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Listener 4484 Quiet Guests By Schadenfreude

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Hagen | 00:13 Sat 06th Jan 2018 | Crosswords
23 Answers
An absolutely first-rate puzzle to start the year. I felt smug having got the basis of the theme from the first "crowded cell" I came across along with the title, but then there was the small matter of solving the clues to be dealt with. And what clues!

They were tough but fair, giving the feeling that enlightenment was just round the corner and nary a trace of slog. Excellent surface readings too. Pure joy when the instruction for replacement revealed itself to show why only some thematic material had been included.

A testament to why Schadenfreude is rightly considered to be one of the best in the business.

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I'm crawling through the grid - now just over half done.

As you say,Hagen, it's one thing knowing what's going on and quite another to tease out the answers - but it's not a slog - full of excellent clues and tricky meanings.

A classic Schadenfreude I think.
And finished - excellent - thanks Schadenfreude.
Hagen, I couldn't agree more - what a superb start to the new year of Listener puzzles. And the precision in the clues is astounding - very satisfying. My thanks to Schadenfreude.
That's the thing about Schadenfreude, you never know what to expect, but you always know what you will get - a superbly crafted puzzle of the highest order. Always tough, but never less than fair. An excellent start to the year. My thanks to the setter.
Excellent throughout. I managed two of the crowded cells before the PDM, and I enjoyed the unexpected criterion for the selection.
I'm sorely tempted to make this my first and last Listener of 2018, as I can't imagine a better crafted puzzle than this one. Classic Schadenfreude. Bravo!
Excellent puzzle indeed. Richly textured.
Great puzzle. Very slow start, followed by a first pdm that I thought would let me make rapid progress, but it was not to be. Instead, a long solve taking in some tricky clues and lots of interesting words. Difficult and fun. Thanks Schadenfreude - I have spent many hours swearing quietly at you today, but in a good-natured way.
I share the enthusiasm for the puzzle. My progress seems to have been identical to that of Olichant. I spent ages getting the last three clues, and might have taken even longer if I hadn't been guided by one word in the hidden message.
Yes, an excellent challenge as to be expected from Schad...

I think my only moan is that the theme is rather long in the tooth and I was slightly disappointed in this after such an interesting title.

It did occur to me, based on the final instruction, whether a British version was originally considered, which would have been more appropriate!

Anyway, many thanks to the setter who continues to provide top-class puzzles.
What a fine start to the year. As Hagen did, I twigged the theme from the first crowded cell but have taken a few sessions over the past 24 hours to complete the rest of the grid. I've often given up on such challenges recently but felt duty bound to persevere here as Schadenfreude has so often figured as my Nemesis in the past. With a glow of achievement I send my thanks to him.
A fine puzzle indeed, but members of the Crossword Club might be tempted to disagree that with Schadenfreude you never know what to expect. Like others, I struck lucky with my first crowded cell and the title, but then I thought, 'Hang on, he's done this before'. If you want 'a British version', emcee, just get hold of a copy of 'Line'.

Mind you, I had to complete this puzzle to get the PDM for the rationale of the substitutions - a very satisfying revelation which eliminated any doubts about the double duty - and the clues were indeed excellent. So, do I cavil? Being Happy, I do not.
Fine cluing and enjoying a slow pace with the NW corner still largely empty but the theme and message clear. Some tough answers especially with the unpredictable location of the crowded cells. A class act
I was curious how difficult UK solvers would find this puzzle. Some of the themed items are a bit esoteric, and unless you first hit one the better-known elements of the set, you might not recognize it. I'm happy to see that your experiences were identical to mine: Oh, the theme is easy--but oh, these are still Schadenfreude clues.
Would that I wore a hat.

Attired thus, I would doff it in in the general direction of Schadenfreude. This was excellent work by the setter.
Just out of curiosity, do we have the opposite of the soi disant Z cup?

Really nice to see so much enthusiasm here.
Happy New Year to all. Tough, pleasing puzzle and I endorse much of the above, especially finding that cracking the theme early did not significantly simplify the task. In fact, overall slightly harder than the normal Schadenfreude perhaps.
Only 17 answers to possibly the best Listener New Year opener I can recall. Not all that long ago we had more than a hundred posts on many occasions. This forum seems to be going the way of the crosswordcentre's bulleting board.
Yes, a fine puzzle, which took me a long time to finish, despite spotting the theme from the title at the outset. The only thing which nags me is exactly why this particular subset was used, even if it makes for a neat puzzle. Thanks, Schadenfreude!
icynorth, my earlier post alluded to this. It would have made more sense if the subset was of the British kind!

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