Listen With Others

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Listener 4669 Clothes-line by The Ace of Hearts

Posted by gillwinchcombe on 19 Aug 2021

I love circular puzzles and I knew I would enjoy Clothes-line so I saved it until I’d done all my difficult jobs (writing tricky emails, grant applications etc) to savour as a rewarding treat. It didn’t let me down but under time pressure I made rather a meal of it. I got the statement and 4 perimeter synonyms early on, and they helped with the trickier radials. I struggled with r2 because I’d discounted NAIADS as nymphs, and with r35 because it was a really difficult clue and GAMMONER isn’t a word I’d come across, but r6 LARDING (I hope!) was nearly my downfall: with my omitted letters reading (I thought) CIRCUS: A BUILDING FOR PUBLIC ENTERTAINMENT, I scoured Qat to find a synonym for “completely penetrating” using (A)RDING plus S from CIRCUS.  No joy, but Google tells me that SARD (from ME serden) is slang – I’ll leave the rest to your imagination but suffice it to say, SARDING fits with the definition. OK, it’s not in my 2016 Chambers but nor was PHO.

I’m pleased I took another look! CIRCUS A became CIRCULAR, SARDING became LARDING – a new one to me – and it all made sense. Ironically, I didn’t need to change the grid. But I’m glad it wasn’t SARDING, which is more than a little rude.

Great clues, tough but fair, and good fun. BIG TOP or BAILEY or even CIRCUS in the other half of ring 5 would have been the icing on the cake! Hope the next one’s shaping up!

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