Listen With Others

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Listener 4741: Map by Pointer

Posted by vaganslistener on 31 Dec 2022

At last, a chance to break out the crayons! I gather that a bit of colouring-in is an essential part of a popular Listener, and this new one from Pointer is a good one and bound to leave a smile on our faces even on these darkest of days, as does a fairly easy puzzle with a good construction and theme and a nice twist in its tail like this one.

The preamble was quite long, but clear and guided us carefully to nine entries where a letter had not been provided by the wordplay, which would allow us to draw our map, and two entries to be jumbled that would make its topography clear (and rather accurate too). TANTALIC soon produced ATLANTIC and SHERATON became NORTH SEA, while MAVIS GRIND proved to be there in plain sight to be “looped” at the bottom of the grid.

I have to be honest and say this was new information to me, but Mavis Grind is not the name of a scullery maid in Dickens but of a wee isthmus in the Shetlands, reputed to be the only place in the UK at least where one can throw a stone from the Atlantic into the North Sea.

Four down clues (2d, 14d, 17d and 4d) were failing to produce answers in the normal way and turned out to have triplets of letters occupying their square in the unclued entry crossing the isthmus, and A STONES THROW magically appeared from FORECAST, PHONEIN, ISTHMUS and OVERBROWING. None of that was signalled in the preamble, but I reckon that was fair and added value to the puzzle as it wasn’t too hard to work out and was bang on theme.

So top marks to Pointer, and best wishes to all Listeners With Others for the festive season which will be in full swing when this appears.

 Map © OpenStreetMap contributors, open licence https://www.openstreetmap.org/copyright

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