Listen With Others

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin

Hatched? Matched? Despatched? by Ifor

Posted by shirleycurran on 7 Jan 2022

Almost nine lines of preamble (but no jumbles or clue gimmicks – a sigh of relief) We got the highlighter ready and were soon highlighting redundant words in clues that gave us forenames.

Earth’s within narrow valley. We put E into GORGE and found GEORGE. Marks year behind annual return; that gave us M and Y behind AR so we had MARY. Journey fast with active superseding united. We had to change the U to A in HURRY, producing HARRY. Finally we found ‘Cleaner caught silly’. Silly had to be an anagram indicator, producing CLARENCE.

The Numpties know embarrassingly little about British media but just feeding those four names into Wikipedia produces what is required at once and we were able to confirm it by words in down clues 1, 4, 6 and 9 which, when put into the order of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, gave us 1946 – the appropriate year.

But what were these questions? We learn that Clarence ODBODY explains to George how Bedford Falls would be transformed into POTTERSVILLE had he not been born (hatched), had his wife, Mary, not been married (matched),- but that his brother Harry would have been buried (despatched). So we put ODBODY into those empty cells at the foot of our grid and draw some bars to separate off the answers NO, NO, AY.

All done, and yet another Listener crossword learning experience for us. All done? No, I haven’t confirmed that Ifor retains his membership of the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Elite! ‘Hold nakedly insolent drunk [fast] (6)’ Hmmm! We had to resort to drunkenness to find the proof! Sobeit – Cheers, Ifor!

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