Listen With Others

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Listener No 4676: Back to the Future by Chalicea

Posted by Dave Hennings on 1 Oct 2021

Time again for a puzzle from the prolific Chalicea. Her last (no. 4601, The Name of the Game) had Brunel’s London to Bristol flat-as-a-billiard-table GWR line as its theme. Not a long preamble this week [Just wait till next week. Ed.] and just fifteen extra words to be discarded from clues before solving.

Not unexpectedly, this was a quick solve, well under the hour. [Just wait till next week! Ed.] Even the endgame was relatively straightforward, although I can see that it might have taken some solvers a bit longer than my two minutes. I think that I was lucky to look in the bottom row and immediately saw NODNOL and, given that we had a hero lurking, I got there straight away.

I guess I was lucky not to think that we might have a Dickens theme, but even the requirement to read the extra words “initially” would, I hope, have enabled me to see what was going on quickly. This especially since their true first letters — saved ti doc leek raw d’oh siri part snot nori pan snug rebut two tin — made absolutely no sense, but reversably gave saveD ti doc leek raW d’oh siri part snot nori pan snug rebut two tin.

All this led to the old rhyme — “Turn again, Whittington” three times Lord Mayor of London with NIAGA in rows 1, 3 and 5 of the grid. Of course, he was more respectfully know as Sir Richard Whittington and had a cat called Tiddles. [? Ed.]

“But wait!” I hear you shout, “What about Chalicea’s penchant in her solving hat for pointing out other setters‘ predilection for alcohol in grid or clues?” With only the puny PERNOD in the bottom row, you may think that she was being comparatively righteous. Sorry to disappoint, but a bit of research uncovered the 15th century Book of Drinking Songs by Gerrard & Turner. It reveals that the original verse began “Tope a gin, Whittington.” Later, that became “Top up agin” and finally “Turn again”.

Nice try, Chalicea!

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