Listen With Others

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L4623: ‘Tears’ by Oxymoron

Posted by Encota on 25 September 2020

A precisely constructed and clued puzzle from Oxymoron (aka the late Schadenfreude).

For me the toughest clue by far was 33a’s:

Hard growth on west-facing tree (5)

I think I first attempted it when it seemed more likely that the answer would have 5 letters, which threw me somewhat.

Then I realised it may well have more and found a tree CORNEL (or CORNELIAN), which looked promising. The CORN part for ‘Hard growth’ was easy. But was the rest of the wordplay going to be some sort of cut-down LEG (i.e. ‘on’ in cricket), reversed? LE’ Before Wicket, something like that? No sign of that in The Dictionary.

Eventually I ‘bothered’ to look up tree in the BRB and happened upon, for me at least, the following unexpected definition:

tree (vt): to drive into a tree, to corner (also figurative)

So CORNER was the answer, with simply RE< for ON, so providing the ‘NE in the grid of ONE (All Alone etc from the song Green Grow The Rushes O).

The prompt to use the ODQ version was vital as there appear to be so many versions of the song to choose from: I was looking for RAINER at 8 and ARRIVAL at 3 initially, for example!

Cheers all,

Tim / Encota

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