Listen With Others

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Listener 4694 Follow the Directions Again by Artix

Posted by gillwinchcombe on 8 Feb 2022

I enjoyed strolling in the foothills of the gridfill, smiling at the description of Noah in 12ac as an “old boatie”, marvelling at the ingenuity that sees DIPSA in 4dn as half an ASPIDISTRA, and savouring the definition of ROBE in 9dn as “get clobbered”. The slope got steeper as I progressed but it was still enjoyable as I teased out the message “Change down for an anagram of ringed letters”, found ROBERT DE NIRO and fitted in TAXI DRIVER.

That’s when the game changed and it was time to resort to ropes and crampons. First, I realised that the TAXIDRIVER-ROBERT DE NIRO hilltop was not the summit. But where now? How strenuous was that final ascent! What a ravine I had to traverse to transition from TAXI DRIVER to the second on-screen performance. How many hours I spent hunting down films involving snipers (most of them it seems), and what a slip-up, failing to spot ARABISM in Chambers.

In desperation I googled TOWER OF LONDON, TAXI DRIVER & 1970s. Success at last! Of course I remember watching FRED HOUSEGO’s triumphant MASTERMIND final, but a lot of water has gone under Tower Bridge since then. Fortunately Google’s memory is more comprehensive than mine. I replaced Fred’s occupation with MASTERMIND (although Fred himself continued to drive a cab even after his win) breathed a sigh of relief and enjoyed the view from the summit of my personal Mount Everest.

A fiendish, clever puzzle with an ingeniously-worded preamble. Thanks Artix, it was extremely hard work but I’m glad I made it in the end.

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