# Listener Crossword 4608 Keep Your Distance By Pandiculator

perseverer | 15:48 Sat 23rd May 2020 | Crosswords
Taken me a good few hours, but with instructions still to stay at home and a howling gale outside, not a bad way to pass the time.
No need for spreadsheets, and not too much need for calculators either. Just patience, to work your way through the clues, and for me, a quck look in Wikipedia.
Thanks to Pandiculator. I'll not get up and pandiculate.

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Question Author
....... that was meant to be I'll now get up......
I read the clue to B as "o to the power X times digit sum of o, plus 1" but o to the power X gives an astronomically high number, so I am clearly misunderstanding the clue. But how else can it be interpreted? I have filled over half the grid but am held up by this problem.
Contendo, it’s o times (the digit sum of o) +1
Aha. Thanks Cloverjo. It seems to me that the x is redundant, or if included should have a space before and after, as with the + and - signs in other clues. Let battle recommence.
I'm slightly intrigued by the spirit of generosity that often prevails on this site when the numbers come out - but isn't that just a little bit hypocritical?
Enjoyable. An amusing yet unpredictable outcome from another Corona-themed title.

As with last week's puzzle I hearken back to the times of old...

Many thanks, Pandiculator.

Couldn't see how this could work out, especially with what seemed like rather a lot of redundant information in clues, but a great relief to see a message emerge and a quite unexpected endgame.
To help a novice, could someone explain: the digit product of the 3 consecutive descending digits in r to give o must either be 60 or 24 - neither of which allow L to be prime?
Question Author
Risking giving further evidence to ProfessorMaisie, the clue doesn't say consecutive .... though I can see why you might think they would be!
Very impressed how once having made a start you can steadily make one’s way through the grid. No spreadsheet needed either. Don’t see why there couldn’t have been a clue for the down starting at J though. As others say, a fun ending.
Ah, thank you; I shall persevere.
It took me a while to see the message. The first half looked like gobbledygook and I spent ages rechecking my workings.

Thanks to Pandiculator. I hadn’t seen this setter before. Is he/she new or is it a pseudonym of a previously differently named setter?
The message held me up too, but I've got there now. I don't usually attempt the mathematical ones, so I think a g & t might be in order.
Thanks for the further evidence, perseverer (although it was kind of you to answer the question).
I learned a lot from this thread when I was getting to grips with The Listener (many years ago now) so I'm not being critical, just wondering why any assistance nowadays is limited to the numbers.

Don't worry - this is, of course, a rhetorical question. I'm not expecting an answer!
ProfMaisie. I think the numericals attract a different group of people from the usual literary ones. We seem to be not so strict on giving help.

No one has given anything away though. Mostly just clarification rather than bold answers.
But the same names crop up whether it's a numerical or not, Cloverjo - I think the rules get relaxed because these puzzles are rather niche (nice of you to reply, perhaps it will catch on).
There's some kind of rule? But we see help being provided for prize puzzles all the time.
Question Author
There is no actual rule. Simply that the people who regularly contribute to the Listener thread tend to see it as a place where they can air opinions about a puzzle but not give anything specific away.
The Listener is perceived (by some anyway) as a bit different from other prize puzzles. Overall it is the most difficult of the puzzles regularly published in the newspapers, and unlike most other puzzles, all entries are opened and individual records kept. Statistics and individual records are eventually made available to anyone who sends a s.a.e. to the statistician.
There have been plenty of discussions/arguments over the years, going back at least as far as 2005 but the way it is now suits those who participate. There is another forum where direct hints and answers are given away and many who used to participate here now can be found contributing there, and if you know where to look, one individual puts his solution on line every week.
Thanks for that, perseverer. I guess the point about all entries being opened would apply to puzzles from the Magpie, the monthly prize puzzles from the Crossword Centre and the competition Azeds, but none of those amasses many posts either here or elsewhere (or receives as many entries). I think there is an issue with the Listener in that beyond the experienced solvers such as yourself its perceived cachet attracts quite a large group who - based on the questions one sees on another forum - are trying to run without the necessary pedestrian preliminaries, knowing that copious help is just a few keystrokes away. I'm all for solvers challenging themselves, but I do think that those wanting to progress from blocked puzzles would be well advised to spend some time becoming proficient at Mephisto or Azed, followed by a similar 'traineeship' with EV/IQ, which would give them the armoury to tackle a Listener of average difficulty unaided.
I'm almost tempted to apologise for having intruded, albeit unwittingly, on some sort of inner sanctum. This was my first attempt at a 'Listener' and I solved it with solely the assistance of Perseverer's note. However, to support the view that I'm entirely unworthy, I admit to being stuck on 4:down on the times2 crossword on the same page but I'm not asking for any help with it!

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