Listen With Others

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Pedestrian Destination by eXternal

Posted by shirleycurran on 29 Apr 2022

We know that the setters with an X in their pseudonym (BotoX, ArtiX, eXternal, eXtent, proXimal and co.) set fairly tough puzzles so it was a surprise to find a grid that filled steadily. The other Numpty was calling out the answers as fast as I could write and hardly left me time to check whether eXternal retains his place in the Listener Oenophile Elite. I was struggling: ‘Gave warm drink to California dude line dancing (6)’ gave us CA + DUDEL*, so CAUDLED but that drink wasn’t promising, our Californian children prefer their drinks chilled. There was ‘fine’ later on, ‘Relating to moleular composition of stone, fine to follow (6)’ but the ‘fine’ turned out to be ERIC (in STERIC) and not fino.

Fortunately there was ‘One may turn red and possibly scream blue murder, losing srambled broadcast (7)’. We subtracted an anagram of SCRAMBLED from SCREAM BLUE MURDER (anagrammed) and found REMUEUR and what is he? He’s the one who turns bottles! (Preferably of red). So all was well. Cheers eXternal. We didn’t see you at the bar in Stirling but no doubt will somewhere in the south-west at the next Listener setters’ dinner.

Of course, with the device of letters dropping to the bottom in columns, we attempted the rows first , and not surprisingly it was the down clues not using the device that went in first too, but soon we had enough dropped letters for the other Numpty to say “Lake Titicaca”.

What a helpful title. I guess eXternal has done that trek. What other Peruvian site was likely to replace something in the grid? By a stroke of luck I attempted to put MACHU PICCHU into the top row and it gave real words. We were wondering, though, how real words were going to be produced from all those oddities in the lower half of the grid: SMPI, INTRNT, AURSE, FORESA – but they did, and those oddities told me where to ‘change one letter in each row and column’ producing THE INCA TRAIL. What a fine compilation!


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