Listen With Others

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Excess by Aedites

Posted by shirleycurran on 26 Nov 2021

The shortest preamble for a while earned initial Numpty approval but then I read through the clues with dismay. Yes indeed, the HARE is back after his long holidays, bringing a few mates, ‘Cloth used for trousers when chasing hares in Patagonia (10)’. We put MARASCHINO into our grid wondering about the definition (MARAS + CHINO) -“That’s a cherry grown in Croatia isn’t it?” I said: but I couldn’t see much alcohol. Has Aedites become TT? Can he retain his membership of the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Outfit?

It was our next solve that gave us a hint, ‘Middle sections of plasma active (4)’ Oh dear, that has to be the crossword setter’s favourite (pl)AS(ma) (ac)TI(ve) = ASTI. But where is the definition ‘fizzy Italian plonk’? Light dawned. ‘The result might explain the lack of definition’.

That must be referring to the result of the instruction TAKE IN INITIAL LETTERS OF THE CLUES. Those were the initial letters of ‘the other ten’. We coloured the clues to eight more words that seemed somewhat boozy: COGNAC, CHARTREUSE, SHERRY, PURL (yes, we needed Chambers for that), GIN SLING, SANGAREE, GRAPPA and MAHWA and read their initial letters finding ALCOHOLISM.

Oh dear, oh dear. This was really overdoing things – no wonder we had ‘Excess’ as the title. I commented to the other Numpty “We will have to expel Aedites from the LSOO for setting such an appalling example!” but he responded, “On the contrary: we will have to appoint him President!” There were some fine clues and he even brought back the little hare. So “Cheers, Aedites!”

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