Listen With Others

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin

G by Xanthippe

Posted by shirleycurran on 5 Jul 2019

What a long pre-ramble. ‘A scene from popular culture’ – that rang alarm bells for us as, being overseas solvers, we are not generally au fait with the UK’s ‘popular culture’. Keeping up to date with the political shenanigans of B****T and Conservative Party leadership antics is a fairly full-time occupation. We have heard of ‘Corrie’ though, ‘Rapper tours East Indies: he was in Corrie (7)’. There was a DEIRDRE in Coronation Street wasn’t there? We have to look up Dr Dre to confirm that that is a rapper’s name and we have found an extra letter. ‘She’ was in Corrie. She was in the Rovers Return there too on a number of occasions. Does that qualify Xanthippe for renewed membership of the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Mob?

I find ‘Calum succeeded with spirit to spend money (6)’ and decide that we have to remove the U from Calum (giving calm), the M from Mettle and enter SETTLE, so that ‘spirit’ isn’t very alcoholic, but ‘NY diner Angolan enters smelling of ale (7)’ is more hopeful. He’s ‘BEERY’ and we are entering AN (removing the final n of Angolan) so we get a BEANERY, which the Big Red Book tells us is a cheap eating place in the US. Well, I suppose the whiff of ale will have to do. Cheers, Xanthippe!

When I filled in the solution I was sending, I realized what a struggle he must have had to fit that LOUIS XIV CHANDELIER into the grid. It produced a number of archaic and somewhat obscure words, which didn’t help our rather slow solve: ABORE, AVAILE, LAUWINE, CION, TYMBAL, LA TENE, SCROD, BEANERY, LOX, UNDERKEEP, BRIT and SNEE – but we did manage to almost fill our grid and finally decided that BLANKET would give us our two missing clashes ‘Seal ethyl cover (7)’ had to be BLANK + ET.

‘STEPLADDER STEPLADDER’ and ‘BOTTOM’ were a fine red herring but, even if it is almost midsummer, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is hardly ‘popular culture’. We also had ASS, NIT, DUN, RED RUM and NAG – a sort of horsey theme but the nit didn’t fit – he’s more of an ass. Light dawned “They are fools and horses!” Wiki gave us enough to identify the theme as ‘A Touch of Glass’ (which, of course, explains that G in the title – nothing to do with the middle of niGht in the bard’s MSND) and the writer as SULLIVAN. We watched the YouTube video and realized that we had to send GRANDAD upstairs and use that BLANKET (or fail to use it!) RODNEY and DEL were on the two sides of the blanket so all should have been well.

TEA helped us to produce GRANDAD where we had G BOLT ABORE and six new words appeared: RAND, ADORE, DEANERY,ACH, NEE and DRAWLED. But we had to find and remove that ‘symmetrical’ LOUIS XIV CHANDELIER then use the letters OIXCHDEIER (SULLIVAN removed) to create ten new words on the bottom row. What had seemed to be rather unnecessary clashes now made sense. Xanthippe needed somewhere to add his X! What a complex and impressive compilation!


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