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Listener Crossword 4762: Case-sensitive by Aedites

Posted by vaganslistener on 27 May 2023

Aedites has served us up this time with the archetypal PDM puzzle. (Penny Drop Moment for the unitiated.) Unsignalled clashes all over the place seemed to be making the solve impossible, even though the clues were fair and not at all hard.

So after a very quick partial fill, I put my staring specs on – and as is always a good idea, looked at the preamble again. What was that sneaky little word “FULLY capitalised” doing there?

By that point I had also decided that whatever the word-play of 1d. NOUAKCHOTT had to be the answer. I decided to look it up more fully, and – yes! – it was the CAPITAL of Mauritania (which fitted the word-play of the clue nicely). So we are being asked to substitute the names of the countries given by the wordplay of the thematic clues with the names of their capitals. After that is was very plain sailing, and the biggest challenge in fact, given my handwriting (bad handwriting was probably the only reason I gained a doctorate…) was writing clearly enough in lower case. Good luck, Mr Green!

Another feature of the puzzle is the way that it all hangs on our clever setter having had the idea and presumably found a useful list of countries and their capitals that he could sort through easily enough to produce a master-list of matching-length possibilities, which he could then play with by hand or put into a dictionary file for one of the grid-building programmes to have a go at. It’s one of the ways setting gets to us, as our brains become wired to spot word-shapes and puzzle possibilities, and if we’re lucky stores them away for future reference. My memory leaks too much for that these days, but I have a Little List on the computer…

Thanks Aedites for a well-constructed puzzle with a neat twist, and for the handwriting exercise too.

PS Another slip here (and I didn’t even attempt 4863) so no Hosannas and I won’t be troubling the engraver on the silverware any time soon. If you look very carefully you can see my pencil A under the rogue second N of SANNA: inking in too quickly and not checking. Apart from my usual tendency to just want to get things done you may correctly deduce that my other vocation has been rather full-on recently.


One Response to “Listener Crossword 4762: Case-sensitive by Aedites”

  1. Compliments on your self-confessed error. So much better than having it pointed out by an eagle-eyed reader of the blog, which happened to me once!

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