Listener 4226 Polar By Kea

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dr b | 18:43 Fri 25th Jan 2013 | Crosswords
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Not nearly as difficult as in recent weeks but very enjoyable - I may have laughed out loud when the penny dropped. Merci M. Kea.


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Yes dr b, amazingly gentle for a Kea puzzle. The grid is filling nicely but the endgame still awaits.
Yes indeed, the penny drop moment had us laughing too. This must have taken quite some putting together. Gentle for a Kea but lovely.
Wonderful grid construction but a relative stroll to fill, especially in comparison with previous Kea's - nonetheless, many thanks for the fun of it all and definitely a true Listener. Now what?
As usual, a quality puzzle by Kea but on the light(ish) side for him. For once I managed to spot the theme quite early on. Everything hangs together however I wish we were told how many words change in the final step, just as confirmation.
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I may be wrong but I think the fact that 16 clues are unaffected provides the needed confirmation - that is, if you transform either more or less than the required number, you won't have 16 unaffected.
Indeed. When did Kea cease from sometimes killing sheep? It always struck me as a rather ambitious undertaking for someone his size.
Good fun. If *I* have found the last few weeks a relatively easy ride, goodness only knows what horror is lurking round the corner.

Was there any confirmation on whether the "red" in "red herring" had to be highlighted in Two Names? I had decided that the better view was that it shouldn't be, but had a moment of self-doubt after submitting...
Yes, dr b, I've just realised how brilliant the construction is -- more so than at first appearance!
Olichant, the word 'red' highlighted was accepted , as well as the single herring, as long as both words were in red, according to the Listener site.

I'm struggling with this one. I'm sure I have 26a correct, but it doesn't fit with what I want to put in 22d. Can anyone confirm that 22d is not too unusual? My email is if you don't want to discuss it on here. Thank you.
I misunderstood the preamble, so I think my answers are correct.
Listeners by Kea can mean several days of unravelling a very clever, multilayered puzzle but, after spending ages getting the first few answers and fearing the worst, this turned out to be enjoyable and pleasantly straightforward, with a fun pdm. I liked the clue for 16a. The NE corner was the trickiest for me.
Just started but got theme and well on the way. Lower degree of psittakophobia in the AB sheep pen than usual..........
This was fun, but we still haven't had the anaerobic work-out yet this year, have we?

I was fortunate that the transformation came early.

It struck me that 18D could be interpreted differently such that it was either included in the sixteen or not. It becomes clear later, but confused me at the time.
Did half last night and left some to be polished off this morning. I got the theme really early. An amazing construction, but not so difficult to solve. I still don't understand 19d, but am quite sure my answer was correct.
Yes lovely puzzle and very good construction if somewhat on the easier side. NE corner also last for me to complete. Many thanks to Kea.

I usually do Azed, Mephistopheles and Spectator and thought I would have a proper go at the Listener this week.

Does anyone have a suggestion as to the best way to start. Should I solve answers in pencil, write them in the grid and then try and see what I need to do in terms of altering them?

for example 35 a seems an easy clue but I didn't know whether best o write things down on a blank piece of paper first.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions

If you're working on your submission copy then using pencil is always a good idea. I think most of us use a rough copy first though - as with this puzzle, alterations are often required, for example when entries clash in checked cells.

(35a is indeed easy by Listener standards, so you know that its answer will be be affected in some way)
DJA Depends whether you are working on the copy in the newpaper or not. It's best to work on a separate copy if intending to submit the more fragile newspaper grid.
Nice simple afternoon's puzzle - good job really given the nagging after-effects of Burns Night.

Some nice clues - I like 11a and 28a - very neat.
While not as difficult as some of Kea's offerings, I didn't find this as straightforward as some of you seem to have. Found the SW corner most taxing. Kea's speciality seems to be making significant changes to the initial grid fill.

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