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Replacements by IOA

Posted by shirleycurran on 22 Jan 2021

We were expecting a relatively gentle first Listener of the year so it was no surprise to see only two and a half lines of preamble – no ferocious Sabre or Elgin solve here. However, this is IOA’s seventh Listener crossword so he must be a member of the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Elite, but I scan the clues to check, all the same.

It’s New Year’s Day so I imagine he wasn’t the only one celebrating ‘The drink of over a million bubbles at 21 (7, two words)’. We’ve solved 21 (Kent and Sussex region with top team that’s found at Brighton and Hove (7)’) as SEASIDE so we opt for SEA FOAM here and not the New Year Champagne, however, IOA is soon ‘Drunk in a cave , clutching litre bottle (8)’ and we anagram IN A CAVE around L to produce VALIANCE. How very nice – that bottle turns out to be courage, but I think there are sufficient grounds to raise our glasses – Cheers, IOA!

Solutions come thick and fast  and our grid is speedily filling but we are surprised when almost every solution we enter produces clashes with the ones it intersects with (except for the northeast corner). Still, we were rather slow on the uptake and it is only when I write the confirmed letters into a clean grid that we realize that those twelve answers that need to be altered to fit in the grid are all being jumbled, so that PAIRS, that we have just entered, becomes PARIS.

Penny-drop moment. It is a lively tour AROUND EUROPE that perhaps produces a slightly nostalgic (for the idiocy of BREXIT DAY) crossword that takes on a tour of European cities. We find LOCARNO, VENICE, TRIESTE, HASTINGS, PARIS, VALENCIA, ATHENS, ROME, FARO, NIMES and NICE and need to do a bit of head-scratching for the twelfth with ‘Note revealing image passing by (3)’. Then we find that RAY is an English spelling of the RE note and all is well. AYR is our final city (That’s where the fishes swim to from Troon, when the tide is full and fair, isn’t it?).

Very enjoyable – just the thing for that hangover after the litre bottle. Thank you IOA.



One Response to “Replacements by IOA”

  1. Alastair Cuthbertson said

    As Ayrshire is the county of my birth, I know that Ayr isn’t a city. Just being pedantic!!

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