Listen With Others

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Triumvirate by tnap

Posted by shirleycurran on 10 April 2020

I often comment that we learn something new with every Listener crossword. This week, we had a full grid (except for three or maybe five unclued lights (since 10 down gave us either ENUMERATIONS or MOUNTAINEERS if we put AMERICA into 23 across). We had already worked out that 37ac anagrammed to BUCKEYE and that our thematic hint was US ARMY. We even had an anagram of MULTIPLICATION from missing definition letters, and the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations had told me: ‘Multiplication is vexation, Division is as bad; The Rule of Three doth puzzle me, And practice drives me mad. (Leon’s Collections vol 4 (1904) (possibly 16th century)’

Of course, I had hunted for the alcohol in tnap’s clues as we solved them at full tilt. We had had a late start as we are in total lock-down here in France, but so are our four and six-year-old grandchildren in California and their harrassed parents are working from home and grateful for a couple of hours of Internet child time which corresponds with the five o’ clock arrival of the Listener here – being read to in English and German, colouring numbers with the four-year-old, singing songs together and telling stories. I imagine a lot of grandparents are doing the same.

The alcohol? Tnap had ‘Ordinary twisted turkey bones (4)’ (ASS O<) and had ventured into INNS, ‘Puts up in the past by two points (4)’ and even a tatty café. ‘Tatty café’s poor prospect from penthouse? (9)’ giving us an anagram of CAFESPOOR = ROOFSCAPE. but I’m afraid it was a pretty poor prospect as far as the classy malts or gin and tonics are concerned. Have to try harder, tnap, to keep that entry ticket to the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Outfit.

When we had twigged that this was about US ARMY nicknames of divisions, I still hadn’t understood those words of the preamble that told me six unclued entries were located ‘appropriately’, so I laboriously looked up army divisions that were suggested by TEA, and spotted that INDIANHEAD would work at 2d, since an A could go into each of the remaining unches, and, of course, that gave me the N that allowed RED DIAMOND to appear. It was some time later that the ‘Doh’ moment also appeared – those clue numbers were their division numbers.

We have a number of copies of Brewer’s, the book among the thousands on our shelves that I loathe the most, partly because of its lack of any coherent index and partly because of the dippy items that fill its pages. Why do we have so many of the thing you ask. Sadly, it has all too often been a prize for being the lucky entrant picked from the crossword hat). I had found nothing about divisions in it and it was some time later that a friend told me ”

“I have a Millennium Edition of Brewers,

Under Regiments there are 2 lists:

Page 983 British Army

Page 987 United States Army

“In the following representative selection all are Infantry Divisions … “ [my italics]

1st: The Big Red One

2nd: Indianhead

5th: The Red Diamond

10th: The Mountaineers

23rd: The America Division

37th: Buckeye.”

“It was quite clever” said the other Numpty. “We knew of the Big Red One but the others were new to us.” Thank you for the education, tnap.

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