Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword,
It’s been interesting days on the Crossword Centre lately. It seems people aren’t sure what to hate on. Hate on setters’ blogs, hate on blogs by setters, hate on “The Monday Moan”, hate on greengrocers’ apostrophes. People, people, if you have to hate on something, feel free to despise George vs the Listener. It only serves to massage one sore ego, and is just another puddle of insignificance in the endless pictures of cats that is the internet. Call it your one stop despisement station, check your venom at the door, enjoy and move on!
All this follows hot on the heels of Ron contributing a little something to Listen With Others about “Breach of Contract” describing the agonizing defeat of finding a theme that’s already been done before, and then submitting a Listener that was considered to be too close to an upcoming theme. I rather enjoyed Ron’s setters narrative – I have not yet submitted a complete crossword to the Listener people (I’ve come close), but I can understand the frustration of coming up with a good theme, and even more so being found you’ve been beaten to the punch.
Which brings us to this week’s challenge – Shark (dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun). Shark is probably not an actual shark, which would be pretty cool – imagine sitting there, waiting for blood frenzy, passing the time by writing clues and refining themes. Anyhoo – “Continental Drift” on first take appears to be an interesting beastie. Across clues are the dreaded jumbles (though wordplay leads to jumbly versions) and down clues are normal. Well despite the presence of 1 across and the temptation for the 1 across test, it sounds like a far safer idea is to check out 2 down.
Although this wasn’t to be a pattern, 2 down did jump out at me – S, then XI reversed then TH(e) makes SIXTH. Woohoo, we’re away!
I worked through this crossword concentrating on the down entries, though with the title, I think the endgame was a little obvious – after seeing NOSE, COFFEE and CROSS it appears the down answers can have a country in front of the name, and then when VIOLETS appeared, there’s our continent. And thus far, the grid which had appeared mostly in the bottom half of the sheet, has only a few letters from AFRICA and it was starting to form the shape of the southern tip of the continent.
I felt a little silly getting the theme that early on, because it made a lot of the puzzle, particularly the bottom left corner and the very top became a bit of a slog. I finished up in the top middle section, with TEHEL (for LETHE), PILULA (for PILLAU) and AUNT.
The jumbled entries gave me a few headaches, but once I’d cottoned on to the theme everything came together. The last few were a strain to get through, and I had it in the mail on Thursday – a bit later than I had been, but fingers crossed still on time.
I’m going to be out of town for a few days, so since this post is set up before the answer comes out, I’m going to claim this as a tentative Victory to George. Very fun idea, but the title and the prominent placement (and relatively easy clueing) of VIOLETS gave the game away.
2012 tally: 11-0-2
Feel free to go King Leopold on me in comments, and see you next week when Raich stakes a claim!