Listen With Others

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A Moral Story by Aedites

Posted by shirleycurran on 28 June 2019

A Moral Story indeed. My primary school years were full of those and we hadn’t solved for long when a familiar title began to emerge in the letters produced by wordplay that were not to be entered in the grid. We already had enough letters of KINGSLEY to be fairly sure that our story was THE WATER BABIES but how could that title possibly extend to the 36 letters required to be extracted from 36 clues? We were too busy solving to check on our dear friend and ally Wiki but, had we done so, we would have seen that the full title is THE WATER BABIES A FAIRY TALE FOR A LAND BABY.

Yes, I was one of those land babies and, even at the age of six or so, wasn’t very fond of Piers Plowman, Puck of Pook’s Hill, the Flower Fairy Alphabet or The Water Babies – the texts our teachers insisted we read to turn us into good little children. However, that didn’t stop us enjoying Aedites gentle and generous clueing.

Of course I checked that Aedites retains his seat of honour in the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Assembly and he almost disgraced himself’ ‘Drunk in the river – the river in Köln? (5)’ indeed! We extracted an extra T from INTHE R* and stupidly entered RHINE into our grid – that slowed our filling of the grid (I should know better – we spend most of next month with our German relatives not too far from the RHEIN). Then there was ‘Smuggler seizing substantive drink in the past (5)’. By this time, we knew we needed an extra B and we know a MULE is a smuggler so ‘substantive’ had to be SB to produce MULSE. Very nice – cheers Aedites!

We needed Wiki again to remind us that the characters were TOM, ELLIE, MOTHER CAREY and MRS BEDONEBYASYOUDID  and all that was left to do was highlight KINGSLEY. What do I learn? It’s the 200th anniversary of his birth. We were expecting a crossword about the 75th anniversary of the D Day landings but I infinitely prefer a literary one. Many thanks, Aedites.

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