Listen With Others

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Venation by The Ace of Hearts

Posted by shirleycurran on 8 Jul 2022

Now why didn’t I instantly look up that title? It would have taken me to ‘Hunting’ (or some obscure medical term about blood vessels). In the past The Ace of Hearts has given us a circle of wagons, a circle of friends and a circular building so this was likely to be some sort of encircling of animals, as it proved to be – but which of us chats of TINCHELs at the dinner table? It was certainly a new word for us. ‘A CIRCLE OF MEN WHO CLOSE IN ROUND A HERD OF DEER’.

Those ‘wordplay only’ clues were tough and it was only after we had the Chambers definition of a TINCHEL that we realised that GINGERBREAD, ARTILLERY, FRONTIERS, NEWSPAPER, LINES, GRAND-OLD, FREED, CATTLE, and WORKING could all be followed by MAN, so we had a circle of men, and, of course, the poor deer were stranded in the middle, the HART, the STAG and all the rest of the DEER.

These clues were challenging but rewarding to solve but with those extra letters coming out of the definition or the wordplay, we were fairly flummoxed at first. Take ‘Scours remains filled with earth’; I was vainly looking for something like PURGES (for Scours) until we knew the C had to come out, when REESTS gave us ‘Sours’; and TINKLE earned a smile (for ‘go’) once we were looking for a word for ‘reek’ without its opening instead of ‘creek’ (so [S]TINK) followed by ‘almost let’, = LE[T].

Yes, I did ‘scour’ the grid for the alcoholic references or even the little hare, though he would have scarpered with that mob of ferocious hunters surrounding the animals. Rather a TT grid, but thanks and cheers anyway, to the Ace of Hearts.

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