Listen With Others

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Listener No 4639, Hotfoot: A Setter’s Blog by Vismut

Posted by Listen With Others on 18 Jan 2021

So you’re sitting in front of the telly watching Mastermind or University Challenge or Only Connect and in respect of the latter not making any connections at all, just looking forward to the missing vowels round. One of the questions is about The Planets by Holst. My only knowledge of this came from my brother playing it very loudly on his record player in our teens, which’ll give you an idea of how long ago that was. What I hadn’t known about was the “nicknames” given to each planet, Jollity, Old Age etc and when this came up in the quiz show (whichever one it was) I immediately thought it would make a good puzzle.

Incidentally, since I started solving and writing thematic crosswords I’ve got a lot better at University Challenge. There seems to be a correlation between crosswords and TV quiz shows. Could it be that some of the compilers also write quiz questions for the box?

I digress. Having seen that two of the planets were War and Peace, Tolstoy came to mind and thus an end game is found. Mars=War, Venus=Peace and H(=T)olst(oy).

So roughly a year after Hotfoot was submitted, I am delighted to see it in print. I hope you enjoyed it and your Christmas and after a year during which I got struck by lightning and we’ve all struggled through a pandemic I look forward to 2021 and sincerely wish you a Happy New Year.


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