EV 1637 (Setter’s Blog) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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EV 1637 (Setter’s Blog)


Question by Stick Insect

Setter’s Blog


Correct letters in clues give DEAR OLD LENNY, THE GREAT ELMYRA AND SANCHO PANZA from the song No More Heroes by The Stranglers; MORE HEROES is removed from the grid.


Setter’s Blog

At some point last year, I heard No More Heroes playing and it occurred to me that I had no idea who The Great Elmyra was.  So, 40-plus years late, I looked it up.  (Admittedly, doing it back then would have involved a trip to the library, and then trying to find a suitable reference, so I had some excuse).  I was then surprised to find that Dear Old Lenin, which I’d thought was the lyric, was in fact Dear Old Lenny.  And the germ of a crossword idea was born.

I suspected that I wasn’t the only one to have made that mistake, so spelling out the names as a message would hopefully not be too obvious early on, giving a decent challenge.  Once identified, those three names should easily lead to the theme.  And having No in the title gave an obvious final step of removing More Heroes.

From there, it was a question of creating a grid with More Heroes on a diagonal, so as to not be too obvious, and that would allow real words to be left.  I went through nine attempts, at first trying to also include Trotsky or ice-pick: that proved to be too constraining and resulted in the average word length being too low.  Eventually, I decided that element was unnecessary and a suitable grid emerged.

Thanks to the editor for improvements made and to those who’ve taken the trouble to feedback.






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








1 comment on “EV 1637 (Setter’s Blog)
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  1. Dear Old Lenin? Me too Guv. Held me up a good half hour but after digging out the CD and listening carefully […dear old Lenneh…] the light went on. The crossword was great fun and a good excuse to revisit their music.

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