Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, your home for scraping through the year – I hope you all made it through Morbid March unscathed.
A second go-around with Spud – the last Spud puzzle from a few years ago was a flattened Rubik’s cube that I could not solve (I’ve tagged it at the bottom), so I was a little nervous going in to this one. What do we have – an invitation, free choice, extra letters in wordplay.
Free choice eh? Invitation you say?
This couldn’t be a crossword about the introduction of same-sex marriage in the UK could it? I knew it was coming up that week – here it’s a strange situation where it is state by state, so my co-worker across the hall is married in California, has a federally-recognized marriage, but in North Carolina can’t file taxes jointly with her wife. I’m the most confirmed of confirmed bachelors – I think all marriage is pretty silly, but I guess if people want to do a silly ceremony, go right ahead. OK – enough pontificating, there’s a crossword to solve!
Looks like all real words in the grid, and there is a 1 across… it’s ACRE, but is it A,CREW minus W or A,CORE minus O? Half-pass on the 1 across test. Fortunately next up is RA,BRA,A,VIS – so I think the O is looking better than W for the message.
FLEWED and INGANS confirmed that we’re at a wedding… MACADAMIA means we’ve got an ADAM at the wedding… if there’s a STEVE nearby I’m going to scream… yep…
This was not too tricky of a grid-fill, but I’ll admit I made pretty heavy use of the “let’s search letter patterns on word wizards and reverse engineer the wordplay” approach, since I’d picked up the theme. WEDDING PLEASE JOIN ADAM AND STEVE fits the 33 cells. The extra letters tell me to OBSERVE PRIME NUMBERED CLUES FIRST WORDS which are the clues that do not have extra letter contain a kind of pidgin English instruction that we write the names of those not highligted as guests… so if you picked ADAM and STEVE, then ADA and EVE are the guests, if you picked ADAM and EVE then ADA and STEVE are guests and if you picked ADA and EVE then ADAM and STEVE come along. Isn’t that pigeonholing, that the gay friends would go to the lesbian wedding and the straight friends would go to the straight wedding?
My working grid was printed on the back of a New York Times crossword so it looks a little weird. I’ve just checked the answer online, and it appears I’ve got this one, and the winners, James, Peter and Gordon, may all kiss the groom.
I just realized I may have sounded a little negative – this was a fun crossword, and a theme that may be surprising to a few solvers. Since I’d sussed the theme early I was in “get it done” mode, and I had a lot more luck with it than the last Spud Listener so woohoos all round! Victory to George and people silly enough to marry (in England and Wales). And I believe the all-correct is intact!
2014 tally: lucky 13-0-0
Feel free to propose, and see you next week when Kevgar wishes someone happy birthday, and a mystery solver makes an unexpected appearance in George vs the Listener Crossword.