Listen With Others

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Listener No 4548, Brexit: A Setter’s Blog by KevGar

Posted by Listen With Others on 27 Apr 2019

I’m not really sure what triggered the idea of compiling a Listener around Brexit, more than a year ago now. My original plan was to try to use as many words as possible containing “BR”, which, after the removal of “BR”, would leave real words. The resulting list was fairly small, and I thought that with such a limited number of possible words, it wouldn’t be worthwhile trying to construct a puzzle solely around the “exit” of BR. I then had the idea that as well as removing “BR” from one or more words, I could do the opposite for the other countries within the EU, i.e. adding the appropriate IVR abbreviations into words, creating new words.

This was fairly straightforward for some of the countries, but much harder for others (BG, DK, CY for instance), and the constraints of trying to use all of the countries made the overall construction of the grid quite challenging.

I decided that using the crossing 12-letter words “separationist” and “devolutionist” would be a useful, suitable starting point, and developed the overall grid from there. After many attempts I thought that I was going to end up having to omit one other country from the grid and that I would require solvers to identify the other country which was surprisingly exiting from the EU (LVExit!). However, after much re-working of the grid, I managed to ensure that Latvia was indeed included (saLVe).

My original submission contained a rather obscure abbreviation in plural format which I wasn’t really happy about. However, the second referee managed to make some minor adjustments to the grid to produce a more sensible/acceptable entry.

I certainly didn’t envisage the position that the country would be in when I submitted “my” Brexit as a possible Listener over 12 months ago!


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