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Posts Tagged ‘A Short Entertainment’

A Short Entertainment by Ferret

Posted by shirleycurran on 20 Sep 2013

Ferret's short entertainment 001This crossword was maybe very strategically placed by the editors. Several of us perhaps worked well into the week attempting to solve last week’s difficult numerical crossword by Radix and we downloaded this week’s offering with real trepidation. Were we due to set aside a few days to decipher more Knights’ moves, courtesy of Sabre? Would this be the drop that caused the overflow and led us to stash away our BRB, Bradford, TEA, Thin Air Basic programmes, instructions for constructing tori, origami wrens and Towers of Babel for ever and return to cookery and gardening? (Oh yes, I shamelessly use all of those and more!) But no, it was not to be. Even the title proclaimed that Ferret had provided a short entertainment for us. Just what we needed!

It was indeed ‘short’ and ‘entertainment’ from start to finish. I was becoming disconcerted to find that Ferret was opting out of the Listener compilers’ tipsy tippling gang but he redeemed himself with almost the last clue we solved.  ‘Claims drinks (7)’ Of course, we had to sort out the theme and understand that we needed ‘only one of the letters of the omitted member, to be entered, above the entry’s column, to complete the entertainment’s context’. By that time, we had realized that BEYOND THE FRINGE had to go round the outside of our grid (a bit like Nutmeg’s PIGLET in this month’s Magpie solutions ‘The more he looked inside, the more piglet wasn’t there’ – there’s my Magpie plug – six Listener-style puzzles every month and Ferret is in there too, with a D this month!).

We already had BEYOND TH? FRINGE and at last understood that CLAIMS = ALLEGES and that if we extracted the LEG, or at least its central E, we were left with ALES. We had perhaps been lucky, in that all the long clues solved themselves like magic, SC[H]OLASTICALLY, EYE[W]ITNESSES, IRRATIO[N]ALIST, ASTROD[Y]NAMICS, BR[E]ATHL[E]SSN[E]SS, INSTALLATI[O]NS and ANTIT[E]RRORIST and apart from a very brief Numpty red-herring where we suspected that we were looking for a ‘NOVELTY SHOW’ like Crufts, this all fell into place with ease and amusement.

ONE LEG TOO FEW said TEA when we fed in O??LE?TO?F?W and we had to have a brief diversion to watch the Peter Cook and Dudley Moore sketch, then we laughingly completed our grid in time to cook supper. COOK? Yes, of course, we had found MOORE, so cleverly there at the foot of the third column with the missing E confirmed by all those Es that had gone from Shakespeare’s OVERGREENED (There’s this week’s conversation stopper!) Great fun, thanks Ferret.

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