKA. The latter was clued as Bit into chocolate bar, almost losing tip of tooth, leading to BIT in KITKA(t) – T. KitKat in the UK was originally made by Rowntree’s. That company was bought out by Nestlé which subsequently closed it. Typical!! In the USA it is made under licence by Reese, a division of the Hershey Company — so heaven knows what it tastes like!

Finally, we had the letters dropped from the Radials giving An enclosure to drive hunted animals into and CORRAL soon went into the centre of the grid.

Thanks for an entertaining puzzle, Ace. (Confession number 2 — I hate westerns.)

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