Listen With Others

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin

Marxist Doctrine by Charybdis

Posted by shirleycurran on 28 May 2021

Dave Hennings’ crossword database tells us that this is Charybdis’ 132nd crossword, not counting those he has co-set with other setters or produced for the non-thematic-cryptic outlets, so we are in good hands and I can rest assured that he will retain his place with the Listener oenophiles.

I check anyway, and find a couple of suggestions; ‘Key term of endearment in a bottle (5)’ We put (endearmen)T into a VIAL to get VITAL. Not much alcohol in a vial! ‘Eg Kingsley [dressing] up in Bacchic attire (6)’ Bacchus was the God of wine so there’s more hope there. We turn SIR BEN around and find NEBRIS which Chambers tells us was the fawn skin worn by followers of Bacchus. Hmm! We’re none too enthusiastic about that. Then I spot ‘Fairy queen’s shut up in [icier] brewing vat (7)’ Now he’s talking. We anagram SHUT in MAB to give MASHTUB. – The vessel in which the mash is mixed in a brewery or distillery’. Cheers, Charybdis!

We’ve noticed that the grid is not symmetric, which suggests to us that there will be a substantial amount of thematic material in it and we carefully record the extra letters in across and down clues finding THOSE ARE MY PRINCIPLES and EXCLUDED MIDDLE (and three more letters L, N and U – which we later have to eliminate and put down to our poor solving).

The grid is soon filled and we see a few principles in it; FOURIER, UNCERTAINTY, PLEASURE, RECIPROCITY and VITAL and Wiki tells us that the quotation continues ‘and if you don’t like them, I can supply others’. We have to study the preamble carefully at this stage to understand that we have to use the ‘EXCLUDED MIDDLE’ of the across set of extra words to supply the other three examples. We find DOPPLER, IDENTITY and PETER and admire the skill of this compilation when they replace FOURIER, PLEASURE and VITAL almost leaving real words – just a couple of hitches.

‘Solvers must identify two other examples and implement one (to eliminate any of the other in their minds)’. I had a bit of uncertainty in my mind about what that was cryptically telling me, but decided that ‘reciprocity’ was suggesting I exchange those two words, and, of course, that completed our grid with real words. What an achievement!

 

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