Listen With Others

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Listener No 4594, Chat: A Setter’s Blog by Aedites

Posted by Listen With Others on 8 Mar 2020

I like grids which portray symmetrical themes, and a church clock fits comfortably into a 13×13 grid. One of the best-known church clocks is Grantchester which features in Rupert Brooke’s poem, so this seemed an obvious direction to take.

Chat was constructed in January 2011, and I think it was one of the first times that I used misprints in the clues. I struggled to find an appropriate title and eventually settled on Chat as a code for “tea-time”. Unfortunately a crossword on the same theme (Listener 4188 Painless by <Rasputin) was published during the following year so I had to put Chat on one side.

I submitted it to the Listener after about five years and the editors accepted it but felt that it was too similar to 4188 so it has not been published until now. The Old Vicarage, Grantchester has been a popular theme over the years and other examples in the Times Listener are 3013 Hands Off by Jago in 1989, and 3772 1450? by Ix in 2004. Basing a puzzle on a popular theme can be hazardous for a crossword setter since I had to withdraw another Listener submission in 2012 when a puzzle on the identical theme was published.


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