Listen With Others

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Listener 4718: Linked by Vismut

Posted by vaganslistener on 22 Jul 2022

Good, a “Vismut”. She started setting at much the same time as I did but has made greater strides and is now well-established in the panoply of setters that we look forward to “meeting” as their work pops up across the usual outlets.

“Vismuts” can get quite hard, so I was a little nervous to find one as Puzzle #2 of my holiday progress, with just the iPhone and a real copy of the Times beside me. But the setter was in a kind mood and it was actually a reasonably straightforward solve, that turned out to revolve around the Women Chainmakers Strike at Cradley Heath led by Mary Macarthur in 1910. (Many Evil Employers had refused to pay women the new minimum wage decreed by the Chain Trade Board, and their cause attracted widespread support. Macarthur used cinema media as well as mass meetings and strike action, and the employers lost… Good.)

So the “linked” theme made sense after a bit of Googling (shame on me for needing it), and I also read that Macarthur was active in protests against the “Cat and Mouse Act” (the one that freed hunger-striking suffragettes only to re-arrest them when they had recovered), so I nearly made the chain of circles into a cat and mouse, but that, I think, is another story.

Oh yes, and the wonderfully cheeky rococo framing of the linked clue letters spelling “THERE IS NO MESSAGE HERE” was great fun and wins the prize for the Red Herring Of The Year so far.

Many thanks to Vismut: good holiday puzzling after all.

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