Listen With Others

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Run to Seed by Phi

Posted by shirleycurran on 24 Jun 2022

The word ‘jumble’ leaps out at me as I print this crossword and I groan. I study the preamble with a little more care and sigh with relief when I read that this only concerns the double clues and that those will give five thematic examples and a two-word description of what they thematically represent (of a kind with the unclued down answer) – that is clearly going to be a helpful hint.

As usual, I use my highlighter and that proves to be puzzling since we have been given the example of 16ac and 19ac functioning as a pair but are somehow going to get seven words out of the cells I have highlighted. I guess that Phi is being somewhat sly and that those double clues that we are jumbling are going to be used more than once – at least, some of them are.

Those clues are pretty generous and we decide that they give LISSOM/ANGLER, GIRLS/LEGGIER, LARGE/GIMLETS, BIGGEST/MALTA, GRIPPE/KIT BAG and RIPPLED/DRAKE but those letters scarcely resemble the BISZM? or the CACLEE that are appearing in some of my highlighted lights.

However, we get our clue when OUANANICHE turns up in the unclued down entry and Chambers obligingly tells me that it is ‘a variety of salmon found in SE Canada’. SALMON has almost appeared in my lowest light and we suspect that we have the theme. (Don’t they do salmon runs in order to ‘seed’? The title!)

With a full grid, we decide we have to create jumbles of those twelve words of the double clues to fill those empty cells with salmon and that our new words will be ‘thereby changing six down answers’.

Perhaps we are lucky that LISSOM/ANGLER clearly gives us SALMON and GRILSE, and we realise that our LEGGIER GIRLS are going to produce LIGGER and GRILSE so the method is evident. LARGE GIMLETS give us LIGGER and SAMLET; BIGGEST MALTA produces SAMLET and BAGGIT (yes, it does sound ike Tolkien, doesn’t it!), then we get GRIPPE/KIT BAG giving us the KIPPER and finally we get to the LADDER and see what the stepped shape was all about. We have created a fish ladder and the salmon are climbing up it!

I am reminded of being taken by a gamekeeper to the new salmon ladder at Pitlochry. They were proudly explaining how it worked in a set of written instructions but no fish were leaping. “Och, weel, ye ken, the fish canna read” he said sadly.

I didn’t need to worry about Phi’s retaining his place amongst the Listener oenophiles did I? ‘Liberal and Republican in time to get substantial cocktails, tricky shots containing one small amount of liquid (5;7)’ gave us those large gimlets (cocktails with gin or vodka and lime juice) – then there was …island area following a drink of whisky (5)’ We added A to the malt to give MALTA. Next we got RIPPLED DRAKE from ‘Lightly disturbed loch circled by drunken libertine that’s taken after dead naval hero (7;5)’ There was gin there too! ‘European put up expired gin for test (4)’. We found that MAX was an old word for a gin so that gave us EXAM. Rather a tipsy “Cheers! Phi.”


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