Listen With Others

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Listener 4748: XPS by Karla

Posted by vaganslistener on 17 Feb 2023

X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy eh? Not a clue about that or what it’s all really about, but it seems a good challenge so in we go. AA – it’s  a rock in 1a, so SALAAM, and we’re away, and a recent visit to the dentist involving some descaling brought SCRAPE to mind for 1d. “bod” for “boy” and “right” for “fight” (I suppose) gave DR— as the beginning of the misprint message, so DRAW was on the cards.

Now to try and suss the marginal enttries and the theme. That was a bit trickier, but once REPEAL, PEART and PEAG had appeared in the grid, it had to be PEAS, and I had enough left-hand letters to guess GREGOR MENDEL. And now the title made sense: “Cross Peas”, to my eyes anyway, which is famously what he did. Working out PISUM SATIVUM along the bottom took longer, despite my being a Latinist, but it all made sense.

The final artwork challenge wasn’t quite so clear though. DRAW PODS ROUND PEAS.  So I ringed round the PEAs to make pods. The pods are the set of crossing pairs; but it’s not the pods one crosses, so perhaps it should have been pairs that were ringed. The resulting blobs could, however, hardly be called pods, no matter how spectacular the cross. So 8 pods it was.

A good set of clues with some very spottable misprints (Atlain; Atheas) and some not so (puss, loons). My favourite clue? 12a “Watch [= witch] Jedi having character turned in Part Two (6)”. For some reason my Facebook feed is full of Star Wars memes, so OBI WAN came to mind – but a witch? Haha! Turn the W over to make an M, and OBI MAN. Very neat; and many thanks to Karla for a fine puzzle.


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