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Listener Crossword 4608 Keep Your Distance By Pandiculator

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perseverer | 15:48 Sat 23rd May 2020 | Crosswords
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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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:-) I want people to get enjoyment from crosswords; no-one is unworthy of any puzzle (including the Listener crossword), and no-one should be scared of giving any puzzle a go. What I'm suggesting, though, is that if someone tries a particular puzzle and repeatedly finds that they need a lot of help to make any sort of progress at all, then it seems to me that they should be looking for something that more closely matches their current ability. A challenge that is at, or just beyond, the top end of one's range will generally offer both entertainment and the opportunity to develop one's skills.
I agree with you, Spoffy.

I cut my teeth on the Independent magazine crossword all those years ago plus the Azed puzzles before I had the necessary armoury to attempt the Listener. I too would advise those who find they need regular help with the Listener puzzle to become familiar with the easier puzzles first -- they will then derive more enjoyment from solving a Listener unaided.
I can recall my first attempts at Listeners, some 50 years ago (eheu fugaces, Postume!): my elation at solving one clue, then one most weeks; then a few. And so on. And then, a few years later, I completed one. Eventually, in the much more recent past, I completed a numerical; and, eventually, actually won a prize on a numerical. Where can I go on from there? But my point is that there is more than one way to progress. I felt from the start this was a challenge for me to face. I was ready and I did it. Never be put off - just keep trying and it will come.
The flaw in this argument is that online help wasn't readily available when we started the journey from Azed to The Listener (or anagram solvers, for that matter) so we had no alternative but to wait for the solution to be printed and to keep trying.
Help given online can improve your success rate rapidly - and it's always better to get the answer for the right reasons rather than just 'dial-up' an answer that fits the gap.
Things are rather different now
I do like these puzzles where there's a hidden message or instructions to be deciphered in the end game. My problem came in that I'd made an error with the "p" clue such that I'd made p the mean of r and t, which is NOT what the clue requires! I was still able to reach the inevitable end position, with H and * remaining, but none of the possible values led to anything but gibberish when I tried to decode the digit pairs. Once I'd backtracked and found my error, I was relieved to arrive at a solvable end game, and enjoy the outcome. Thanks, Pandiculator, and congratulation on a well constructed puzzle.

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