Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword – and a lateish submission (though I got the puzze in on time, I think).
There are a couple of setters where I smile when I see the name, as I know I’m likely to be in for a theme I have familiarity with, fun clues, and a little bit of work. Xanthippe is among those names (hi Xanthippe if you’re checking in), having entertained us with a numerical involving licence plates and US states, grid mutilation (but still not burning), rhyming slang in text messages, and a crossword that was a game of solitaire. All fun, and all finished!
This time we’ve got eight affected answers and a pretty brief preamble, real words before and after. So that sounds like normal clues at least, and we’ll see what happens from there.
There is a 1 across and SI,GH later we have a big pass on the 1 across test! It crosses S,PACE,SHIP and clues that appear to be for MNA and R(OT)IDE all reversed. Hmmm…. those down answers to fit P(ENDU)LUM and A,CAI
N so I guess something has to happen to SIGH. That was about it for the top left, so moving on. COUNT IN, ED with the U moved gets us going and a lot of the top right seems to come together, but M,EEK won’t play nice. Hmmm…
The middle didn’t seem to want to come together at all, but working on the bottom – GNAW, MESSAGER, DIRHAM, ASH and EYEPITS put the tantalising prospect of WORMHOLES at 42 across but there’s an L in the way from NUMEROLOGICAL. Maybe it’s part of a wormhole?
Aaaaaah! Double penny-drop moment! SPACESHIP could become SPACE-TIME and CONTINUED could become CONTINUUM, and my NAME that doesn’t play with my down answers could swap the AME with the IGH up the top and make real words. The TIME could come from WARSHIP.
Out comes the highlighter to find what could move where – the middle of my grid was really only finished after spotting the end-game, and the final touch was to sort out 13 down, which early on I figured could be ADEPT but didn’t write in because it wouldn’t fit with TROOP. It’s a wormhole crossing another wormhole (doesn’t that make a collapsible continuum?) to leave 25 down eventually as SWEPT and 13 as ADORE.
Here’s the scribbles, highlights and my crib notes on where things needed to go…
Well the solution is up now and… I believe I’ve got it. Woohoo! Victory to George.
2013 tally: 4-1-0
Feel free to leave comments below and see you next week when Ilver poses the question, does a detective actually work?