Listen With Others

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Listener 4761: (Draw) Outside the Box by Arcadia

Posted by vaganslistener on 21 May 2023

Well, that was different! I like narrative preambles that don’t read like a set of computer instructions, and this one certainly met the mark.

The clues were mostly straightforward and all well-written, and the two ten-letter answers on the outside columns provided anchors for the grid fill, which went without hiccup (I think!)

The real fun started with the line-drawing. The first instruction about a square of nine cells had to be one such without bars, so in the top right or bottom left corner, and the latter clearly fitted the bill. I nearly just drew lines inside the grid until my brain clicked that only four could be used – and it was indeed the old chestnut in which the lines were extended “outside the box”. Nice one, Arcadia!

Then three sloping lines joining five six-letter words. The 5th-7th rows were going to be involved, and my answer anyway depended on the letters of the words being read, as in the bottom left corner, following the direction of the line, so that row six produced ROSSER and PERUSE, alomgside DIFFER, ENTETE and DOBBER. Neat. If I’m right…

Then under the table for one long line of 34 cells producing three entries. I wasn’t at all sure how Arcadia, or John Green, would want the hidden parts of the line to be drawn. I opted for dashed lines, with a side note saying they were “under the table”. Another option was cutting the puzzle out tightly and drawing on its back. We’ll see. Sadly I failed to count the cells correctly (a rogue bit of my brain thought the crossword was a 15×15 square: this has happened before …) and should have carrried the line on down through SELENE as well, giving ELDEST HAND, PRAIRIE OYSTER and PARASELENE, so no salver this year (but a relief as I am writing this while finding the numerical 4764 totally beyond me).

Thanks Arcadia for a puzzle that was a but different (not an easy thing to achieve), well made, and good fun too, even if I blew it.


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