Listen With Others

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If I Must Come by Deuce

Posted by shirleycurran on 7 Oct 2022

Of course we anagram the title of the crossword and it gives us three most interesting words – but could they be an early penny-drop moment. There are a couple of hints in the preamble that prompt the same conclusion – we are going to be assigning multiple letters to twelve cells and they will form twelve thematic words that can be replaced by numbers.

However, we still have some really tough clues to solve and to remove 13 words from clues, that are going to give us two parts of a theme. We will also have to spot misprints in all the remaining across clues that will give us an instruction about moving letters, and extra letters in the wordplay of down clues which will lead to a helpful message. Even then we won’t have finished – there will be those ten letters to move.

There is a lot going on here and I almost renounce my hunt for proof of Deuce’s retention of his Listener Setter’s Oenophile Outfit membership – he hasn’t left himself much room – but I spot that he has ‘Used skins to curse grapes around Italy (7)’ We put together HEX UVAE and I (with the H as additional) and produce EXUVIAE – well they must have been used to produce something! And there was a ‘measure’ that we decided was an extra word, ‘Turkish man about to grasp miles becoming measure (8)’ We put a BEY around SEE and ML giving us BESEEMLY, which had to fit into five cells.

There’s a ‘tipple’ too, ‘Swamp current’s ripple (4)’ gave us FEN + I and we decided that FENI was a tipple – something ‘produced in Goa from coconuts or cashew nuts’ so cheers, Deuce!

Fortunately those down clues give us THEY DO FURNISH A ROOM and that rings a bell. Wiki tells us “Books Do Furnish a Room is a novel by Anthony Powell, the tenth in the twelve-novel sequence A Dance to the Music of Time” so that is why the title anagrammed to MUSIC OF TIME and words we were extracting gave us ‘classical’, ‘rock’, ‘metal’, and ‘season’, ‘point’, ‘life’. Was ‘measure’ the one that fitted both the definition of music, and of time, we wondered.

So now we knew that we had to link those twelve words that were appearing as jumbles into words that represented those twelve novels (thank you Wiki!)

Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665), A Dance to the Music of Time
The Wallace Collection, London. Used by permission.

Poussin’s painting above provides both the title for Anthony Powell’s series and also the inspiration for its structure and themes.

Wiki gives us QUESTION, MARKET, WORLD, LADY, CHINESE, ONES, BONES, ART, MILITARY, BOOKS, KINGS and SECRET, so now we know how to enter those words that were too long for the available spaces and we can solve the jumbles and replace each with its appropriate number.

But what about two authors who have to be shown by moving ten letters in column seven. We spot the double L at the bottom of the grid so that must be POWELL and, sure enough, we are left with the letters of POUSSIN. Quit a complex compilation. Thank you Deuce


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