Listen With Others

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Listener 4743: Season’s Greetings by Lionheart

Posted by vaganslistener on 13 Jan 2023

The “Christmas Listener” (though the series doesn’t go overboard with such specials…), and good to see Lionheart in action again. And what a raft of clue-types! 1: factual error. 2: forgotten line(s). 3: extra word. 4: wrong clue number. 5: answer not in standard dictionaries. Being a bit dim, and not at all a follower of even good comedy shows like anything involving Denis Norden, I only realised towards the end of the solve, when the thematic penny dropped, that the types were also (more or less) thematic, all being the sort of bloopers that might lead to an out-take that Denis would then gather up for “It’ll Be Alright On The Night”. The message gave HAPPY CHRISTMAS DENIS NORDEN, which was the printable part of RIK MAYALL’s response when such a blooper passed his lips.

RIK MAYALL was there in plain sight on the bottom row of the grid, and after a moment of head-scratching I found three pairs of words there too (OKAY/DARK; SOSO/DEVIL; DECENT/SORROW), in each case a word for ALRIGHT on (top of) one for NIGHT. So everything came together remarkably neatly, and just in time to put it away before church and family festivities began.

The clues were fair, though it took a while to get speed up as I juggled the different types (not being as good as Shirley at highlighters and columns). The trickiest were probably the non-dictionary words, where software was not very helpful, and crossing letters were needed to confirm AVE JOE for instance at 9d (“Typical man expresses rage in prayer to Mary’s partner” (6, two words); and I-SHARK at 30d (“Is boat to capture 200 fish from Apple?” (6) is I suppose a fanciful creation), but given the theme and the holidays I took these as fun of the fair not unfair.

So cheers to Lionheart, thanks for a fun puzzle, and compliments of the season. Call in again soon.

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