Care of Walled Animals

[Castle Carfax. A thick mist roils above the moat. A solitary window in the pinnacle of the highest, 21A-covered, tower glows with candlelight. Within, the castle’s master summons his ramshackle henchman…]

Igor! IGOR! Ah, there you are. What kept you?

Thorry, thir. I wath converthing with the village’th patiththier.

Ah, yes. Ordering crumpets for tomorrow’s breakfast, I trust. He is a masterful exponent of the art. Truly a baker’s 18D. Now, tell me, how did the experimental brain do with tonight’s crossword?

Thlow, marthter, but thuctheththful in the end.

Show me the results… Ah, yes, generally good. Some hesitation on 17A and 15D, but otherwise mostly smooth. One thing, though…


Yes, 1 across… That simply wasn’t true. Well, not at weekends, anyway. Still, he seemed to enjoy it most of the time, and he did forgive me eventually. And now, I wish for a time of solitude before bed. Kindly get me a glass of sherry for a nightcap, and then leave me.

Yeth, marthter. I’ll fetch the cathk of 9A from the thellars…

[We leave the mismatched pair to their various and nefarious pleasures, and depart the dread mountain with a sense of relief for another night.]

Crossword: 14226