Listener 4623 Tears By Oxymoron

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Hagen | 23:07 Fri 04th Sep 2020 | Crosswords
11 Answers
Rather surprised to find an Oxymoron puzzle in the Listener. Wasn't that the pseudonym the late, great John Harrington used for Enigmatic Variations, while his Listener and Inquisitor puzzles were set as Schadenfreude?

Still, what's in a name? This is a beautiful puzzle and I enjoyed every minute, from the slow start struggling with tough clues, then getting the brilliant PDM, and finally putting in the clear and unambiguous final touch. It certainly has the hallmarks of a JH puzzle, and one can't give higher praise than that.


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I wondered if the puzzle was passed on to the Listener editors when it looked as though EV was ending.

The crowded cells certainly are typical of Schadenfreude's puzzles (I don't think I've ever tackled an Oxymoron before).

I found it fairly easy to get around three-quarters of the grid filled, but I needed the theme to complete the rest.

Very enjoyable. I think I've seen the theme done before, but a long time ago, so it was well worth revisiting.
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You're probably right that the puzzle was passed on from the EV, Scorpius. Perhaps the editors decided that since it had been set as Oxymoron, that's how it should be published. Fair enough. The crowded cells are certainly a JH trademark, as are the tough but scrupulously fair clues. And like you, I found the grid fill much easier once I had the theme to work with. It took me a while to work out the title!
I wasn't familiar with the theme at all, so it's a good job the reference to the ODQ was made as from subsequently looking online there appear to be some significantly differing versions (plus my much-thumbed copy enabled me to identify the theme 'the old way' for a change!). A delightful puzzle.
I'm feeling lost as my paper hasn't been delivered today. Would some kind soul be able to email me the puzzle? [email protected]
That was a blast from the past - memories of my prep school days.

Some very well hidden thematic material.

Thanks, Oxymoron.

@pushmi-pullyu - grid sent
Huge shout out to Hagen and markxl for sending me the grid. Now to get stuck in.
Gosh that was fun!
About two-thirds through the grid fill but no idea of the theme. Only two thematic words completed and no obvious connections...
I envy you folk who complete Listener week after week!
Excellent. It certainly had the 'feel' of a Schadenfreude puzzle: tough but fair clues throughout.

Many thanks, Oxymoron.
@Lewap - there is another site where the puzzle is discussed and hints are sought and offered.
Whilst people are discouraged from giving actual solutions they sometimes slip through - so beware.

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Listener 4623 Tears By Oxymoron

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