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Crossword Help Forum
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10th January 2013, 18:06
As a new solver of these crosswords, without the encouragement of Leon, Uncle w and others, I would have thought "This is too difficult - I can't be bothered". This puzzle surely must recruit new solvers like me and not just rely on the "old guard" or it will become elite. I think this Crossword Forum is fine the way it is and it a shame that others have criticised what the site has been set to to provide - i.e. crossword HELP. There are surely more important things in life than worrying whether a few Listener answers are being given here!
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10th January 2013, 18:29
I'm an avid puzzler.

Seriously, any help given here usually means that the puzzler has a good grasp on the puzzle and perhaps needs a "nudge".

No-one without a grasp on cryptic, whatever help they may be given can hope to complete any of the themed puzzles, Listener included.

I know The Listener is held dear to some, and it is a competition over the whole year, but that makes it more OK the help out. I'd guess that no-one asking here for help is "elite" enough to have entered every puzzle.

Most asking for help are absolutely delighted to be "half way there".

I don't think helping is doing any harm at all. That's just my opinion, though.
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10th January 2013, 19:17
My view is that if someone gets a little help - or sees a little bit of chat/discussion - it will encourage them to persevere with these difficult puzzles. When I first attempted the Spectator puzzle, I seldom got more than halfway - if I got help with two (or v occasionally) three answers, I'd manage to finish it off. The Listener IS a tricky crossword, but there seems little support to encourage people to keep trying - at times I feel Listener solvers have their own little club and don't want any new members!
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10th January 2013, 19:28

How are we to learn if no-one is prepared to teach?

The Listener will become somewhat defunct if it doesn't attract new people.

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11th January 2013, 09:25
I, for one, am sorry if I have hurt any feelings.

Getting new people doing these crosswords is a great thing, and nudging people in the right direction and giving hints seems a great way of doing it. I think it just goes a bit far when huge spoilers are posted unnecessarily. The whole point of these crosswords is the fun of working out the theme, which the setter has done his or her best to conceal sneakily. It's possible to phrase requests for help without giving away everything in one fell swoop - it's a bit like posting the "twist" in a film which others might not have seen yet.

Aside from that, it can only be a positive thing that people are getting stuck into these crosswords - they are often brilliant, and worth the effort that goes into creating and solving them.

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11th January 2013, 10:43
I meant to add - for anyone getting stuck into the Listener, it's well worth having a look at the Listen With Others blog ( and George versus the Listener (
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11th January 2013, 17:28
Giving people answers isn't teaching.
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