Derek Harrison's Crossword Message Board

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Re(2): Listener No. 4367: Identity Crisis by Sabre

I'm not the solver i was. (Maybe never was.) So, having cold-solved only about two thirds or so of the clues, i abandoned the puzzle. Then, at the beginning of the third week I idly played with SQUIRT, QUARTERMASTER (fairly certain that the top row was S) and THEGNS. Of the four possible positionings of SQUIRT, one gave, on the third row xxxxxxxxAxxE. I tried UNFATHOMABLE, and was away - though not at a canter, more a stroll. I can't remember what it was that enabled me to google Sterne (Tristram S was a prize in 1951, my final school year), but I was able to place UNCLE TOBY and was eventually able to backtrack and solve all my unsolveables. Got my submission off with not much time to spare. A Sabre solved! A truly brilliant grid (how long did its composition take?), with the symmetry of the final five words, the double evolution of THC, very impressive. I felt my time well spent (I haven't always this year).
Two bits of trivia: Neither my iPhone nor my iPad Chambers app has an entry for ere(2), though both have ere(1). An inexplicable failing. This held me up (though I should have consulted my hard copy).
Did anyone else notice that googling four of the phrases brings up a passage from 'Pride and Prejudice', though they are not contiguous, of course, in Austen.


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