Re(5): Listener No. 4388: Cycle 20% More by Smudge IP: 184.108.40.206 Posted on March 27, 2016 at 09:12:24 AM by Andy Stewart
Much the same experience as the above solvers. After about four hours I had seven clues solved, all but one being across. I agree with John that some of the clues were near impenetrable, especially those with very oblique definitions. After further slog I began to suspect the method of entry of the downs, and made better progress thereafter.
I enjoyed it in the end and did manage to unravel all the clue gimmicks, but it was a hard-fought battle that I wouldn't want to be engage in again for a very long time, and I suspect that many solvers will have given up early on because of the struggle to get anything in the grid. I almost fell at the last hurdle because I couldn't find Lorne in my edition of Bradford's, nor by searching 'sausage' in my computer version of Chambers (admittedly an old edition). I eventually saw it in a very long Wikipedia list, though I'm not sure that Lorne on it's own denotes the sausage.
I agree with Russ that many of the clue surfaces were very shaky, so the clues themselves didn't give a lot of pleasure, even if the theme and the thematic endgame did. Replies: