Listen With Others

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L4566: ‘Dream On’ by Agricola

Posted by Encota on 23 Aug 2019

It didn’t take too long to find TOWER and WALL placed symmetrically in the top and bottom rows, nor to find the (river) ALPH in columns down the centre.  But now what?


The River Alph sounds like Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Kubla Khan?  Or perhaps Xanadu by the 1970’s Canadian rock band Rush, which was my first introduction to the poem (am I the only one?).  Unfortunately I don’t think the latter mentioned Coleridge’s “incense-bearing trees”, otherwise I may have got this endgame much faster.

I could see LASERWORT in the r.h. column and knew that was something.  And BALSAM in the l.h. column.  After that I really wasn’t sure what I was doing.  Eventually, with much help from the BRB, I pieced together LASERWORT, SPRUCE, BALSAM, BOSWELLIA, SANTAL & CISTUS.  That makes 42 characters but two are shared, needing only 40 cells to be highlighted.  Thank goodness!

The extra words in clues were very well hidden – at least that’s what I found.  It was almost after the event that I nailed down all of COLE-RIDGE’s IMAGINATION BLOSSOMING; SPECIALISED MONGOLIAN HORTICULTURE INSPIRING SAMUEL.  And I am still uncertain where the first hint stops and the second one starts!

And there’s still one clue that I may have got wrong:

28ac’s Area above French city in Assyria (4)

I had ?SUR in the grid.  It looked like it might parse as A+SUR.  Is this an alternative spelling of ASSUR?  Or should I have included two letters in one cell?  I await the solution with interest!




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