Listen With Others

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Listener 4732: Remembrance (of a favourite poem) by Alchemist

Posted by vaganslistener on 28 Oct 2022

Another new setter and another excellent debut!

I found I could work steadily through the clues cold-solving them in order, though since the message was to emerge from them in grid-entry order, that part of the fun was delayed: a good constructional move.

The presence of some very long and very short words, and the fact that ABASHMENT had to go in the central column, made it an easier jigsaw puzzle than some, and it was then a straightforward task to extract the message which directed us to part four of T S Eliot’s long poem The Waste Land 100 years old this month (which has always been a favourite of mine though I am not quite that old), where we read

Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell
And the profit and loss.

That confirmed the proper completion of the unclued entries and led on quickly to Phlebas at the heart of the puzzle, ready to be unscrambled (from the whirlpool he entered?) and highlighted.

All in all a very satisfying puzzle, not hard but not trivial either, and a worthwhile theme – and for me a welcome change from pop music and the like which I am not “agin” but which rather washes over me. I may be turning into Phlebas.


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