Listen With Others

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Listener No 4594: Chat by Aedites

Posted by Dave Hennings on 6 March 2020

Only eight months since Aedites last Listener. That was based on Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies, a Fairy Tale for a Land Baby. Before that, we had a Möbius strip and before that, Hamlet’s spiel. In fact he has had a generous smattering of mathematicallish puzzles. Going back many years, he actually did a few pure mathematical ones, but that was before my current run.

Not so this week. A few clashes and a misprint in every clue, not necessarily in the definition. Unlike some, I do like misprints. The correct versions of the misprints would show how to resolve the clashes and what embellishment would need to be added to the grid. I prayed that this would not need to much artistic ability.

There were some interesting clues here. 14ac Person with ferry beheaded donor (8) conjured up a positively barbaric practice, although it needed Chambers to see that the misprinted derry was an Australian word for RESENTER, “as in the phrase have a derry on (someone)” — eh?!!

I also liked 34ac Citrus hybrids wanted wasted semolina (8) as it reminded me that I probably hadn’t had that since I was about 12 years old. Don’t know why — I loved it! 2dn We hear yob you introducing fizzy drink for good digestion (7) for EUPEPSY, on the other hand, alluded to Pepsi Cola. This, together with its slightly earlier cousin Coca, is a work of the devil and tastes horrid in my humble opinion. I’ve no idea why they’re so popular. (And don’t get me started on Dr Pepper!!)

Luckily, Aedites treated us to some SPARE RIBS at 6dn Serb pair’s broken bones from a shoot, perhaps (9, two words), although you wouldn’t think so on first reading of the clue (shoot being the misprint for shoat, a young pig).

As for the clashes, it soon became apparent that they were symmetrically placed in the grid. It was slightly less apparent that the differences between their letter values gave 1–12. I did suss this just before the end, and was relieved that the corrected misprints started Enter difference as Roman numerals and a clock face appeared before me.

Finally, Time is two fifty led (and not for the first time in my Listener years) to Rupert Brooke’s The Old Vicarage, Grantchester with “Stands the Church clock at ten to three? And is there honey still for tea?” I made sure that the hour hand I drew on the grid was shorter than the minute hand, otherwise it would look like a quarter past ten.

Thanks for an enjoyable puzzle, Aedites.
 

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