EV 1545 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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EV 1545



Setter’s Blog

Thematic entries are from Cautionary Tales by HILAIRE BELLOC in which HENRY KING chewed STRING, MATILDA told LIES, REBECCA slammed DOORS, ALGERNON fired GUN and GEORGE burst BALLOON.

(A SETTER’S BLOG) after Hilaire Belloc

Now Gaston thought that this EV

Would be the last of his he’d see.

It seemed the Sunday Telegraph

Had sadly penned this epitaph:

‘This puzzle’s gone into decline

Because it will not work on-line.

Rubbers, pens or coloured pencils?

Not computer-age utensils!

Extensive research has now shown

That we do puzzles on the phone.

Why pander to a tiny clique

Whose entries dwindle week by week?

The EV’s there for old buffoons

To fill their Sunday afternoons.

(Instead of watching trash on telly

That turns their liquid brains to jelly).’

But when we thought the die was cast

And heard the puzzle’d breathed its last,

EV’s string on Crossword Forum

Showed the numbers that adored ’em.

‘It’s not about the prize’ they plead.

‘We’ve all got pens – more than we need!

EV’s a challenge that we treasure;

And better still it gives us pleasure.

Some weeks we crack it, some we don’t;

Sometimes the penny drops – or won’t.

It doesn’t matter. Not one bit.

All we want’s the chance to pit

Our brain against the unknown foe,

(With Chambers, Mrs B in tow).’

Emails pinged and letters posted;

Setters and their solvers roasted

By those who’d torn their world apart.

They begged them for a change of heart.

All seemed fruitless; EVs were dead –

‘They’re just too difficult’ they said.

The death knell tolled; last straws were clutched –

Then somewhere someone’s nerve was touched!

And much to everyone’s surprise

The ST made a compromise!

The EV would survive in print!

A victory? Yes, but there’s a hint

That once the ST goes on-line

Unless some techie can design

An EV in some modern style,

It would be curtains – but meanwhile

The EV lives! Or should I say

It lives to fight another day…….

It was too tempting not to write a blog in the Hilaire Belloc style. I hope you enjoyed both the puzzle and the poem.

Gaston 10/6/22


A full review of this puzzle can be seen over on fifteensquared.


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