Listen With Others

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Whodunnit by Kruger

Posted by shirleycurran on 21 Jan 2022

An alphabetical jigsaw for the first of the year (though I am not sure that I can see the reason for that – was it just to add difficulty for our fuddled celebrating brains?) and then we read that we are going to find misprints but that we have to read the correct letters ‘in normal order of grid entries’ in order to find what changes need to be made to complete the puzzle correctly. This is typical challenging Kruger and there is more to come. ‘Four thematic answers are clued by wordplay only.’ Fortunately, of course, those told us, ultimately, where we had to change four names.

A first read through the clues confirms that Kruger retains his place amongst the Listener oenophiles. I remember the very first time we met him at the Sheffield Listener Setters’ dinner many years ago, he had a glass in his hand and we were struggling with a Listener crossword of his that weekend. ‘Liqueur for two persons to be contrarily too much? (8)’ gives us just a couple of glasses of AMARETTO. A small start.

Fortunately things improve when we have understood that ACTORS have TO REPLACE TECS in the endgame. ‘Irish PC about to ignore one mail-coach (4)’ turns GARD[a] round to produce a DRAG which turns into a DRAM. Well it is Hogmanay! ‘Brat in question is to make a mistake (6)’ puts ERR into WHY giving us a WHERRY (a bOat rather tha a bRat) and that turns into SHERRY in the endgame. Who could complain. Cheers, Kruger!

Some tough cluing here but eventually the grid is full and TAGGART, FROST, WYCLIFFE and BACCHUS appear as the wordplay only clues. It takes the Internet to tell us what they have in common ‘TECS’ of course, and we learn that they were played by MCMANUS, JASON, SHEPHERD and INGLEBY. Thank you Kruger.

Our grid with colour-coding to indicate clue lengths.

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