Listen With Others

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There and Back by Stick Insect

Posted by shirleycurran on 9 August 2019

We thought we were so clever when we guessed that this was going to be about Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings – “There and Back” with twelve dwarves’ names to highlight in the completed grid – Oin, Gloin, Nori, Dori, Bifur etc. but when ALDRIN appeared between that obscure word QAWWAL and DRINK, we had to have a speedy rethink and realized that we had already entered ARMSTRONG as part of mARM [S] TRON and Galley. A very different there and back.

DRINK! Ah yes, ‘Male’s one day at racecourse gave us an extra M that we were looking for in WE CAME IN PEACE FOR ALL MANKIND, AND LEFT US WITH ‘Ale’s D + RINK. I was relieved as my initial run through the clues had produced ‘menu item’, ‘Try water’ and ‘Spirit’ but no convincing proof that Stick Insect retains his admission ticket to the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Elite. But there it was: “Cheers, Stick Insect!”

Yes, the clues were generous and we needed to check only a few of our solutions. Romansch is spoken not a long way from where we live but the spelling RUMONSCH was new on us. ‘Odd boy with school dialect’ gave us an extra O so that we had RUM = odd, ON = by and SCH = school, giving us the ‘dialect’.

We had to check CHELLEAN too. ‘Revolutionary left Nepal confused once regarding early culture’. We needed to extract the P from the material leaving us with CHE L + NEAL*. We hadn’t heard of a QAWWAL religious singer but, of course, Stick Insect carefully spelled out what we needed and at that point, we were able to consult Wiki’s list of astronauts and fill our gaps.

How impressive that Stick Insect managed to produce the jumbled letters of ONE GIANT LEAP from those twelve names. Even more impressive that he was able to construct a 52-word grid with 26 words heading backwards, to fit all that material in and give the 26-word message that the first moon-landers gave to any stray outer-space dwellers. Nice, thank you.

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