Listen With Others

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Diversions by Dysart

Posted by shirleycurran on 19 Nov 2021

Just over five lines of preamble but one of our less-loved words is there on the first line, ‘jumbled’ (well, at least it isn’t ‘Playfair’ or the numerical crossword that must be coming in three weeks’ time). Dysart is an old hand so I don’t really need to check that he retains his place in the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Elite but I check anyway and am slightly shocked to see ‘Deal with over 80 beer bottles (7, two words)’ We decide that the beer has to be STOUT and that O R is bottled by it, producing SORT OUT. We realise at once that that must be the down clue that is telling us what to do with the circled letters and, before long, the circled letters are telling us LOW STAR.

We have to sort that out to reveal a ‘thematic location’ and we already suspect that we are going to find it by sorting out the LAST ROW. Of course there are those 80 bottles of stout to get through. It is not surprising that Dysart is soon spilling wine and the last clue tells us, ‘Clean up after spilling most of wine (4)’. There’s more wine, of course, when we have completed our grid as DIONYSUS (that’s BACCHUS, the God of wine isn’t’ it? appears in our grid. Glasses raised: Cheers, Dysart!

The letters in that last row NLUPOUSTOMMY obligingly lead to MOUNT OLYMPUS. We are grateful for that huge hint, as, once we had the thematic location, we could guess how we were going to change one letter in each of the across clues to create a rather lofty Mount Olympus. It was entertaining to find gods and goddesses in those twelve rows in ascending order of size: ZEUS and HERA at the summit of course.

When we hunted, we found gods, goddesses, messenger, a lightning rod and other potential hints in the clues and, of course, we now understood why the down clues had to be jumbled to allow all those Olympians to get into the grid. Crafty compiling. Many thanks, Dysart.

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