Listen With Others

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin

Red Applause by Crash

Posted by shirleycurran on 16 Sep 2022

Crash appears to be a new Listener setter. We read that there would be a misprint in every clue (well, that’s better than ‘some clues’) and that twelve solutions were to be entered backwards. Corrected misprints would explain how to modify the filled grid and give us a ‘hint leading to two instructions’ – quite a lot in a concise preamble.

We wondered about solutions entered backwards but indeed, on concluding the crossword, the reason was obvious. How else do you fit FISCHER and SPASSKY into a grid and all those Ps and the Qs, getting a symmetrical grid and real words.

It was those Ps and the B that prompted us and the theme quickly emerged. There was a chess game going on here – but which? Not the Alekhine’s Gun that was featured in the Rasputin Russian Roulette Listener of many years ago – the pattern of the chessmen was something different. Of course, didn’t Spassky applaud Fischer in that famous sixth match when Spassky resigned most graciously? And wasn’t our title Red Applause?

Fine clues but we still had to work out what the corrected misprints were telling us and that took us a while: ALL BUT NAMES AND LETTERS IN CIRCLES ERASED ???. We initially missed those last two words: CLUE ENDS, then all became clear – and what a feat to fit those letters in so unobtrusively. We had to COLOUR THE PIECES APPROPRIATELY and MAKE FINAL MOVE WITH Q TO F4. Superb!

And does Crash qualify for the Listener oenophiles? I searched carefully for the hare or a few drops of alcohol but things were somewhat dry – just a slight hope in 30ac ‘Unclasp coils, take out: thus removes top’. We opted for an L corrected misprint (Lake) giving us an anagram (coils) of UNCASP = UNCAPS. Well, I suppose uncapping the bottle is a fine start. Cheers, Crash!

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