Re(3): Listener 4348: Quads by Shark IP: 184.108.40.206 Posted on June 20, 2015 at 12:58:27 PM by Andy Stewart
The grid is a brilliant piece of engineering, putting Shark in the elite company of Kea and others who manage to perform magical tricks with grids (I note KEA is hidden in the penultimate row of the grid).
Like Robert it took me a lot longer to get the right interpretations of the second instruction and the message from unpaired clues, and that was only after considering the few options for 1a.
Yes, Robert, I noticed what the 36th character was, and appreciated the joke.
I share John's delight in smooth surfaces, so for me this was a significant, if excusable, weakness of the puzzle, since many clues lacked any plausible surface. Complex messages sometimes come at a price.