Listen With Others

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Best Practice by Ares

Posted by shirleycurran on 17 Dec 2021

Just a three-line preamble. That earns our approval at once and all we are warned about are thirty extra words in clues whose initial letters will spell out an instruction ‘to be carried out literally in the grid’. Ares has already established his place at the bar with the Listener Setters Oenophile Outfit so I don’t really need to worry too much when the most he can do along the alcohol lines is belch, ‘In the end my wife sups dodgy plonk in the country – belch! (4)’ We’ve met that word before and we find YESK as the final letters removing the ‘dodgy’ from the plonk to give us a D. Well, with not so dodgy plonk, we have to say “Cheers, Ares!”

I spotted the hare, too. He’s really making a comeback, that little Poat hare. That’s three crosswords in a row! (Not counting the numerical , he had the wisdom to leap over that.) ‘Mad March hare gets the bird (4)’ The hare had anagrammed to RHEA, we decided, giving us the M of March as another letter.

There were a couple of red herrings. NUTKIN appeared at 1 across (BP’s creature outruns crazy relatives (6)’) and we opted for NUT + KIN, reminding us of Beatrix Potter’s squirrel, but then OLIO seemed to be referring to the BP petrol company, ‘Beta-blocking variety of BP product recalled (4)’. However, those extra words soon gave us a very clear instruction: OBSERVE BP’s ADVICE WHEN BREAKING CAMP, and we had a third, and more convincing BP (Baden Powell).

I was a very dutiful girl guide (that weekly meeting gave us lots of fun and taught us how to cook, coil and throw ropes, tie knots, erect and strike tents and lots more in a quiet little Dales village, and, of course, we made campfires and did wild things like cooking eggs in orange skins. We knew we had to leave nothing but our thanks. I can still remember rolling back the turf so that we left no trace of our presence).

We hunted for words like ‘PUT FIRE OUT’ but soon spotted YOUR THANKS. I should imagine Mr Green will be giving his thanks for an easy week to mark, as long as solvers have left nothing but those words and not sent their full grid – like this one!

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