Surely this is the end of Morbid March?

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, in memoriam edition.  It’ s a double-dip with Radix, who made two posthumous visits to Morbid March, the previous in the form of Mango a few weeks ago.  I’ve added a Radix tag to the tags so at the end of this you can check out previous Radixy encounters.  OK – what have we here?

Oooh, a prize for the first-time Listener solver who sends the most correct entries (shouldn’t this be the “greatest number of correct entries”?).  I wonder if someone who sporadically sends in counts if they send every one in this year?  Eh… winning things is not in my blood. I won a Brewers Dictionary from the 3D calendar crosswords a few years ago.

OK, what do we have – a single letter removed from 12 clues, added to a word elsewhere.  A whole word taken out of 12 clues, added elsewhere, 12 normal clues which apparently don’t lead to their grid entries.  Hmmm…. OK.

There is a 1 across and since the surface doesn’t seem to make sense it’s likely a letter has to be removed (S from GULLS maybe)?  Anyhoo, GULLS makes no sense so underline it and move on. We’ve got a gentle MOD (Vince Noir?) up next, so that means… well nothing since I can’t enter in normal clues.  Another normal one next – LADYBUGS.  Finally LAT,ELY and an extra CINEMA and there’s something in the grid!

A first pass through the clues and I managed to solve most of the normal ones and confirm it didn’t seem to be forwards, reversed or jumbly forms of entry.  I was having no luck whatsoever with these extra letters… it really looked like 1 across was going to be INAMORATA and the wordplay could be INA,MO, then TAR and A revsered, so I need to take the F away from ARE, but I can’t add F to GULLS and make a word.  Similarly from checking letters and definition it looked like 27 was going to be DRAFTEE, and that’s all the letters in FEARED plus a T but where can I get that T from?

Hmm… preamble… added to a WORD… I can’t put an F in GULLS and make a word… what if I add F to all the letters in GULLS… MARRY!  Aaaaah… I think I know what’s going on – are the extra words added somewhere – 1 down is EWE and the entry is I?L – so that would be adding D?G – add DOG to EWE and I get ILL!

Aha!  I started making a list of clue types, words and from that teased out most of the letters and word combinations

Working out the clue types for Listener 4286, No Robbery! by Radix

I hope that scan looks better in the blog than it does in the preview… it was pretty obvious that the final grid was going to be real words only, so a few of the last ones  (like GAGE + EDAM = LEHR at 24) were worked out by subtracting words I had found as extra from the letters already there in the grid.  It was also very very compact in that the extra words from across clues were used in other across clues and extra words from down clues were used in other down clues.  Here’s what I had at the end.

My working grid for Listener 4286, No Robbery! by Radix

Well that ended up rather fun!  After a long piece of staring and poking to try to get a start on the grid, things didn’t take very long once I’d started on the list of extra words.  A fun farewell from Radix, who may be scowling from the beyond that he didn’t get to break the all-correct for the year (at least if I still have an all-correct for the year).

Victory to George – 2014 tally a staggering 12-0-0.  Yikes!

Feel free to tell me that I need to be on the right gage, that Morbid March must not become a tradition, and see you next week when Spud gets us primed, and that’s just the beginning!

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3 Responses

  1. On an unrelated topic entirely I see you are lucky enough to live where this year’s Moogfest is being held and headlined by the great Keith Emerson. Lucky Man!! Also EV have their first ever numerical puzzle set by your fave numerical setter!!

  2. I read about the EV – I’m not a Telegraph subscriber, but congratulations! I have my tickets for Moogfest and am excited about seeing Keith Emerson, Pet Shop Boys, Kraftwerk and all the others. It’s in about two weeks.

    • Saw Emo in Glasgow a couple of times when The Nice reformed. You can hear me cheering on Vivacitas. If you have an email I can send you a copy of t20 if you’d like.

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