Listen With Others

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Listener No 4662: Hungry by Android

Posted by Dave Hennings on 25 Jun 2021

Another new setter this week, following on from last week’s puzzle from Lionheart. Here we had what looked like a normal grid, except that it was quite large at 14×13 with a lot of clues (54), and in places quite unchless.

To cap it all, we had a long preamble revealing that two thirds of the clues had a misprint spelling out a request and an answer, most of the rest having wordplay giving the entry which was a jumble of the definition, and the final clue having letters that needed removing before solving. These letters would need unjumbling to go below the grid in the space captioned Response.

The endgame looked tricky too!

With all that going on, I wasn’t surprised that solving was somewhat slow, but I liked the fact that the wordplay gave the jumbled version. (Part of me seems to think I’ve come across this device somewhere before, but not recently and I could be wrong. It was certainly entertaining.) I was pleased to get started with 1ac Witness short, roguish hunk (6) being a misprint clue (hunk for hunt) to give SEARCH, and switching to the downs, ADENI, CREM, INDOOR, AID and MEDIC soon got slotted in.

It wasn’t surprising that they were all misprint clues with the first jumbly provided by 5ac Senior regularly checks gun perhaps (7) [(S)E(n)I(o)R + DAMS being an anagram of SIDEARM]. The downs also helped with 16ac Checking current temperature, US hospital department English doctor backed (9) [I + T + ER + ENG + DR< for DETERRING]. I only got those two thanks to the down entries.

After that progress was reasonably steady with some entertaining misprints such as Yule for Yale, Crawley for Crowley and yikes for yokes. They eventually spelt out Tell me what thy lordly name is and Corvus Corax. The jumbles were also good fun, my favourite being 36ac Eagle (the first), say, to examine shrub (6) leading to MYRTLE [LEM + TRY with its reference to the first lunar module].

It came as no surprise to me that I would completely forget about the odd clue with its extraneous string of letters such that 54ac Small Vermeer not seen recently finally repaired (6) was one of the last I solved — Small t seen recently finally repaired (6) after NEVERMORE* had been removed. Thus we were in the land of The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe.

It didn’t take too long to spot GHASTLY, GRIM and ANCIENT in the bottom left corner tracing out the shape of a raven with its foot provided by POE himself. All that had to be erased from the grid and moved somewhere else such that all jumbling was removed and only real words and phrases remained. Seeing LEMTRY in row 8 immediately put me on track to make that POETRY with the rest of the raven appearing above him and perching on a bust of PALLAS. (Lots of room for error there, methinks!)

Another excellent Listener with a fine piece of grid construction. Thanks a lot, Android.


One Response to “Listener No 4662: Hungry by Android”

  1. gillwinchcombe said

    I love your graphic!

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