I have solved all the clues for this week’s Listener puzzle, “European Revolution” by Spud, and I’ve filled the grid. (I don’t completely understand the wordplay portions of 1 Down and 6 Down, and 25 Across seems to lead to two possible interpretations, but it seems clear what the grid entries have to be in all three cases.)
I’ve found the messages from the across and down clues, but have no idea how to use them. I’ve got the letters from the scrambled clues, other than being unable to resolve that ambiguity about 25A, but don’t know how to interpret them. I’ve Googled the message in the acrosses and learned something new, but not sure how or even whether to apply the subject to the puzzle.
Yikes! Now what?
Later: Yow, I have it at last. The ending is very hard but also very ingenious and funny once you find it.
Turns out I didn’t have the right word formed by the down clues, and didn’t have all the letters from the scrambled clues. Then I stumbled on a near anagram of the letters from the scrambled clues that made a certain sense with what I’d figured out about the puzzle, only it added one letter to the set I had and changed another. Then I saw that there was a third and better reading of 25A that changed that letter into one of the two I needed, and that the other letter I needed was right there to be gotten from one of the other clues but I had overlooked it. So I clearly had the right anagram.
Then I figured out how 1D and 6D worked, and corrected my interpretations of a couple of the other down clues, and the new letters I derived from those gave me a longer word out of the down clues, one that was more obviously (duh!) connected with the grid.
At that point I had two of the six elements I needed to find in the grid. It took me a while to find the other four. It’s very tricky. The introduction says 19 letters in the grid have to be changed. I kept seeing ways that I could create another element by making a small change, but there was no pattern to the changes, no justification for making them — and then all of a sudden the lightbulb went on and I saw the pattern. Sweet!