Derek Harrison's Crossword Message Board

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Re(9): Listener 4355 Shorthand Crosses by Aragon

The theme came early after solving three non-U clues, though there were many hurdles to clear before finishing. After numerous Google attempts I failed to find the complete poem, but I found the all-important opening couplet without too much trouble, and the defective sisters stood out clearly in the initially completed grid.
I agree that the clues were first-class, and the theme was very nicely developed.

One grid feature that surprised me was the amount of non-Ximenean unching. Two unches in a five-letter word is not uncommon, but I thought three in a seven-letter word was verboten. I recently spent many hours getting rid of two such examples in a grid of mine, with some loss of thematic material. Perhaps I needn't have bothered, though I tend to be more particular about grids than I used to be.


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