Derek Harrison's Crossword Message Board

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Re(3): (no subject)

I came to this puzzle late. What I enjoyed was the clues, as fine a set as I recall in a while (though I am not a regular solver at present); I particularly admired the disguise of the operators, and some cryptic definers. A couple of them were doubtful: JOB LOW is not the pronunciation of JOE BLOW, at least not hereabouts in Australia (or was it an '& lit' ?). And as someone who does not live in the UK, I found the clue to READY distinctly unfair, and in conflict with the Notes to Setters, which seem to be elastically treated at times. The grid construction, with its unusually large number of constraints - number of entries a multiple of three, number of unches fixed, and a third of them constrained, SEARCH AREA, jumbles of KIT WILLIAMS, AMPTHILL, etc, the acrostics, insertion of CHAL and other red herrings, with symmetry to boot - must have taken hours beyond belief. I can only admire both grid and clues. But I do not see how either of the two HAREs found in the grid - Hennings' diagonal or the veHmic/joEblow one - can be marked wrong. Both, the former lierally, are in the SEARCH AREA. The trick - for trick it is rather than treat - seems to me to be unworthy of the setter and unworthy of The Listener Crossword. it will be interesting to see how the alternate answers are marked, and how many correct solutions there are. BTW, if you had not read the book - I had not; and it is not, surely, in most home libraries - how could the endgame be attempted without the internet? We are told, again in the Notes, that no solution should depend on it.


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