Derek Harrison's Crossword Message Board

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Re(4): Listener 4434 Addresses by KevGar - Ambiguities

I also enjoyed solving the clues and getting the theme, but, like Steve, I thought the ambiguities in the highlighting a weakness. My first choice of DEIL was the one identified by Steve. Then I saw several HAGGISes and wasn't sure which was intended. It was only when I noticed that the other items were in straight lines that I looked for a straight DEIL, but as Steve says, it had the disadvantage of sharing a cell with UNCO GUID. I spent some time agonizing over the setters's intention. Linearity is not a Listener highlighting requirement, so I don't see that as good basis for resolving the ambiguities. I did come up with two observations to justify my final choice of straight lines, though I think they were accidental rather than intentional. Firstly, the letters at right angles to, or in line with the straight-line choices could be arranged to forrm BURNS. Also, the linear choices all cross AULD LANG SYNE.

Neither of these is a particularly convincing reason, so I think to count Steve's choice for DEIL as wrong would be arbitrary and harsh. Can anyone give me a convincing explanation why Steve's DEIL is demonstrably wrong?


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