Listener Crossword 4619 Artistic Licence By Serpent

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upsetter | 17:53 Fri 07th Aug 2020 | Crosswords
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Another reasonably gentle work out, perhaps too many easy clues but fun all the same.

Thanks, Serpent.


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A nice diversion for a sunny afternoon - not a pushover, but not too taxing.

Perhaps this week I'll skip on the re-reading of the source material ...

Thanks Serpent
I found the clues in the NE corner hard. I'm a fan of Serpent from his Indy puzzles; so when a couple of clues looked like the kind of thing you get from the Guardian's sloppiest (or most innovative, if you prefer) setters, I looked for lexicographical support and confirmed that Serpent was, of course, playing fair. 27 across was a good example of this, much as I dislike the current trend for turning nouns into verbs.

The endgame didn't amount to much but I'm not complaining because (a) I like endgames I can do and (b) an in-depth treatment would bring back nasty memories of trying to understand the subject matter and failing miserably.
An enjoyable puzzle that was lot easier than expected since we had an easy ride last week. I found the trickiest clues were to entries on the right-hand side, so that took longer to fill. On the whole the extra letters weren't hard to discern.
Yes, an enjoyable puzzle. I too struggled with a few clues, particularly in the NE corner and I still haven’t parsed all of them satisfactorily. I agree that the extra letters weren’t too difficult to spot on the whole, though I did err with one which gave me a name that looked promising and had me looking for the wrong source.

I am a fan of Serpent’s cluing which is often innovative. I have a good read through the surface readings when I have finished, which are always excellent. (Did you know, btw, that when we read cryptic clues the way we have taught ourselves to read them. i.e. ignoring what the surface is saying, that we impair our ability to recognise faces and to taste red wine!)
Not sure if you're kidding or not, Nick, but I'm hopeless at remembering faces. I always have been. No problems with wine though!

I realise on rereading my earlier post that perhaps I was a little dismissive about the endgame. There's not a lot for solvers to do, but I can appreciate how difficult it must be to create a grid where changing entries results in real words. Credit to Serpent for that.
Not kidding, Hagen, it was in a science mag a few years ago. It seems that we teach ourselves to suppress a part of the brain that would enable us to read normally, but that suppression isn’t as selective as we might wish. It isn't permanent, but they did find that people who had just been solving cryptic clues fared less well at identifying someone from a line-up.
Thanks, Nick. If I'm ever arrested and put in an ID parade, I'll hope that the person identifying me is a keen and proficient crossword solver!
I found the article in case anyone is interested.

I agree about the real words in Serpent's final grid, something I always appreciate.
I’m a passionate fan of the source, for the record. Read it cover to cover as a rather pretentious 16-year old - just because - and was mesmerised by the language and invention. If anyone needs convincing I would commend the closing pages, and especially the closing sentence of chapter 2
I didn’t recognise my own son once. He was 20-something and walking up the drive with his wife. I thought they were delivering leaflets or something.
If it’s any consolation, Clover Jo, I once spent nearly a minute sidestepping my own reflection in a large mirror in a restaurant in Paris!
Back to the puzzle.....
A pretty decent work out, though slightly stretching the language in some of the clues. But the endgame surely relies, once again, on the internet.
Philoctetes, I thought that too. Did wonder if comment might be in ODQ, but it doesn't seem to be. Even if you realised what the theme was, finding a reference book to confirm one of the names would not be easy, especially while your local libraries may still be closed.
Yes, another one which relies on the internet to find the quotation, but maybe that battle should be conceded. Like others I struggled for some time with the NE quadrant but eventually saw the light.
By the bye the prize distribution is a bit weird. On checking I find I won 3 prizes in the early '80s but none since 1985 despite submitting about 800 correct solutions. Maybe I should put a stamp on the envelope (only joking). Perhaps next week...
I really enjoyed this, and the exact substitutions at the end made me smile Agree with the positive comments about the clues. Thanks, Serpent (from someone who genuinely liked the thematic material).

Hope everyone here is well.

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