Listen With Others

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Listener 4667 Classicist

Posted by gillwinchcombe on 2 Aug 2021

I’ll be honest, I have mixed feelings about Classicist. I applaud the very worthy celebration of Robin Baxter and I congratulate Gorrag on achieving a totally Google-resistant puzzle. It was just that Classicist was so hard! The omitted letters were very cleverly concealed, and it was no mean feat to insert them into the answers to create the entries.

But that was nothing compared with finding the source of ENIGMA, REASON, FORTY FIVE and so on. A friend, seeing I was frustrated at not finding the writer, dropped an unsolicited hint about his identity. That put me in a quandary – should I not submit? However, I’d already recovered all but one of the perimeter answers, and knowing Nibor was a setter made no material difference to completing the gridfill; the inserted letters then revealed his name – Robin Baxter. It did however encourage me to keep striving, and I’m glad I did.

I spotted the wasps without difficulty, just as I do in real life; they are not my favourite insects! I rather wish that Gorrag had given us the unchecked letters as they appeared in the grid – I hope I’ve got the additions right! I smiled at the “government facilities” (JAROOL) in 9dn but was less keen on “Wake up” to anagram wake in 8dn.

Thanks Gorrag for this original and challenging puzzle, a fine tribute to a clearly well respected setter. I’m just sorry that I didn’t start solving Listener crosswords until after Nibor had finished setting them.

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