Listen With Others

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin

Linebacker by Craft

Posted by shirleycurran on 27 Jan 2023

For our first Listener puzzle of the year we opened Craft’s second Listener puzzle and read that we would find seven clashes and eight extra words as well as a 7/7 name to be highlighted.

As usual, the other Numpty was slotting solutions in thick and fast as I skimmed the clues to confirm that Craft retains his place amongst the Listener Oenophiles. Of course, he does: ‘Vintage Times puzzle (4)’ gave us CRU + X, and later on in the clues, ‘Mould of essentially noble rot, it’s seen round bottom of winery (8)’. We put lots of clue elements together there to give us BOTRYTIS. Chambers tells me that’s ‘A mould which forms on over-ripe grapes and produces the characteristic richness of certain wines, eg Sauternes and Tokay. So “Cheers, Craft!”

It was the eight extra words that spelled out for us TUB EF ROMP ADDING TONTO FAR RING DON that produced the penny-drop moment and a huge smile. ‘Tube from Paddington to Farringdon’. Farringdon is a familiar place to those who gather for the three-monthly Listener get-togethers and we have watched the progress of the Elizabeth Line station there.

However, we were told that this was a ‘modern equivalent of the theme’ and we needed to go back to the origins of this section of the underground. We had the right number of clashes but they had to be entered in the thematically appropriate order’.

Of course we needed to consult Google to sort out some of those stations. Farringdon Street (FS) and King’s Cross (KC) were pretty obvious but I was wondering whether PR was Regent’s Park (it turned out to be Portland Road) and could this early underground have gone via Bond Street? (BS – Baker Street).

Fortunately Google put me right and confirmed the CHARLES PEARSON who had appeared in our grid:

‘The railway as it opened in 1863

Board of Trade inspections took place in late December 1862 and early January 1863 to approve the railway for opening. After minor signalling changes were made, approval was granted and a few days of operating trials were carried out before the grand opening on 9 January 1863, which included a ceremonial run from Paddington and a large banquet for 600 shareholders and guests at Farringdon. Charles Pearson did not live to see the completion of the project; he died in September 1862.

The 3.75-mile (6 km) railway opened to the public on 10 January 1863, with stations at Paddington (Bishop’s Road) (now Paddington), Edgeware Road, Baker Street, Portland Road (now Great Portland Street), Gower Street (now Euston Square), King’s Cross (now King’s Cross St Pancras), and Farringdon Street (now Farringdon). The railway was hailed a success, carrying 38,000 passengers on the opening day, using GNR trains to supplement the service. In the first 12 months 9.5 million passengers were carried and in the second 12 months this increased to 12 million.’

So there it was – an anniversary puzzle. What a delightful puzzle. Thank you, Craft.


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