Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, your weekly dose of mediocrity in solving. And for the three of you curious, I managed a rather credible tie for 4th in last week’s golf tournament.
OKeydoke – what do we have this week? Yorick! A new setter or a newdonym, and definitely a new tag for this blog, so hi Yorick if you’re looking in!
The preamble sounds a bit daunting – 26 answers to normal clues entered with the first letter misprinted, and the rest of the clues have an extra word, and the answers are entered… well somehow. OK, let’s solve!
There is a 1 across and it is a nice gentle S(HEAT)HE so no extra word, and in it goes with a first letter to be determined… which is unchecked! Yikes!
Fortunately that crosses IGNOBLE, so I have one replacement, and since there’s nothing else to change, it appears we’re not looking at real words in the final grid, I hope this works out somehow.
About an hour in, and I realise the complete bleeding obvious – there’s 26 misprints, and so far they have all been for different letters, so maybe it’s a cipher, with each original letter coding to a smaller set of letters? And maybe that’s how the extra-word entries are entered, since I wasn’t getting much out of the first letters of the extra words except it looked like it might start with CODE.
This was promising! Some of the longer extra-word answers were starting to make sense with using the same code as I’d started to work out for the misprints! Eventually a pattern starts to form – they encode to ALL THE LETTERS OF THE ALPHABET. Which means the title is an encoded form of ??NG??? and when you’ve been around all the letters of the alphabet enough you know that is a PANGRAM! Woohoo!
That’s everything finished except for… oh about a dozen clues. Sursolving time!
I can’t remember now what the lat few were, but definitely SUETY took a lot of teasing and playing with the possibilities for ?ERLT, as did SUCH (though it shouldn’t have, since NONESUCH is in Bradfords). Eventually, a grid. Much scribbling and re-writing, can’t say ciphers are my forte, but I think I’ve got it.
Curious puzzle – quick start, very slow middle section until I had the flash of near-brilliance, and then a rush to the finish, followed by an age on the final few clues. I guess that sums up the Listener, right? Woohoo, Victory to George!
2015 tally: 35-2-5
Feel free to tell me that there’s a ton of transcription errors (I do not envy the checker’s job this week!) and see you next week when Ploy looks like he may have whipped up a Richie Benaud memorial crossword, maybe there’ll be a lot of 2’s in it.