Listen With Others

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Listener 4753 19 Down by Hedge-Sparrow

Posted by gillwinchcombe on 27 Mar 2023

How delightful – a Listener whose theme is a double-action pedal harp. Ten out of 10 for originality! Thanks too to Hedge-sparrow for reminding us that there is more to Ravel than Boléro. I’ve now enjoyed listening to his (Ravel’s not Rob’s) Introduction and Allegro for Harp, Flute, Clarinet and String Quartet.

Like the Introduction and Allegro, 19 Down started gently enough, then got a bit more feisty as we grappled with the double act clues. I thought they melded together pretty smoothly on the whole, especially 1,38 down “Drunk, carelessly relaxed politician exits exotic Asian chariot, one led by horse” giving SLUED and ARABA. I enjoy learning new words, and SLUED was definitely new to me. ARABA rang a bell, though I’d long forgotten what it was.

Overall 19 Down gave me an enjoyable workout and an endgame which didn’t require too much teasing out, though I did have to look at some pictures of double-action pedal harps to make sure I had the strings going in the right direction.

I also observed that Hedge-sparrow’s harp points the same way as the Guinness harp, rather than the harp used as the emblem for Ireland (I understand from a tour of the brewery in Dublin a few years ago that this was a deliberated decision by Guinness). The Guinness harp’s strings seem to be at a very peculiar angle though! Mine are vertical, which I’m glad to see is in harmony with those of Shirley and Vagans.


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