Listen With Others

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin

Posts Tagged ‘KevGar’

Compressor by KevGar

Posted by shirleycurran on 3 Feb 2023

Almost a carte blanche with just those symmetrical bars. ‘A number of answers must be altered in a certain way…’ “A number,” grumbled the other Numpty “we aren’t told how many.” but he was already finding rather a lot that had a letter too many for their cells, as I colour-coded my grid and clues, finding just two 12-letter answers, two 11s, and 2 8s. That was promising! And indeed, VICELESS, REPREHENSIVE, TERMITARIES, OVERLADE, PLEASURABLE and DODECAHEDRAL gave us the skeleton of our grid and before long we had that ‘skeleton’ grid with fifteen words that were too long for their slots and not much idea what to do with BRIDOONS, BITTERNS, BLENNIES or HEAVERS.

Clearly, we needed to lose a letter, but which? It was POU?E?? that made that penny drop (or the triangle ting, or whatever the musical equivalent is) POULENC, and that was clearly an anagram of OPULENCE with one extra E. Composers rapidly filled the rest of the grid and we had most of the corrected misprints: enough to work out the message SORT DISCARDS INTO TWO MORE …

“COMPRESSOR – that gives us ‘composers’ with a thematic extra R!” So we listed our fifteen composers and the extra letters and had a rather obvious SCHUMANN and a puzzling SCHUBET left over. “Doh!” Second penny-drop moment. That R of the title was discarded too – this was almost worthy of the ‘Poat hare trophy’ – the award for the sneakiest setter trick, commemorating that ‘hare’ who sneaked into Poat’s preamble some years ago.

But we have to admire the skill that went into this compilation – the calculation of the number of composers and finding those that would produce the necessary letters to give the last two. Probably that justifies the pretty obscure words we were still hunting for when our grid was practically full. We had EAV?E ‘Wager on each name, nom for a boy (5)’. The misprint message had told us that it was noT for a boy so we had to opt for EAVIE which Wiki tells us is a girl’s name. ?AEDI in the ODE produced MAEDI – some sort of sheep disease – but the clue wanted us to find an ‘Ancient tribe rooted in in northern Galicia’. Again Wiki helped when we inverted ‘plan B’ to get BAEDI.

No, I’m not grumbling – I’m raising a glass or two to KevGar for this accomplished compilation. Indeed he qualified for the oenophile outfit: ‘Shoulder’s rum, heal with treatment (6)’ gave us the HUMERAL that changed to MAHLER, then ‘Old English mead, thrilling liquid that causes blotting (6)’ It gave us OEDEMA (that causes bloAting). With that rum and mead, Cheers, KevGar!


Posted in Solving Blogs | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

T Maker by KevGar

Posted by shirleycurran on 25 Mar 2022

Our first thought is that this is going to be about the Ford Model T. We clearly aren’t going to be discovering one of those machines that used to ring alarms for people when their early morning cup of tea was ready. What other T Maker could there be? Troublemaker? That thought flits through our minds (especially as, this week, an editor has gently removed the word RUSSIAN from a crossword of mine saying that the very word makes people unhappy just now – he replaced it with RATSBANE – a useful way to remove undesirable creatures – if only we could!)

Thematic material added or removed from clues and an equal number of extra words that define the affected entries? We quickly spot that one answer just gives us a T – ‘160, middle of century (4)’ – so three letters must provide the removed thematic material. We see MAA in ‘Bleat coming from heads of many African animals (7)’ so there must be four letters of removed thematic material there.

Another clue spells out RESUMED, ‘Sure to be scuttled on sea, began again (4)’ There must be three extra letters there and SUM seems to be the only possible ‘thematic material’.

It’s Lady GAGA who gives us the p.d.m. WONGA-WONGA fits the letters we have, by this time, in our rather messy grid, and that’s a pigeon, isn’t it. So it’s money that is changing our solutions and MONEY CHANGER slots in at 1ac. Oh dear, it really was ROUBLE (the sinking rouble) that had to complete the title. Now it’s just a question of fitting the seventeen definition words we have found to the words that have gone into our grid:

BEINGS/ people SWEE/swing MALARIA/disease PYAT/magpie MARKHORS/goats UNCE/weight FOREARM/prepare FRET/vex CAIRD/gypsy CORED/deseeded ERA/years HORA/dance WONGA-WONGA/pigeon TIRESOME/boring BESOM/broom LEN/man and REED/pipe.

Ah, but that isn’t quite all. Of course I checked KeGar’s eligibility for the Listener Oenophile elite and spotted the Madeira in ‘Madeira lady blowing horn to stop tide (4)’. We decided she was a SENHORA (SEA around an anagram of HORN) and removed the SEN to give the HORA dance. A little later he was a ‘Dirty drunk in Scottish loch (4)’ which gave us FOU + L. Well, cheers, anyway, KevGar!

Nor did we miss the little Poat hare poking its nose into a clue (rodent indeed!) ‘Single-seeded fruits rodent stashed in unfinished frame (7)’ The little MARA went into SAS(h) giving SAMARAS. Welcome back, little hare.

Posted in Solving Blogs | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Listener No 4701, T Maker by KevGar

Posted by Dave Hennings on 25 Mar 2022

The last Listener from KevGar had the UK’s exit from the EU as its theme and here we are, three years later, and it’s still dragging on. Hopefully something a little less depressing this week. Lots of thematic material needing to be added or removed from several answers and loads of extra words elsewhere defining the results.

10ac West African tree not near Australian magpie (5) had AFARA promptly slotted in with magpie as an extra word. I should’ve know 13ac Single-seeded fruits rodent stashed in unfinished frame (7) but it wouldn’t come to mind — SAMARAS it was [MARA in SAS(h)]. Luckily, 14ac A dozen Scots appearing behind goats knock out Chief Constable of Delhi (6) gave KOTWAL (extra word goats) and the first answer requiring thematic modification 15ac Where one could store data — empty “Cloud” (5) produced CD. I wasn’t sure whether CD was the first and last letters of the resulting entry, but that looked likely.

I only got a couple more across answers on a first pass through the clues, but 1dn Out of hours, not socially acceptable (8) for HORS got the downs going, but needed to go into an 8-letter entry. 5dn Madeira lady blowing horn to stop tide (4) got my first answer that was too long for its entry — SENHORA [HORN* in SEA]. Could the SEN be superfluous, leaving HORA, and we were dealing with dropped coins?

All in all, solving was fairly slow, but the monetary theme was eventually confirmed. I particularly liked the clue to 16dn In some places, one short wader to a man (4, two words) leading to UNA VOCE [UN + AVOCE(t)] with an AVO (Macau money) removed for entry to leave UNCE. I also wondered whether it should have just been 12dn (10), with two lumps of WONGA added in for WONGA-WONGA, but the clue was actually Lady singer is quite mad (10) giving GAGA with two bits of WON inserted. And I leave 8dn In dire need, sex produced pigeon (10) for you to muse on!

The answers needing money added:

  • 15ac CD around ORE
  • 35ac BE before SOM
  • 11dn MAA around LARI
  • 12dn GAGA after and around WON
  • 18dn FARM around another ORE
  • 19dn T after PYA
  • 20dn TIREE around another SOM

The answers needing money removed:

  • 26ac SWEERED – RED
  • 3dn SOLERA – SOL
  • 5dn SENHORA – SEN
  • 9dn RESUMED – SUM
  • 16dn UNA VOCE – AVO
  • 23dn BEATINGS – AT
  • 28dn FLEURET – LEU
  • 33dn LATEN – another AT

The elusive figure at 1ac was MONEYCHANGER. All that was left was for the correct version of the title to be entered below the grid, and TROUBLEMAKER was a doddle. Thanks, KevGar.

Posted in Solving Blogs | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Realisation by KevGar

Posted by shirleycurran on 1 Jan 2021

I read in Dave Hennings’ Crossword Database that this is KevGar’s eighth crossword in the Listener series. We read the preamble with some apprehension as we are not very good at finding definitions that have wandered away from the entries that they apply to and we realize that we need to keep careful control of the ‘one or two’ consecutive letters that are ultimately going to tot up to 23 and spell out three further thematic items (whatever those turn out to be).

Types of wine, I wonder, as KevGar hasn’t included much alcohol in his clues to confirm his continued membership of the Listener Setters’ Elite Oenophile Outfit. He just scrapes in by sprinkling rosé around, ‘Holy water container sprinkled rose spray (9)’. We anagram ROSE SPRAY to get ASPERSORY – a generous clue.

There were a number of generous clues and the bottom half of our grid was nicely peopled by dinner time (almost, though we were flummoxed by the EMYD as we had entered EMYS as a familiar turtle word which gave us a problem with the CLOSED SHOPS). But then we were head-scratching.

It was the ‘WASP’ that clearly defined the HORNET who appeared in 9d where the clue obviously spelled out TRET, ‘Concerning having two tons without waste allowance (6)’ that hinted to us what was going on. TRUMPETFISH then appeared where the clue seemed to be spelling ELFISH. ‘Tricky rock-star swaps centre for female, hard to follow (11)’ (Elvis with V changing to F). That had to be the SWIMMER who had sneaked into the UEYS clue.

We realized that we had to find another nine instruments (and one in the title) that were each going to replace a couple of letters in their solution (or a letter) and produce words that had to be defined by RINGLEADER, STINGRAY-LIKE, HOUNDS, EDGES, PIPED, TRAMPS, FOLLOWS, BULB and YELLOW. This was a tough solve but we finally produced our FLUGELMAN, WHIPLASH, BASSETS, SHARPENS, TUBATE, HOBOES, SEGUES, CORM and LUTEIN and decided that our instruments were the FLUGEL, WHIP (yes, Collins confirmed that it is an instrument, as did Mrs Bradford), BASS, HARP, TUBA, OBOE, GUE (that crossword favourite), COR and LUTE.

We had 21 letters from the original solutions that those instruments had replaced, so we were puzzled about how those were going to spell out three more instruments. They formed, nicely, into a CLARINET, a TROMBONE and a PIANO. But then we realized that the ORGAN that was supporting this rather weird orchestra and appearing in REORGANISATION (our new title) was giving us another two letters and converting our PIANO to a seven-letter PIANOLA.

Thank you KevGar. This was challenging, particuarly, for us, as we are not much good at solving tricky clues like the ELFISH one where we flounder around looking for an 11-letter word when the original solution has only six letters (OK we finally found our fish).

Posted in Solving Blogs | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Listener No 4637: Realisation by KevGar

Posted by Dave Hennings on 1 Jan 2021

KevGar’s last puzzle was called Brexit based around European IVR codes, and as I write this, we are on the verge of actually leaving the transition period and going out on our own. Half the world thinks that we are shooting ourselves in the foot, but who am I to comment! [Oh, OK, I agree.]

This week, no extra letters or misprints, just eleven answers to be modified before entry with eleven others containing one-word definitions of those entries. It wasn’t surprising that I didn’t get 2ac Tricky rock-star swaps centre for female, hard to follow (11), obviously thematic and destined to be a 6-letter answer to go into an 11-letter entry (ELFISH). 11ac Ayrshire’s own muslin’s not so OK (6) was easier though — NAINSOOK – SO – OK and was also thematic.

The across clues went in fairly easily with only one more thematic entry, hardly surprising since there was actually only one more — POETS at 24 getting expanded to 7 letters. I was pleased to get 1dn Novel type (9), guessing that it was probably thematic. Ignoring the (9), ROMAN got pencilled in, followed promptly by COTE at 2dn (6).

Once the downs were finished, I had a couple of extra answers needing treatment — TRET and NIM — and a handful of extra words in clues, including wasp and hounds.

A short while later, I got 6dn Once they were in receipt of letters, actors using exhibition space for parking (13) (helped by CHEKHOV, OMASA and OPINE) to give THESSALONIANS. It was one of my favourite clues with THESPIANS having P replaced with SALON. With the UEYS, ECAD, FELLAS and STENS (although that would change to SHARPENS), FISH and then TRUMPET came to mind and musical instruments seemed to be our theme.

After that, things came together nicely, my favourite clue being 2dn Australian [swimmer] turns up each year, sloshed to start with (4) for UEYS. The clue that took me longest to unravel was 23dn, mainly because I had never heard of a whip as a musical instrument (or at least I’d forgotten it).

The letters replaced by the various musical instruments gave EL NA PO RO CO T TR EN IB AM NI. They would need to be unjumbled to give three more instruments, lengths 8, 8 & 7. The trouble was that they only gave 21 letters. A few minutes cogitation made me realise that the change needed to the title would provide two more.

I don’t know how lucky I was with the remaining steps, but ORGAN going into the title to give REORGANISATION was step one. I think I had been expecting ORGAN to appear in one of the grid clues. That provided the extra AL, and the first instrument I got was CLARINET. PIANO was lurking there somewhere, so how about PIANOLA? And then TROMBONE got me home and dry.

All in all a fun puzzle with a good endgame. Thanks, KevGar.

Posted in Solving Blogs | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »