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Posts Tagged ‘Brexit’

Trick or Treat by Deuce

Posted by shirleycurran on 15 Nov 2019

With Halloween just around the corner, we wondered whether Deuce was a kind of Guy Fawkes in disguise planning to get into the basement below the current government and … No, enough of that … I scanned his (her?) clues to confirm that this apparently new Listener setter earns a place among the Listener Setters Oenophiles and sure enough found ‘Glasses swirled with essence of tequila – cucumbers in the drink? (8, two words)‘. That sounded quite hopeful (until we ‘swirled’ or anagrammed those GLASSES with (teq)U(ila) and found that the cucumbers were SEA SLUGS). Not an auspicious start but “Cheers!” anyway, Deuce. Hope we’ll see you at the bar at the next setters’ dinner – you will have the honour of the slugging.

Clue lengths told us which eight words were to be altered thematically before entry in the grid but those eight words were almost the last we entered. The ‘definition followed by its speaker (title and surname)’ appeared much sooner. “?REXIT? – surely not that!” said the other Numpty, but a moment later, there it was again ‘BREXIT MEANS BREXIT PM MAY’ and we had the theme after about an hour of solving.

The grid filled quickly now with a few smiles along the way. My favourite clue of the week was certainly ‘Neglected any one of the consonants in spelling “flan”?’ That gave us F or L or N didn’t it! Lovely.

BARNIER appeared next from those clashes and he seemed to be occupying the stars on the EU flag that we see being waved, daily, outside Westminster by Mr Loud. I was misled, here, by that word ‘analogous’ and imagined I had to mirror those stars in the other half of the grid. We already had those two, oh so popular politicians, FARAGE and JACOB REES MOGG in our grid but the penny didn’t drop immediately.

And I had cause to rejoice too, as it is almost two years since we said a sad goodbye to Poat’s little HARE who went off for his long holiday (and so many friends have wondered if he had really been shot) but  what a pleasure to see that he is safe, somewhere in Europe  (on the fifth row of the grid after Barnier is ousted – welcome back, little hare!)

We still had to alter those eight answers. D[EU]TERIUM came first, quickly followed by N[EU]ROLOGY, and when we realized that the D[UK]EDOMS were Cambridge and Edinburgh, all fell into place, with J[UK]EBOXES, L[UK]EWARM and GREAT A[UK]S abandoning the EU side of the grid, and R[EU]TERS and R[EU]NIONS being exiled from the UK. Thus we extracted the UK from BARNIER’s side of the grid and took the EU out of the clutches of FARAGE and REES-MOGG.

Well, many thanks to Deuce. (We are really wondering now who the D[EU]ce could be though it is fairly clear which side of the grid he belongs to – and does he believe he has been tricked or is in for a treat when all the shenanigans are over?) This was a gentle bit of fun and left us plenty of time to go to a lively bonfire birthday party at the Rugby Club in the neighbouring village – though there is driving rain and a howling gale in the Yorkshire Dales, where we are just now, and I suspect that the bonfire will not be lit and maybe not that other Westminster one either – if only!





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Brexit by KevGar

Posted by shirleycurran on 19 Apr 2019

We’ve suffered the UK parliamentary shambles all day, no, I mean all week/ month/ year, so I groaned when we saw KevGar’s title. We needed something to lighten the atmosphere. Well, it certainly did! We saw the SEPARATIONIST anagram at once, ‘Parisian set to convert one Brexiteer perhaps (13)’ and that was quickly followed by ZOOEA ‘Ozone, not nitrogen, mixed up with a number of larvae’. The Z and S in place suggested CZARDAS (dance) and we spotted the ‘dance’ definition to remove from ‘Working the dance clubs, eat out (6)’. And we were off on our tour of the European Union as it was CZ (Czech Republic) that had to be added to ARDAS ‘Sikh prayer raised pitiful (power-shifter) god (7)’ (SAD RA<).

I had to consult the Internet to create a list of the IVRs of the 28 EU countries and we carefully crossed them off, one by one, wondering how KevGar was going to include BG, CY or LV, but, of course, he managed. What a feat of construction. Clearly a member of the elite Listener Setters’ Oenophile Outfit, but he did confirm that, ‘Tiny amounts of ordinary booze in alcoholic convulsions? (5)’ We put the O into DTs, giving DOTS, and later added the L of Luxembourg to give DOLTS, which was defined by ‘dullards’ from another clue. So the ‘booze’ had to be moved and it defined BIRLE. That put IRL (Ireland) into BE ‘One third of animals remain (5) (BEasts) and Chambers tells me to BIRLE is to ply with drink, so ‘Cheers KevGar!’

The grid filled, thanks to KevGar’s generous clues but were left with a missing couple of letters. Which of Malta, Portugal or Belgium was going to complete the ANE that had appeared with ‘Woman climbed one (space) in the Grampians (4)’. We needed to work through all the wandering definitions to check which was left: Bloated gave us ASTRUT: transmute gave CYANISE (bit of a long stretch, we thought): acid gave SERINE: hollow gave DIMPLE: latest led to SLOWEST: weapons got rid of Bulgaria by producing BBGUNS, food was KAI: the RHINE was the river: marks were GRADES: saying was a SAW: hail was SALVE: power-shifter was the DEVOLUTIONIST: sped was PELTED: perfect was FINISH: shoot was a GERM: outline was SKETCH: metal was CHROME: check was ARREST: grease was ENLARD: space was ROOM and move was FLIT so we were left with the scamp and destruction to place. REP(robate) dealt with the scamp and we were able to put Belgium’s B on BANE to give us ‘destruction’.

We had a final smile. What was EST doing up there at the top of the grid? It was defined by ‘awareness-raising’ – that programme that is so useful for crossword setters needing to get rid of the EST letters, but the clue? The penny dropped. ‘(Sped) right into most outstanding French city (5)’ put R into BEST giving BREST but what had happened to the BR? Oh dear, yes indeed – when KevGar set this, it was going to appear on BR EXIT day – poor BR – missing from that fine collection of 27 other nations. Good fun: thanks, KevGar.

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Listener No 4548: Brexit by KevGar

Posted by Dave Hennings on 19 Apr 2019

KevGar’s previous puzzle could easily have been the title for this one as well. As it was, Never-ending? had the composer, Carl Nielson, as its theme.

Those of you who visit here regularly will know that Listen With Others does not enter into political debate, and this week will be no exception*. I will say that when I saw the title, my heart sank. I thought that the Listener would always be a safe sanctuary from the comings and goings at Westminster and in Brussels.

However, this week’s puzzle was a fine compilation, and was an attempt to picture the European Union after the UK left on 29th March. Packing 27 countries into the answers to give new words must have been a tough feat, but KevGar managed admirably. Bulgaria and Czechia crept in by the skin of their teeth.

The pièce de résistance was the UK/BR exiting the grid at 5dn. In the end, the UK did not leave the EU on 29th March (will it ever?). Nevertheless, that didn’t spoil this enjoyable puzzle. Thanks, KevGar.


*Yeah, right. I voted Remain. Brexit has made this country a laughing stock around the world. The only consolation is that the USA under its current president is running us a close second!

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