Listen With Others

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Dos by Awinger

Posted by shirleycurran on 21 May 2021

Our initial grid

I look on Dave Hennings’ Crossword Database and see that this is Awinger’s third Listener crossword. His first was that astonishing one where all the US states were included in the grid and the second was a rather British one where cup wins were counted.

‘Dos’ – that suggests notes or parties. If it’s parties, there will be sure to be some alcohol flowing, so Awinger is likely to remain in the Listener Setters’ Superior Oenophile Setup – but I check anyway, and sure enough, there’s ‘Porter perhaps, a busy individual 4)’. We decide that there is an R omitted from the wordplay, since the busy fellow is a BEE and we enter BEER – and we even keep the BEER in the endgame when those parties have done a change of venue in another rather British theme (but why not – we had Republicans and Democrats not so long ago didn’t we). So “Cheers”, Awinger.

Three quarters of our grid fill with ease and my highlighted letters are soon spelling out PARTIES and SELECTION. That ‘Balkan instrument essential for playing us lullabies (5)’ is a ‘hidden’ clue and leaves us wondering initially whether to insert GUSLI, GUSLE or GUSLA but the PARTIES resolve that, and we enter the I (and, of course, keep the parties going with music and alcohol when we change the GUSLI to a GUSLA at the end).

Finding that empty cell held us up for a while, until we realised that the two entries that were shorter than the grid entry length were pointing at the same empty cell and that ‘Badger that is picked up (5)’ produced “TEASE” heard as TEAS, so clearly our ‘Choosing’ in 31d ‘Choosing money in e-journal, saving lira (6)’ was VOTING (TIN in V[l]OG) and with a full grid, found the parties we had to choose from and put our X in that cell.

How brilliant of Awinger to have created a grid where the four parties could change places, still creating real words and with the grid remaining symmetrical. We particularly enjoyed this as it had no jumbles or clue gimmick – everything was in the grid. That was a masterful achievement. Many thanks to Awinger.


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