Welcome back to George vs the Listener. Done in last week by lack of colour! Oh the humanity! And now on to Sabre…
There was only one crossword I flat out gave up on last year, and it was Sabre’s Jumping to Conclusion. I couldn’t get a handle on all those knight’s moves in the middle. So as soon as I saw Knight’s moves (and I think Sabre sent me an email saying that he may not be done with knight’s moves), my first instinct was to set fire to the grid (still a technique I want a setter to try). Clues are normal, and then there’s a misprint in every answer where a letter has muscled in by a knight’s move.
OK, here we go…
There is a 1 across and a pass on the 1 across tip with LIT,ERAL going in – it crosses 1 down which is LASIKS without the S (my brother and a close friend I room with at various conferences have both had the surgery, I’m considering it), so we have the double 1 across success! Clashes immediately appear with BLOOP and AHORSEBACK.
Wait a second! What’s this? 31 across?
Bars in North Carolina deserted: George is mad
I appear to have been immortalized in a clue! It was amongst the last I solved (anagram of D,GEORGE,IS for DOGGERIES). Thanks Sabre! Now I’m stuck – no way I can give up on this one, right?
Similarly to the Kea puzzle of a few weeks back, I got a long way by using the “0 or 1 misprints” feature of Word Wizards, and I was pleasantly surprised at the end of a long solving session to have a full grid. Is Sabre softening up on the clues, or is there something more devious coming? It also helped that Sabre and Phi both gave me advice on Sabre’s clues – look for one or two letter abbreviations and acronyms often, which helps in breaking down clues like C,I,R.C.U.S
There’s got to be six knights in the grid, and CAVALIER (moving the L from LAVALIER) and SPRINGER (moving the T from SPRINTER) look like obvious moves. There’s a T/G pair a knight’s move away so the G from OVERGOT can move, and there’s somewhere to put the L from LAVALIER. There’s another I/B pair a knight’s move away in the top left.
This was painstaking stuff… I started with those and then looked at answers with only one clash. I put an asterisk at the end of a word when I’ve done one move (since every answer can only have one move). I was stuck at a few places
- Where to move the G in 15? Since I still didn’t have a move in ABYE, the G could move to where the A is and the A could move back to ARAIVE
- Where to put the Z in BLAZON? CHOCBAR and ROSES had no moved letters? Some creative swapping is in order here. A series of moves could put the Z down into ROZES, the S into CHOCBAR and that A had somewhere already occupied with an A
- Where to put the P in PRAT? Aha! PAARD is a type of horse. Fingers crossed.
- Where to put the L in STELE – there was as yet no misprint in DEGRADE. So the A from DEGRADE goes up into FAARD (which is now PAARD).
Several frustrating sessions later, here’s what we’ve got.
Now my knights/horses I think are SPRINGER, CAVALLO, CAVALIER, PAARD and FRAT. But where is the sixth one? I couldn’t see any other switches that might result in horses/knights. Maybe OVERTOT for the jumping?
This is what I submitted, and I’ll be happy to find it’s right, but I’m hedging my bets for now. Thanks, Sabre – that was a frustrating finish (though I persevered a lot more than I did last time). And a gazillion thanks for writing me into a clue!
2012 tally: TBD
Feel free to tell me where that sixth knight is in comments, and see you next week when Lato och aye the noo.
UPDATE: Yep, I had messed something up and did not catch the significance of the knights. So I think my letters may be in the correct spots, but I didn’t have the corrct B in KOLB. Two in a row, ack!
2012 tally: 24-0-6