Listen With Others

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Listener 4668 Impossible Construction by Serpent

Posted by gillwinchcombe on 19 Aug 2021

Serpent has done it again and reached the parts – and the heights – that few crossword puzzles reach. I thought this was a stand-out puzzle even among the excellent crop of Listeners that we’ve enjoyed – and grappled with – over the past couple of years.

I thought Serpent’s Artistic Licence exhibited many desirable features of crossword solving – innovative clues with smooth surface reading, a challenging level of message extraction, a witty thematic feature etc – and Impossible Construction adds another: the pleasure of prolonged, hard-won but regular progress culminating in multiple pdms. Even if the last pdm – the realisation that what was enclosed within the Penrose square was a word square – didn’t arrive until after I had finished the grid and was checking the 52 entries! D’oh! Going into detail, I suspect I wasn’t alone in chasing Escher/IOU, and I ended up reverse engineering the 4-word wordplay PROMISE TO SETTLE UP. Thanks Serpent for this beautifully constructed, superb puzzle.

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