Listen With Others

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin

Location, Location, location by Agricola

Posted by shirleycurran on 28 Jan 2022

Seven lines of preamble and 47 clues gave such a full page that I had to shrink it! We read about synonyms, and ‘foreign synonyms of a third location’, then about names adding up to 39 or 40 cells that were jumbled in groups of contiguous cells. ‘Jumbled’ – Oh dear! Nothing to do but start solving.

Well, of course, there was something to do and I didn’t need to read far to confirm that Agricola retains his entry ticket to the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Elite (and maybe to Stirling too if he can make the journey). ‘I have knocked back main Scottish beers (7)’ “Those must be HEAVIES” said the Scottish Numpty. “Knocked must be the anagram indicator for I HAVE and the main is the SEA, backed and producing an extra A.”

The extra letters soon gave us JAPANESE CAR MANUFACTURER and the down clue ones spelled out MAORI FESTIVAL AT MID-WINTER. After a puzzle over whether to put a Z or an S in VALORIZED (we opted for the Z on the argument that we had to behead and reverse MIROSLAV before the ZED bar, and use the S in the FESTIVAL message) and a hunt for 1d. FIVERS were notes but FINS for US five-dollar bills was new to us.

So we had FINSBURY PARK and BECKHAM YARN down our main diagonal but couldn’t put it all together – what had DAVID STORY to do with it? We went back to watching ‘The Good Doctor’ on Netflix and left the endgame to morning. “Victoria Line” were the first words of the other Numpty and we soon found that it runs between Finsbury Park and Tottenham Hale (SPURS ROBUST – Oh dear – we are not soccer fans and to have Arsenal, Spurs and a Beckham in one crossword was almost too much! But we get tired of London-centred crosswords too so I was a real grump!)

SUBARU and MATARIKI now made sense (the Internet had been telling us that the Maori celebrate the Pleiades or Seven Sisters). Light dawned and we found that the Seven Sisters were MAIA, ELECTRA, TAYGETE, CELAENO, ALCYONE, [A]STEROPE and MEROPE. We aren’t instructed to highlight those sisters but, of course, had to find them to know that MEROPE was not jumbled in the grid. Quite a challenge, thanks, Agricola.

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