Welcome back to George vs the Listener crossword. I’m in Chicago, and though I remembered to scan things before I came out here, I don’t have my originals and working notes with me. Yes, off to a stirling start.
Kea time – oh dear, Kea is an email follower of this blog, so better watch what you say. Hi Kea! With the change of when numerical crosswords come out, there’s going to be a numberword on most US Thanksgiving holiday weekends, so last year’s Thanksnumber crossword was 4164 (there’s another numbery one in a week’s time, isn’t there?), which I raced through. Before that came Table Turning, which I failed at horribly, and missed out on an opportunity to chop up the grid, the much lauded (and much unsolved by me) Admission, and one I did limp home in, Conflict Resolution.
So what do we know about Kea? There’s likely to be grid shennanigans. This one has seven clashes, definitions are jumbled and have extra letters added to them, removed letters telling me something about 16 letters and then changes and real words. Except for one that isn’t in Chambers.
That sounds like rather a lot… away we go. There is a 1 across but I couldn’t for the life of me solve it the first time, so a fail on the 1 across test. It wasn’t until 23 across that I got started on the grid – and it did start to come together kind of from the middle out. That not-Chambers word was a real beastie to try to find – I guessed it was either KARROS or CARROS but googling for both gave mixed results. Time is fleeting, so I should say that through a combination of guesswork, and overuse of Quinapalus, looking for words that were what I thought were the definition word minus one letter I had an almost full grid… and a message – CELLS MATCHING IN GRID FROM THREE WEEKS AGO. Aaaahhh… that makes sense, in the paper, the solution from three weeks ago should have been printed next to this week’s puzzle, right? And it worked – THESE ALL RECYCLED came out from matching cells.
Yet the grid is still only almost full, and I still have three clashes to find. Quinapalus had ROSOGLIOS as a word that might fit in at 11, matched the definition, but I couldn’t get the wordplay – and that would take care of two clashes. All it suggested for 32 was MANDINGO which totally didn’t fit the wordplay. Word Wizards had MINDANAO which does, and is an island and gives me a clash in the same spot. So I think we’re good.
Now what – these all recycled. I could see up the top that FRIEND could become ORIENT keeping POSTDOCS the same. But what was there for justifying that. Something is recycled… but from where? I seem to recall YOKING being the answer in a previous Listener, but a browse back through here (sometimes it’s handy to have a blog!) didn’t bring up and possibilities. Maybe from old Kea Listeners? Links to the solutions on the Listener Website don’t go back that far. Do we resolve the correct letter by matching it up to the grid from three weeks ago – that does work for a few clashing letters but not for others. Maybe previous weeks? Nope, nothing doing there.
This was getting frustrating. Something is recycled. What’s recycled? There’s a lot of Vs in this grid, and a non-Chambers answer that doesn’t appear to be part of the theme. Isn’t that a no-noish?
Lots of Vs and even a VAV that wouldn’t look out of place in that grid from three weeks ago.
No way? Is it an anagram of the whole grid?
Next step was to print off a new grid, and circle letters that also appeared in Hedge-Sparrow’s grid.
It is! Hmmm…. OK, how to do this now. I printed off the solution grid for 4196, and a fresh grid for 4199. Highlighted the entries that could be changed, and started letter by letter entering in the ones that could not be changed.
This was a pretty painstaking process… but in the end, there it was – a grid with all the letters from 4196, and the requisite changes. There being no X in 4196 confirmed ANTEFIX had to go… you might be able to read my scribbled notes.
And that I believe is a finished product. PHEW!!! That took me the whole week and several sessions struggling with clues, multiple grid printings and that final step. Note to self, next time you see Kea’s name on a puzzle, know it’s going to be a long week!
Thanks, Kea – that was funstrating. But I think I can call it a Victory to George, and I’ve now solved more Kea puzzles than I’ve failed on. Woohoo!
2012 tally: 24-0-4
Feel free to leave your comments below about how now a third grid could be produced from adding two grids and subtracting another, or why we weren’t asked to burn this, and see you next week when Shackleton dprvs s f vwls
Filed under: Listener Crosswords