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Listener 4749: (A Wimbledon) Commonplace (Everyday) by Brock

Posted by vaganslistener on 24 Feb 2023

This was a very enjoyable puzzle, once I’d got my head round the rather long and complicated preamble (and yes, I do that too sometimes). We all seem to love maps, but what was it going to be of? The cleverness of the title only dawned on me later, and the preamble wasn’t giving anything away at this stage apart for the need to watch out for indications of a song, so in I went.

I concentrated on trying to establish something of the message from the extra letters, marking off the clues which were likely to be where letters were to be removed as I went (which wasn’t too hard). THINGS FOLK LEAVE BEHIND seemed to emerging, and Googling that led me the Wombles, and the line in their song that goes THE THINGS THAT THE EVERYDAY FOLKS LEAVE BEHIND.

So was the map meant to be one of Wimbledon Common (home turf for my OH’s 3-greats grandfather whose mansion overlooked Putney Heath)? Well – no. But while looking for a suitable online map of the Common, one also popped up showing the geographical locations of the main Wombles names, and this time – Bingo!

The device producing the names was both neat and clever (not least in leaving “real words” after the deletions):








That left the pesky moving words to sort out. By this point I’d already got all the answers in, but even reverse engineering them was a bit tricky. I rather expected the “cycle” to follow on in normal clue order so I may have totally messed this bit up, but as of now my best theory is:

1a        Times > Lightbulb. {(SPOT CH) round L = first repeated letter in “Lightbulb”)}

10a      Lightbulb > Ink. {(A INK – tasK)*}

13a      TV > Times. {AN oN EX}

18a      Racket > TV. {ROO SEt}

7d        Ink > Elastic. {(TIN MUG bluE)*}

27a      Elastic > Racket. {(PLASTER SNACK – RACKET)* +A}

That didn’t spoil the puzzle though, which will be one to remember. So many thanks. Brock, and as I gather Wombles were first visualised as quite large furry animals with burrowing snouts, is Brock a cousin then?


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