I got to thinking when writing up Sad Hummer, that I should have a space for the Listener Crosswords that have really livened up the site, usually by my complete inability to solve them, coupled with amusing comments (occasionally coming in email form). So I present to you the George vs the Listener Crossword Hall of Fame/Shame. We’ll kick it off with the idea I came up with writing up Sad Hummer – the Empty Grid of the Year Award.
2012 winner: Listener 4203, Sad Hummer by Hedgehog
Oh for the days when numericals were light relief! Two years in a row my emptiest grid has come from a numerical. I guess that would stand to reason, with the logic involved, if you can’t get the first step, you’re done for. A whopping 10% of the cells had entries in them, and I believe at least one of them was incorrect.
Honorable mentions: The two puzzles I did not even attempt during a particularly busy perios – 4216, Evens by Elap and 4217, Absolutely Pointless by Waterloo
2011 winner: Listener 4151, Number or Nummer by Ruslan
My only true empty-gridder of 2011. A numerical puzzle where letters had to be entered instead of numbers, for the first number of primes, some in English, some in German. I figured out a few of the primes, but not enough to confidently put a single entry in the grid. An abysmal failure on all accounts.
2010 winner: 4114, Three Square by Elap
There was one completely and utterly empty grid in 2010 and there may be a pattern here, as it was also a numerical one. Statistics show there were only 17 incorrect entries, but only 245 grids submitted in. I spent hours prodding at mathematical definitions looking for a way in and eventually ended up getting not a single entry, though in writing up the blog I saw where I could have made a start. Way too little, way too late.
2009 winner: Listener 4049, Domino Effect by Googly
I managed to get at least one entry in every single Listener in 2009, but it was another numerical that lead to my biggest failure. Googly hasn’t been seen since, so maybe that was the crowning achievement. 4 completed cells in a 9×9 grid means that I managed 5% of this puzzle. There were only 404 submissions, which is low for a numerical Listener, so I don’t think I was the only one flummoxed.
2008 winner: Listener 3995, Past Times by MynoT
A circular grid, where even with practically every letter checked, I could only get as far as three of the four central entries. 47 incorrect entries out of 387 submissions suggests I was not alone in having a hard time fathoming this one. Back in the days where I was struggling with solving clues, couple that with a theme I haven’t the foggiest about and it’s going to be a tough day for George.
Honorable mentions: Listener 3984, Odd one Out by Oyler (13%), Listener 4003, 10 by 8 (15%)