Listen With Others

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T Maker by KevGar

Posted by shirleycurran on 25 Mar 2022

Our first thought is that this is going to be about the Ford Model T. We clearly aren’t going to be discovering one of those machines that used to ring alarms for people when their early morning cup of tea was ready. What other T Maker could there be? Troublemaker? That thought flits through our minds (especially as, this week, an editor has gently removed the word RUSSIAN from a crossword of mine saying that the very word makes people unhappy just now – he replaced it with RATSBANE – a useful way to remove undesirable creatures – if only we could!)

Thematic material added or removed from clues and an equal number of extra words that define the affected entries? We quickly spot that one answer just gives us a T – ‘160, middle of century (4)’ – so three letters must provide the removed thematic material. We see MAA in ‘Bleat coming from heads of many African animals (7)’ so there must be four letters of removed thematic material there.

Another clue spells out RESUMED, ‘Sure to be scuttled on sea, began again (4)’ There must be three extra letters there and SUM seems to be the only possible ‘thematic material’.

It’s Lady GAGA who gives us the p.d.m. WONGA-WONGA fits the letters we have, by this time, in our rather messy grid, and that’s a pigeon, isn’t it. So it’s money that is changing our solutions and MONEY CHANGER slots in at 1ac. Oh dear, it really was ROUBLE (the sinking rouble) that had to complete the title. Now it’s just a question of fitting the seventeen definition words we have found to the words that have gone into our grid:

BEINGS/ people SWEE/swing MALARIA/disease PYAT/magpie MARKHORS/goats UNCE/weight FOREARM/prepare FRET/vex CAIRD/gypsy CORED/deseeded ERA/years HORA/dance WONGA-WONGA/pigeon TIRESOME/boring BESOM/broom LEN/man and REED/pipe.

Ah, but that isn’t quite all. Of course I checked KeGar’s eligibility for the Listener Oenophile elite and spotted the Madeira in ‘Madeira lady blowing horn to stop tide (4)’. We decided she was a SENHORA (SEA around an anagram of HORN) and removed the SEN to give the HORA dance. A little later he was a ‘Dirty drunk in Scottish loch (4)’ which gave us FOU + L. Well, cheers, anyway, KevGar!

Nor did we miss the little Poat hare poking its nose into a clue (rodent indeed!) ‘Single-seeded fruits rodent stashed in unfinished frame (7)’ The little MARA went into SAS(h) giving SAMARAS. Welcome back, little hare.

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