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Betrayal by Nudd

Posted by shirleycurran on 11 Feb 2022

We download a most unusual grid and read that we have to spot misprints in across clues and extra letters in the down clues that must be entered ‘in column order’ in the space below the grid. As is so often the case in Nudd’s crosswords, there will be some final highlighting – a pictorial finish.

Does Nudd retain his place amongst the Listener Setters Oenophiles? He doesn’t leave much doubt: ‘Most of tribe gets litre of fino (6)’. PHYL(e) we put then L O, and decide there is an N for L misprint giving FILO. Soon afterwards, ‘Stale mead gathering surface tension (4)’ We opt for an N corrected misprint (MEAD becomes MEND) and use BEE for the gathering (as in a spelling BEE, say) and add the T to give BEET, which Chambers tells us is an old word for MEND.

‘East European carousers break bottles (4)’. We’re used to those sneaky ‘bottles’ clues and decide that it is a SERB who is bottled with an extra S sneaking in. After the fino, mead and some East European drink, we finally get a good old English pub, ‘Notice welcomes opening of Mucky Duck as a local (4)’ We put the M of Mucky into SEE to get SMEE. And there’s one final JAR to come: ‘Uprising grates on government (3)’ The JARS are upended to give RAJ with an extra S. Cheers indeed, Nudd.

A strange set of corrected misprints has appeared. ‘HPLY GREY and BNJAUQGCR BROWN’, so we are told how we ‘must shade 57 cells after filling the grid’ and understand why we have been finding unusual words like SQUACCOS, AGAR-AGAR, and CARACARA. We have carefully recorded which extra letter came out of each column, so it is no surprise when our 57 shaded cells reveal Rene Magritte’s familiar ‘representation’ of a pipe.

“Ceci n’est pas une pipe” he tells us.

Well, I think Nudd has managed to create a pretty convincing pipe. I would have been tempted to call this crossword “Oh Yes It Is!” Thanks for the fun, Nudd.

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