Listen With Others

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Listener 4761 Outside the Box by Arcadia

Posted by gillwinchcombe on 19 May 2023

Thanks Arcadia for an original puzzle which turned out to less scary than its preamble would lead us to believe. Indeed, for me, once I’d found the 10-letter answers and all but about 5 of the others, it was relatively easy to fill in the grid – the delectable jam between the variably challenging clue-solving and the chewy endgame.

Clues varied from easy (ERICA & MARAS) to distinctly tricky (PATROLMAN, SLATER & IRATELY) via clues like “Eg Ayckbourn’s characters in farcical antics” “(ALAN), which, like his plays, raised a smile.

As ever, there was some spectacular straying from the path on my part:

  • On Yorkshire moor, without Asian bread: BAR+A = BARA
  • Promotion seekers – CANDIDATES, surely?
  • Mobile helpers – people in call centres came to mind

Even when it became obvious that -AHT had to be BAHT, BARA clashed with PARASELENE and CANDIDATES couldn’t possibly be correct as it clashed with the rock-solid MARAS, resolving these clues took a while.

Then came the lines. I spotted the 5 6-letter entries (DIFFER, ENTETE, ROSSER, PERUSE and DOBBER fairly quickly. ELDEST HAND, PRAIRIE OYSTERS and PARASELENE also fell into place, but how to draw a “straight” line? I must admit, a line that turns through several vertical right angles in order to continue on the underside of the table challenges my concept of a “straight” line! But then, 3D visualisation has never been my strong point.

The Irishman and his “mobile helper” eluded me completely, so I resorted to grid-staring to find the 9-dot 4-line problem (which mercifully I remembered how to solve). I knew it had to have an L in it so it didn’t take me that long to reverse engineer PATROLMAN from ANT-MAR-PLO. PAT + L in ROMAN, obvious when you have the answer!

Finally, I hope that my 2 chosen columns are the only ones that contain 3 words (there are a few contenders for that) whilst leaving real words. Outside the Box has exhausted my cruciverbal reserves!

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