Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, and I forgot to scan my grid again, so you’re stuck with the wordy things I’m afraid. What a week – after getting all smug about finishing in double quick time last week the setter pops in to bring me down to Earth – wheeeeee, thud! So two bumphs in a row and this all-correct thing is looking harder and harder.
If you’re a reader of Times for the Times you know I made a similar bonehead blunder on the weekly Times. I’m getting so bad at this solving thing I’d better become a setter (hmm).
So what stands in the way of further mediocrity this week? ‘Eck! Who appears to be a new setter or a newdonym, and I believe only the second setter to incorporate an apostrophe in the name, after The Tall’n. So hi ‘Eck if you’re looking in.
Roundy grid time! It pops up a few times a year, and this one uses the usual “half-in, half-out” approach (ooer). Misprints and jumblies, oh my!
I guess the only thing to do is solve it, right?
There is a 1 in or out, and I see through this one pretty quickly, it’s TO,PHAT and we are away with a misprint L (definition). A first scan through the clues, and I was spotting misprinted definitions easily, misprinted wordplay not so much. Hmmm… though it was one of the spotted wordplays that got me going, with kilo for kilt, and TOPHAT and INKPOT giving me my first clash as well!
Bit of solving, bit of entry… one of the frustrating things about the ring grid is you don’t seem to be able to build up interlocking parts well, so it’s like Trivial Pursuit – I’ve got a wedge here, a wedge there and they rarely join up. The ring clues weren’t giving me much hope – my first guess at G was RESIDENT, but that wasn’t going to fit with the INKPOT/TOPHAT crossing and surely there’s not going to be clashes in a set of jumbled clues, right?
Frustration was beginning to set in. Put it down for a while.
I arrived early for a performance the next day and had about a half hour to myself, let’s fish it out.
What do I know… all the clashes I’ve found so far are in the third ring. Maybe they all are? That would mean that all but four of the third ring has clashes (yikes).
The outer ring so far only has I, E, D, S and T. And they appear to be in a pattern. ID EST? Does that fit all the way around the ring? Yes, it does! Could this have something to do with the 40 cells to be highlighted? On a hunch, I wrote the ID EST pattern around the outside of the grid… that gave me a few more entries, and a few more clashes in the ring.
Looking at the top, those clashes look like RIGHT… RIGHT ON. There’s got to be 16 of them, and only four non-clashes. I’d only found one non-clash (SUBMIT/IAMBUS). That falls at the end of RIGHT ON. That looks promising. ID EST RIGHT ON?
My scattered answers meant there were a lot of gaps in the message from the misprints. But LO?K?TME is probably LOOK AT ME, and it looks like CHANGE is there… but what’s going on on at the end of the message, there’s two K’s for crying out loud!
At that point it was time to get ready to go on stage. I don’t think I messed up too many lines.
Day 3… home… coffee… computer. RIGHT ON LOOK AT ME CHAPTER 21…
The Internets suggest there are siginificant things happening in Chapter 21 of “Le Petit Prince”… I’ve got a copy of that. Nothing about RIGHT ON or CHANGE. “Wuthering Heights”? Nope.
Am I going go brute force my way through great works of literature until I solve this bloody thing? You betcha!
In the middle of a binge reading of Jane Austen chapter 21s comes an interesting prospect. BRIGHTON! Lots of visits to BRIGHTON in Jane Austen and if 34 is EMBOGS then there could be a BRIGHTON here.
Back to the only way to read great literature, snippets brought up by Google searches. LOOK AT ME BRIGHTON CHANGE…
“Brighton Rock”. LOOK AT ME I NEVER CHANGED IT’S LIKE THOSE STICKS OF ROCK. (funny note, at 37, I had SNUFFS as the misprint instead of STIFFS and was looking at a bit of the message that read SU?CK??F – which looks like it could lead to all sorts of prurient possibilities).
Oh great… pick the Graham Greene novel I’ve never read! And of course the one I was thinking about just a few weeks ago reading of the death of Richard Attenborough!
The main character is PINK-IE (so that is the ID EST’s accounted for). And BRIGHTON is printed twice on the rock… In Australia the best known version is made in CASTLEMAINE which can really only fit around the rock once. So that gives me two BRIGHTONs and a chance to go look after many of the unsolved entries (the main culprits by this point were in the 27-35 area).
There was still a bit of sursolving to do but the end was mercifully in sight.
Wow ‘Eck indeed! This was a mountain to climb, though I think I managed to sneak there in the end.
2014 tally: 32-0-7
Feel free to tell me that back in my day we didn’t just read online summaries of Jane Austen to find our way to Graham Greene, and see you next week when Dysart brings us Homer? Eh, what? Are we going to get Phi by Samuel or Nestor by Kea next?