Listen With Others

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To Good Friends by Little Hare

Posted by shirleycurran on 3 Dec 2021

We have a soft spot for hares, especially little ones, though this one was not hiding in the preamble or in the clues or even in the grid, except in a rather convoluted way in the top left corner of our completed grid, but in plain sight as the setter.

Just a little hare

This Little Hare qualified for his Listener Setter Oenophile Outfit membership with his last two compilations, ‘Vingt-et-un’ and ‘Death in the Afternoon’ but, once we have read the reasonably short preamble, I check through the clues to confirm continued eligibility.

‘Browbeaten guy drank about quarter of pint (9)’. Poor fellow! We decided that he was HENPECKED and that HE NECKED around P(int). A few clues later he was ‘Slightly tipsily on vacation, Hyacinth lazily pens notes on game (10)’ TIGHTISHLY after just a quarter of a pint! (We put together the notes, TIS, H(yacint)H, L(azil)Y and the game TIG).

There was more to come. ‘Custom bend in rod oozed regularly (4)’ Chambers told us that USE + the end in roD gave USED which is a way of saying ‘boozed regularly’, so we had to move that B. Then we had ‘Weaver’s cheer, a shot knocked back (4)’ We opted for the TAHA or weaver bird (TA for ‘cheers’ and A H(ot) reversed). Oh my, with the quarter pint, the booze, this shot then the Porto, the alcohol was flowing. ‘Porto lass finally gives a greeting (5)’ We are due to sail from Hull to Rotterdam a few hours from now so it was the port we thought of when we had moved that O (HULL + lassO finally giving HULLO). So “Cheers, Little Hare! Perhaps we’ll see you at the bar in Stirling next March.

Oh dear yes, Jumbles, one clue answer jumbled in every row, and a letter moving in all the other clues, and not content with just this, Little Hare would have us shuffle all the rows around to create a logical column. Actually, it was one of those solutions to be jumbled that gave us our first answer: “They detect particles …That has to be CLOUD CHAMBERS” said the other Numpty.

Fortunately, we had the down solutions to help us enter the jumbles and we teased out, BLESTE BE YE MAN YT SPARES THES STONES and realized that we were going to have to move some bones around to make that centre column spell the bard’s name and put his body back in the correct order, as we could see that FOOT, SHOULDER, KNEE, NECK and so on was a travesty.

‘The new order resolves an ambiguity’. We wondered but then realized that one might hesitate about which of dem bones, HIP or THIGH, goes on top, but of course, SHAKESPEARE resolved that as well as DEM DRY BONES that obligingly went back in order at the right hand side of the grid. What a fabulous compilation!


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