Listen With Others

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Listener No 4560: Midsummer by Chalicea

Posted by Dave Hennings on 12 Jul 2019

Last year, we had two puzzles from Chalicea: one based on Saint Patrick, the other based on King Lear with its “whoreson zed”. Here we had to finish the grid and make the grid thematically 39.

First of all, I had to check to see if Chalicea was trying to convince me that she was only a minor member of the Rum Or Beer, Everything’s Really Tasty alcohol society. Indeed, a puny three clues caught my attention: 26ac with its retsinas and tokays, 29ac with drunks on the job and 47ac with sailors and their angosturas and gins. But hold on! There’s a word chain lurking, exceptionally long to deceive us, starting from RUM (reversed in row 2) through RUB, ROB, SOB, LOB, LAB, LAG, BAG, NAG, GAG, GAS, GAN to GIN (in the bottom right). Nice try, Chalicea!

Attempting to sober up fairly quickly, I staggered through the clues and grid. There were some extra words to find with the words either side eventually providing the clue we needed: Where did Bruce win? It didn’t take long to find (twice in the grid) AT BANNOCKBURN, referencing Robert the Bruce’s win against Edward II at Midsummer, 1314.

My heart sank as I saw that 39dn was BLUE, and an enormous amount of shading was required, making sure that all the letters were visible. Thus, we had the flag of Scotland in blue with a white saltire.

Also in the grid, although I’m not sure how relevant, were PATRICK from last year’s puzzle, DOUGAL from The Magic Roundabout and IRIS MINNOCK (wrongly spelt, I’m afraid).

Thanks for a gentle week, Chalicea.


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