Listen With Others

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin

Hear, Hear! by Vagans

Posted by shirleycurran on 18 Mar 2022

On Dave Hennings’ Crossword Database we find that Vagans has already produced an IQ crossword and an EV but this is his first Listener. What can we expect? The preamble is short and succinct and we learn that we will be looking for extra wordplay letters. Those are going to spell a quotation missing its last word. That word is going to prompt us about what to highlight – 51 letters in straight lines.

A debut Listener crossword. Can we admit Vagans to the Elite Listener Setter Oenophile Outfit? I have read almost to the bottom of the first column of clues with some misgivings but there I see a beauty: ‘New wine essential: Muscat’s half gone, Merlot’s empty (4)’. We use half of MUS(cat) and empty M(erlo)T to produce an extra M and MUST. Cheers, Vagans! (Indeed, when we have a full grid, I spot ‘Fish in bog staggering people (7)’ and we put an EEL into REARS giving us an extra A and REELERS. It seems there has been some alcohol consumption going on of that MUSCAT and MERLOT.)

The clues are fair and generous with a surprising number of those extra letters emerging naturally from the clues and we tease out “HE THAT HATH AN EAR, LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAITH UNTO THE …”

Now we need the Internet to complete the statement and prompt us that we are looking for seven churches. Ephesus – Smyrna – Thyatira – Sardis – Philadelphia and Laodicea with PERGAMOS becoming PERGAMUM in our grid.

What a fine debut. Many thanks to Vagans.

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