Listen With Others

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Listener No 4637: Realisation by KevGar

Posted by Dave Hennings on 1 Jan 2021

KevGar’s last puzzle was called Brexit based around European IVR codes, and as I write this, we are on the verge of actually leaving the transition period and going out on our own. Half the world thinks that we are shooting ourselves in the foot, but who am I to comment! [Oh, OK, I agree.]

This week, no extra letters or misprints, just eleven answers to be modified before entry with eleven others containing one-word definitions of those entries. It wasn’t surprising that I didn’t get 2ac Tricky rock-star swaps centre for female, hard to follow (11), obviously thematic and destined to be a 6-letter answer to go into an 11-letter entry (ELFISH). 11ac Ayrshire’s own muslin’s not so OK (6) was easier though — NAINSOOK – SO – OK and was also thematic.

The across clues went in fairly easily with only one more thematic entry, hardly surprising since there was actually only one more — POETS at 24 getting expanded to 7 letters. I was pleased to get 1dn Novel type (9), guessing that it was probably thematic. Ignoring the (9), ROMAN got pencilled in, followed promptly by COTE at 2dn (6).

Once the downs were finished, I had a couple of extra answers needing treatment — TRET and NIM — and a handful of extra words in clues, including wasp and hounds.

A short while later, I got 6dn Once they were in receipt of letters, actors using exhibition space for parking (13) (helped by CHEKHOV, OMASA and OPINE) to give THESSALONIANS. It was one of my favourite clues with THESPIANS having P replaced with SALON. With the UEYS, ECAD, FELLAS and STENS (although that would change to SHARPENS), FISH and then TRUMPET came to mind and musical instruments seemed to be our theme.

After that, things came together nicely, my favourite clue being 2dn Australian [swimmer] turns up each year, sloshed to start with (4) for UEYS. The clue that took me longest to unravel was 23dn, mainly because I had never heard of a whip as a musical instrument (or at least I’d forgotten it).

The letters replaced by the various musical instruments gave EL NA PO RO CO T TR EN IB AM NI. They would need to be unjumbled to give three more instruments, lengths 8, 8 & 7. The trouble was that they only gave 21 letters. A few minutes cogitation made me realise that the change needed to the title would provide two more.

I don’t know how lucky I was with the remaining steps, but ORGAN going into the title to give REORGANISATION was step one. I think I had been expecting ORGAN to appear in one of the grid clues. That provided the extra AL, and the first instrument I got was CLARINET. PIANO was lurking there somewhere, so how about PIANOLA? And then TROMBONE got me home and dry.

All in all a fun puzzle with a good endgame. Thanks, KevGar.


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