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Posts Tagged ‘Rupert Brooke’

Chat by Aedites

Posted by shirleycurran on 6 Mar 2020

Having completely overlooked the fact that this is a leap year and that there are two more Saturdays to come, I miserably downloaded this crossword expecting a  numerical. The grumpy numpty was downstairs watching the snooker having announced “I am not going to do a numerical!”

Imagine my joy when Aedites’ name appeared and the preamble clearly wasn’t numerical except for telling us that a ‘number’ of cells contain a clash between the across and down entry. A smiling numpty appeared and we began a high-speed solve since Aedites’ clues are generous and even the misprints were sometimes evident. COATI, for example, had to be the solution for ‘Cover heart of agile animal that walks on base of root (5)’ – COAT + (ag)I(le) – “It has to be base of foot” I said and, to our amazement, Chambers confirmed that a coati is a plantigrade mammal – one that walks on the base of its foot. (Please, someone, tell me how non-plantigrade’ animals walk!)

‘Person with ferry beheaded donor (8)’ We mused about the surface-reading of that one. Were we in MacBrayne’s territory with the ferry owner somehow able to decapitate one of his passengers? By the time we reached this clue, we had worked out that we were being instructed to ENTER DIFFERENCES ROMAN NUMERAL, so we knew that we needed to produce a D with the corrected misprint. ‘Derry’ Chambers tells me, is a ‘feeling of dislike or resentment’. Well, that improved the surface reading (prompting us to go around beheadig those we dislike or resent – hmmm!)

It was you, rather than a ‘yob’ in ‘We hear you introducing fizzy drink for good digestion (7)’. We opted for EU + PEPSY and decided that that ‘fizzy drink’ could just about qualify Aedites for the Listener Setters’ Oenophile Outfit. Cheers, Aedites.

Here comes an admission. Take a look at this page from Dave Hennings’ Crossword Database and you will see that in May 2012 the Rasputin team that’s Artix, Ilver and Chalicea – this Numpty) set a circular Listener crossword in the form of a clock on the subject of Rupert Brooke’s poem, ‘The Old Vicarage at Grantchester‘. Ours had RUPERT BROOKE at TWO FIFTY (ten to three). As we solved Aedites’ Chat (obviously not gossip or a cat, so it was going to be about tea) the RUPERT quickly appeared in the leading diagonal ,so did we instantly spot the theme. Oh dear no. As the Listener arrived on my Mac, so did an email from The Oldie announing that it is the hundredth anniversary of RUPERT BEAR. We spent ages attempting to make NUTWOOD have 12 letters and looking for a couple of extra letters for the bear. Doh!

Thank you Aedites for an enjoyable puzzle.

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Listener 4343: Bear, Bear, Bearing by Chalicea

Posted by Jaguar on 15 May 2015

“Hope you are willing to blog next week as I won’t be able to.”

So it is that Shirley lets me know that this week she has her setters’ hat on as Chalicea makes her third appearance in the Listener series. I guest-blogged the first, way back in 2013 and all about Anmer, the famous horse who struggled to win a race that one time because some woman got in the way apparently; and last year saw her produce a map of France. That one held me up rather, with the grid being a Carte Blanche, not rectangular and a sneaky little single-cell at the top that held me up for a while. And of course she’s a regular in the EV and Magpie series as well, so I’ve run into her puzzles fairly often. Generally not too difficult but with some fun packed into the grid as an expected but always welcome reward. Oh, and I’ve had such a tiring week (first time for everything!) that I was half-hoping for a Listener that wouldn’t keep me too occupied. So, on with the puzzle!

After an almost 8.00p.m.  finish at the office my attempts on Friday to get going didn’t really go too far. Indeed, for a while I was staring at clues and making very little out of them. Or, at any rate, not being able to work out the answer to reasonably obvious wordplays. Clearly anagrams at 30ac and 41ac, for example, but ALBUMEN didn’t find its way into the grid until Saturday, and DON’T SAY was about the last entry I fit into the grid (maybe last but one). Also I figured that 45 was probably a hidden word but “hérissé” I’ve not heard of before so that would have to wait as well. An inauspicious start, anyway, but a start all the same and I didn’t look at for much more than half an hour before calling it an evening.

So, roll on Saturday. The Today Programme on the radio, talking about the 100th Anniversary of Gallipoli, and so thoughts turn towards the Great War and other 1915 anniversaries. Including the death of Rupert Brooke just a day or so previously, whose name adorns a list of the dead Fellows of King’s College, Cambridge, in a small room on the south side of the chapel. His involvement in Gallipoli was not extensive, dying of malaria before even arriving. Perhaps he was the lucky one, and he is buried famously in an olive grove on the Greek island of Skyros: “some corner of a foreign field that is forever England”, in his own words of that famous poem.

A quick look back at the partial grid, with FAUTEUILS (Fau(st) + util[i]se*) at 2dn, and IZARD ((w)izard[r](y)) at 7, and the two unclued entries on the top read “F?????? ?I???”. Foreign field fits in just perfectly, and there’s the theme sussed nice and early. A quick scan of the title suggests “Rupert” the Bear, “Brook” (bear [vb]), + E (bearing East), just to confirm. As a final check, a quick scan of the partially-filled south-west corner of the grid reveals several letters that could spell out “for/eve/ren/gland”, clearly no coincidence.*

An hour later, and a tour through the grid from bottom-left, through to top-right, before finishing in the corner with the tricky-ish DYAD (not D[a]y + ?? but (Day + [e]d)< ), and then it’s off to grab the highlighter to pick out “A RICHER DUST”, along with the more obvious BROOKE running down the middle. All in all you could count 52/169 cells, or just shy of 31% of the grid, as thematically fixed, so another typical Chalicea grid with plenty packed in to a small space.

With no Shirley  blog this week, I suppose it’s up to me to check whether Chalicea has “confirmed her membership of the Listener setters’ oenophile club”. Apparently not, and if anything she’s trying to stop all this drinking nonsense! 4dn “Limit supply of alcoholic drink in desert”; and 31ac “Taproom, before noon, providing no sustenance”. Take note, future setters, as oenophiles will be frowned upon!


Epilogue: A glance back through past war-themed Listeners reveals that I’d predicted this theme about ten months ago. Is this a record for the earliest PDM for a Listener puzzle… ?

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