Listen With Others

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Listener No 4559: G by Xanthippe

Posted by Dave Hennings on 5 Jul 2019

As I saw that we had Xanthippe this week, I knew that a thoroughy enjoyable puzzle was in the offing. Last year, we had the Bond/Fleming Bourne/Ludlum ambiguity, and before that Adam Smith’s connections.

This week, a preamble that went on and on and on, the important aspect being that thematic items were spelt out by letters dropped from the down clues, with letters needing to be added to the across clues to give us two more items from the scene — whichever scene that would be.

Another week may have found me struggling with what these items were, but luckily not here. The across clues revealed one step ladder, followed by another (step ladder that is) — really?! The down clues gave Bottom, nit, ass, dun, Red Rum and nag.

In fact it was the step ladders that revealed the theme for me. It was just one of those weeks when the brain came good. We were dealing with the chandelier episode from Only Fools and Horses, which is what the down clues gave us, three fools and three horses. A bit of research was needed to find that it was a LOUIS XVI CHANDELIER, weaving its way through the grid from one asterisked square to the other.

The clashes could be resolved at first to give RODNEY (columns 1/2) and DEL (columns 11/12) holding a BLANKET (row 9). Choosing the alternative clashes and having GRANDAD remove the bolt in row 1 sent the chandelier crashing to the ground. John SULLIVAN, the writer, had to go under the grid, with the remaining ten letters of the chandelier going into the bottom row, including two 2-letter words, LI and NE.

Great fun, as expected. Thanks, Xanthippe.


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