Listen With Others

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Listener no 4735, Spirit Time: A Setter’s Blog by Skylark

Posted by Listen With Others on 20 Nov 2022

Since reading Behind The Scenes at the Museum, her Whitbread-prize winning debut, I have been a fan of Kate Atkinson. Indeed, she is probably my favourite living author.

When musing over her output, it struck me how many titles were rendered cryptically – almost as if Kate Atkinson might be another crossword fan. And Life After Life, her first Costa Book Awards winner, lent itself to a title. Hence Listener 4735, which, delightfully for me, was published whilst I was reading her latest book, Shrines of Gaiety – and relishing it.

Huge thanks to Hedge-sparrow, Vismut, Dysart and the Listener editors, who all provided improvements to my clues.

Apologies for the double definition clue for ‘mossie’ – it should have read South African birds or sparrows, not swallows.

I submitted Spirit Time with a degree of doubt, since the Listener Guidance for Setters states that: “Themes that revolve round a living person are also discouraged because of the risk of death or dishonour at the time of publication.”

Upon acceptance, I assumed that they, like I, thought dishonour low risk in the case of Ms Atkinson. Like many of her characters, she may yet surprise us!


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