Listen With Others

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Fire Alarms by Chen

Posted by shirleycurran on 26 Feb 2021

Chen? A new setter? He (or she) sounds like a revolutionary (CHE + N) – New too by the look of the grid. How on earth did he/ she/ they sneak a couple of 2 unches in 5 and a couple of 2 unches in 7 past the editors? Unforgivable!

We’ll have to see if he/ she/ they can redeem himself and qualify for the Listener setters’ elite oenophile outfit, and we get only as far as the second clue before finding ‘International half-cut in Maine’s provincial capital (7)’ We put I into HALF AX and get HALIFAX, then Chambers tells us that ‘half cut’ means ‘drunk’! Hmmm – not a promising start Chen!

He sneaks off to an ‘Eastern inn, Korea’s first hotel with air-conditioning gadget (4)’ That has to be K(orea) H + [F]AN so the drinking continues in a KHAN, and towards the middle of the down clues we find Stale beer (7, two words)’. By this time, we’ve realized that AL is going into solutions to produce the entries so we add it twice to that ‘stale’ (= urine or PEE) amd get PALE ALE.

Frankly Chen, with the drunkenness, urine and the preference for stale beer, things are not looking good! Maybe things will improve as the grid fills.

Before long we have four old planes heading east across the grid, HALIFAX, LANCASTER, STIRLING and WELLINGTON and we guess that they are heading for Germany – no doubt for the Bier Fests and planning to return with drunken passengers importing lashings of foreign beer (Ed. Are you sure they would be using those old crates and not Easyjet, say?)

Then it becomes a matter for serious concern as we fill our grid and find that it is absolutely swimming in ALE. Bottles and bottles of the stuff. There’s a hint of sobriety when we find , ‘Rail about Dutch baking compound (4)’ SO[R]A around D giving us that lone SODA but a COURTESAN intercepts that one.

But now Chen, with yet more ‘gushing’ (alcohol we suppose) produces perhaps his own reaction to his compilation, ‘Expressions of repugnance gushing, “In, out, shake it all about” (4)’ We remove IN (‘in out’) and a G for his message from extra letters and are left with an anagram of UGHS.

Frankly, Chen, we are appalled by your dreadfully drunken compilation and this just won’t do. Admission denied. You’d better clean up your act and apply next year in a more sober state.


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