Listen With Others

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International Standards Organisation by Harribobs

Posted by shirleycurran on 27 Sep 2019

It is only now, on typing that title, that I realize its significance. Of course, we have created an array (or organisation) of international standards (or flags) and we needed those three letters, too, in the clue for COSINE ‘Function of national standards body in Europe revoked (6)’ By the time we got to that clue, we had the message the extra letters were producing (FLAGS REPLACE TWELVE NATIONS IN ARRAY) and knew that we didn’t need an extra letter, so it had to be that N + ISO in EC revoked, or returned.

There was some most satisfactory cluing here (but what do we expect? Harribobs was last year’s Inquisitor top setter wasn’t he?) Of course I checked the grid to confirm that he retains his right of admission to the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Outfit and he almost slipped up. I had to read a long way through his clues before finding ‘Sadly Ruby leaves constabulary, moving to the seaside (7)’ We spotted one of a number of subtractive anagrams and removed RUBY* from CONSTABULARY* producing COASTAL – I suppose that is port in a couple of senses, so ‘Cheers, Harribobs!’.

Superb clues and a fairly speedy solve for  us, though we struggled with our last three solutions. It is rather comical for us, living in France and speaking French, that clues that use French tend to cause us trouble. I suspect that we compartmentalise languages to avoid the mental chaos that thinking in the wrong language can produce in a crossword, so although ‘French author somewhat looked up to in Paris (4)’ was leaping out at us, as a hidden word, HAUT was almost our last entry. GENET was all too familiar too after years of French homework (why was that always the one that the boys left till last?) and in this case it was how it produced the Y that we needed for ARRAY that puzzled us. ‘French author often inside yearning has to see outside (5)’. It was the ‘often inside’ that we were attempting to fit into the wordplay – but, of course, it was part of the definition. Wiki tells us that GENET was initially a petty criminal, so ‘often inside’ and we have to simply fit {Y}EN into GET.

And finally there were the APPLES. A bit sneaky, I think, to use Cockney rhyming slang, ‘London flight dismays touring European (6)’. ‘Apples and pears = stairs’ so we extracted an A from APPALS and put that European into it. Hmmm!

But no complaints really. We were told how many words were entered in reverse and how many clues had extra letters and given plenty of room about how to submit our grid with those people who fuss about having to get out the children’s colouring pencils the option of resolving those twelve texts in words. (I did that as well in order to avoid putting one of those flags in the wrong place!)

Was I the only solver to wonder about ROMANIANS – they are a nation too and ROMANIANS anagram to SAN MARINO, which certainly has independent country status. Oh the pitfalls of Listener solving! But many thanks to Harribobs – what a delightful compilation.


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