Listener Crossword 3986: Solution Notes

Back to 2008 menu

Terminal Suspension by Schadenfreude

Puzzle explanation

Little Bo-Peep found her lost sheep without their tails, which were side by side, all hung on a tree to dry. Thus the tail letters of twelve sheep (ewe, ammon, sheep, ram, teg, bident, Soay, hog, lamb, argali, urial and mug) are hung on a weeping birch (which would have catkins, like “lambs’ tails”), the sheep lined up on the Downs by Little Bo-Peep.

Misprinted letters in the last six across answers — (m)algre, eme(u), Teo(s), (m)aim, wo(o) and a(n)na — spelt “musmon”, a type of sheep. Extra letters in clues spelt “body and tail in each column”. Down answers yielding “weeping birch” were: 11 wrybill, 1 name, 18 time sheet, 34 sprat, 4 griot, 29 indene, 6 gynie, 30 yah-boo, 20 Aldis lamp, 9 rimus, 32 curiae, 22 shoot-’em-up.

The relevant part of the rhyme, which could be found in books of nursery rhymes, eg, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, although not The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, was:
     It happened one day, as Bo-Peep did stray
     Into a meadow hard by,
     There she espied their tails side by side,
     All hung on a tree to dry.
Locating this was not essential for completing the puzzle.

Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

No Extra letter/
Misprint
Answer Explanation
ACROSS
11 (b)rooks RARER ARE(a) in (R + R)
12 ga(o)l UNAIMED I’M in (UNA + ED)
13 Shan(d) MONOLINGUAL MONO + (MULLIGAN – M)*
14 eas(y) BEASTIE B + EAS + TIE
16 Ar(a)gon GASPY (roundela)Y after (GAS + P)
17 S(n)ots INTEMPERANTS IN + TEMPER + ANTS
23 rule(d) SINUOSE NEUROSIS* – R
25 (t)old LETO L + (g)E(n)T + O
26 (A)melia LEMES Hidden reversed (ignoring “by”)
27 S(i)mile BELDAM BEAM about LD
28 cu(l)t BASICITY BASI(c) + CITY
31 ru(i)ns RUT R + UTE – E (Sheila suggesting Australian)
35 M: (S)ALGRE MALGRE MAL + GRE(w)
36 U: EME(R) EMEU EM + E + U
37 S: TEO(H) TEOS T + EO + (thi)S; see entry for “Teian”, this proper name is quite difficult to track down and its appearance in Chambers is somewhat unexpected
38 M: (M)AIM MAIM MIAMI < – I
39 O: WO(E) WOO WOOD – D
40 N: A(E)NA ANNA ANN + A
DOWN
1   NAME MAN < + E
2 Year(n) PROA A after PRO
3 ch(e)ap MENSE MEN + (E after S)
4   GRIOT G + RIOT
5 se(a)t TULIP ((gir)L + I) in PUT <
6   GYNIE (GUY – U + IE) about N
7 On(c)e GANGREL GANG + RE + L
8 (h)all BIGA BIG + A
9   RIMUS RIM + U + S
10 (c)rushed LEAPT PETAL*
11   WRYBILL W + RY + BILL
15 b(o)ard’s ENSEAM MEN* about homophone (SEE)
18   TIME SHEET SHEET after EMIT <
19 pear(l) MUSCATEL L after (MU’S + CATE)
20   ALDIS LAMP DIAL’S* + LAM + P
21 B(u)y NEAR GALE NEAR + G + ALE; reference strong SE wind
22   SHOOT-’EM-UP SOME HOT* + UP
24 (m)ess SETS SET + S
29   INDENE IN + DENE
30   YAH-BOO YAHOO about B
32   CURIAE ACQUIRE* – Q; plural supported by etymology in Chambers and entry in Collins
33 Me(n) MEWL ME + W(il)L
34   SPRAT S(poken) + PRAT
Back to 2008 menu