“Double Shuffling and Dealing”

I found this week’s Listener puzzle particularly difficult. I started Friday afternoon, and although it was competing for my attention with a few other things, I must have given it a good hour or more before going to bed that night, by which time I had solved exactly one clue. By lunch the next day I had solved two more.

Still, I chipped away at it, and by the end of the day Sunday I had the upper left corner of the grid filled in. Each answer contributes one letter to a Shakespearean quotation, and I had enough letters at this point to make a good guess at two consecutive words of the quote, at which point I was able to find it easily (doesn’t everyone have a Shakespeare concordance on their cell phone?). The quote then gave me a general idea as to what was going on with some of the clues that hadn’t been making sense.

This morning I finished the puzzle on the way to work, except that I haven’t rearranged 15 letters to form a second quotation. But you don’t need that to finish the grid, you only need to find and highlight in the grid the name of the second playwright, and I’ve done that. So I’m really to submit my entry whether or not I figure out the phrase.

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