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Listener 4694 Follow The Directions Again By Artix.

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Hagen | 22:20 Fri 14th Jan 2022 | Crosswords
13 Answers
A brilliantly devised trap for the unwary, into which of course I fell. I was expecting to finish this in almost record time until I got to the last stage when, despite having considered the main element needed to complete the puzzle, I discounted it because I was following the instructions in the wrong context. I won't begrudge the hour or so I spent vainly looking at lists of titles online because the cleverness of Artix's neat use of wording in implementing the theme is so impressive.

I find letter counting a bore, but here the message almost wrote itself after getting half of it so fair dos. Great puzzle and well played, Artix.

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So I'm confused by what exactly we're supposed to send in for this puzzle. Even before getting any clues, the instructions are "Fill the empty space with the related title. . . ." and it is clear that this instruction is to be done twice. There are three ways to interpret this. The second time the instruction is performed. . .

1. there is no longer empty space, so you don't do anything
2. you fill the squares with the new letters, erasing the first.
3. you fill the squares with the new letters, leaving the first letters there, too.

I truly have no idea which of these are expected in the mailed-in solution.
fyellin, as your original post appears to be blocked and you're unlikely to get an answer here, all I can say is that there is a 4th interpretation that you haven't considered and if you ask your question again (on a new thread) I will provide it.
Another slightly bizarre thematic ramble, but a very clever one indeed, with much to admire in clues and grid - thanks Artix.

A shame about that tedious step of counting letters in clues - it interrupted the nice gentle pace of this one, but it did mean we had some lovely difficult unmangled clues - I'd almost forgotten how to do them!
Brilliant. A fabulous puzzle from one of my favourite setters. Really enjoyed it.
My goodness I spent a very long time barking up a whole selection of wrong trees - but eventually the penny dropped with a resounding clank.

Thanks Artix - very nicely done
Never been so glad to hear a resounding clank in all my years.
Astonishingly beautiful.

Thanks Artix
Far too many difficult clues for me to make any inroads on this one, only managed to solve 3 clues after a good hour on it.

Congrats to those clever than me who found this quite easy.
It took me longer than it should have done to fathom the endgame, but lovely pdm when it all clicked into place. Excellent, but then Artix puzzles are always excellent.
Given the house rules regarding the Listener I feel a bit too much has been given away here.

I was pretty sure of most of what was required some way before completing the grid, though the finer points couldn't be established until the end.
Counting letters is always a bit tedious, but it didn't that long, and one letter in the message revealed an error in one of my answers, so I was very grateful for it.
Here is a setter who presents us with a varied repertoire of inventive clues, and takes care to create good surface readings.

A splendid puzzle from beginning to end.
I actually find stuff like slowly gathering letters to get an instruction quite enjoyable compared with solving the clues themselves. For example a clue where I need to find an obscure Scottish word meaning x to put inside an obscure synonym for y to yield an even more obscure synonym for z is hardly my idea of fun, just has to be done.
Thanks to all those who pointed out what a great puzzle this is. Consequently I've spent all afternoon chipping away at this particular coalface if only to find out what all the fuss is about.

The good news is that I've worked out the instruction so I understand the excitement, even if I've yet to carry it out.

The bad news is I've seldom come across such a collection of intractable clues especially on the RHS of the grid.

Oh well, back to the coalface tomorrow, my brain is hurting at the moment.
OK, I was wrong to think I understood the endgame. My initial interpretation of the amended directions seems to be a blind alley.

I came up with an alternative interpretation, initially promising, but also a dead end.

And 6dn remains a mystery. I think I have most of the letters but I can't relate them to the clue, or find an answer that fits.

All very frustrating!

All I can do is to scour the grid every which way in the hope that inspiration strikes.

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Listener 4694 Follow The Directions Again By Artix.

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