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Brexit by KevGar

Posted by shirleycurran on 19 April 2019


We’ve suffered the UK parliamentary shambles all day, no, I mean all week/ month/ year, so I groaned when we saw KevGar’s title. We needed something to lighten the atmosphere. Well, it certainly did! We saw the SEPARATIONIST anagram at once, ‘Parisian set to convert one Brexiteer perhaps (13)’ and that was quickly followed by ZOOEA ‘Ozone, not nitrogen, mixed up with a number of larvae’. The Z and S in place suggested CZARDAS (dance) and we spotted the ‘dance’ definition to remove from ‘Working the dance clubs, eat out (6)’. And we were off on our tour of the European Union as it was CZ (Czech Republic) that had to be added to ARDAS ‘Sikh prayer raised pitiful (power-shifter) god (7)’ (SAD RA<).

I had to consult the Internet to create a list of the IVRs of the 28 EU countries and we carefully crossed them off, one by one, wondering how KevGar was going to include BG, CY or LV, but, of course, he managed. What a feat of construction. Clearly a member of the elite Listener Setters’ Oenophile Outfit, but he did confirm that, ‘Tiny amounts of ordinary booze in alcoholic convulsions? (5)’ We put the O into DTs, giving DOTS, and later added the L of Luxembourg to give DOLTS, which was defined by ‘dullards’ from another clue. So the ‘booze’ had to be moved and it defined BIRLE. That put IRL (Ireland) into BE ‘One third of animals remain (5) (BEasts) and Chambers tells me to BIRLE is to ply with drink, so ‘Cheers KevGar!’

The grid filled, thanks to KevGar’s generous clues but were left with a missing couple of letters. Which of Malta, Portugal or Belgium was going to complete the ANE that had appeared with ‘Woman climbed one (space) in the Grampians (4)’. We needed to work through all the wandering definitions to check which was left: Bloated gave us ASTRUT: transmute gave CYANISE (bit of a long stretch, we thought): acid gave SERINE: hollow gave DIMPLE: latest led to SLOWEST: weapons got rid of Bulgaria by producing BBGUNS, food was KAI: the RHINE was the river: marks were GRADES: saying was a SAW: hail was SALVE: power-shifter was the DEVOLUTIONIST: sped was PELTED: perfect was FINISH: shoot was a GERM: outline was SKETCH: metal was CHROME: check was ARREST: grease was ENLARD: space was ROOM and move was FLIT so we were left with the scamp and destruction to place. REP(robate) dealt with the scamp and we were able to put Belgium’s B on BANE to give us ‘destruction’.

We had a final smile. What was EST doing up there at the top of the grid? It was defined by ‘awareness-raising’ – that programme that is so useful for crossword setters needing to get rid of the EST letters, but the clue? The penny dropped. ‘(Sped) right into most outstanding French city (5)’ put R into BEST giving BREST but what had happened to the BR? Oh dear, yes indeed – when KevGar set this, it was going to appear on BR EXIT day – poor BR – missing from that fine collection of 27 other nations. Good fun: thanks, KevGar.

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