Let’s make friends with Mr. E.


Welcome to the new home of George vs the Listener Crossword, and the first puzzle of 2009. I had to get off blogger, I was racking up spam comments at an annoying pace. So here we are on WordPress, let’s see how it works out. I’ll be cleaning up the sidebars when I have a chance.

The first puzzle of the year is Mr.E. – I got absolutely nowhere on the last Mr. E. puzzle, An Indication of Height, so here’s hoping for a better fist of it.  I guess the first thing everyone saw was a little square at the top right – it made me think we had to draw a face in it or something.

Interesting preamble – combining the message from the first letters of the extra words with two answers gives a list of instructions.  X gets used twice in the instructions, Y three times.  Some cells need a diagonal line and two letters.  That’s pretty nifty, so I guess in the down answers those two letters are used in one order, and in the across answers in a reverse order.

There is no 1 across,  so let’s apply the 2 across rule… HARDNESS – D gives HARNESS and we’re away with an extra O. This would have been a lightning-like start if I could solve any of the down clues that crossed HARDNESS on a first run-through.  My real starting point turned out to be that left area under the Big Blank Square.  The meeting of RELOCATE and COMES BY, followed by LENTAMENTE and PARTNERED gave me the first two divided cells.  I saw the position of those and guessed there would be a pattern for the divided cells.  So that helped with BEST-SELLING crosing DISEMBARK (though I was working on all sorts of versions of DENMARK there for a while).

I got bogged down for a while – I had all of the words in the bottom left, BESTSELLING and HARNESS, but the rest of the left hand side stayed blank for some time.  The kicker to get things going again was trying to piece together the last few words of the message.  NAME ON IT popped out as a possibility for the last few words of the message, and working backwards – WITH then YOUR gave me some clues to get cracking on anew.

So the rest of it fell out pretty nicely, and I was right in the pattern of double cells.  CONTESSERATION turns out to be the process of dividing a square tablet as a token of friendship, and the instructions tell me to cut out the square, and send the half with my name on it.  It’s not clear if this should be divided diagonally or horizontally. I wondered about it and just cut it horizontally. I put Mr. E’s name on the other side, I’m assuming it’s meant to be friendship between myself and Mr.E and not someone else.

Nifty little challenge to get the year started, and I eventually got there!  2010 starts off with a victory to George!

Current tally:  George 1, Listener 0.  Current streak:  George 1.

So welcome to WordPress… I’ll be changing a few things up in here, so feel free to leave a comment and let me know if you found me here.  Don’t ask me to buy Viagara and see you next week for a non-numerical crossword with a numerical name with Xanthippe.


8 Responses

  1. George
    Welcome to a Viagra-free WordPress blog, home to Listen With Others (among others). I hope your migration here sees yet another improvement in your tally of wins against the Listener. Keep up the entertainment.
    PS The picture at the top looks like Little Italy.

  2. Welcome to the new site George.

    I would say that 99.9% of solvers will have cut the square diagonally (NW to SE) since that is the way that the isolated cell was divided.

    Your horizontal cut cannot be marked wrong but you are nothing if not delightfully nonconformist!

  3. Hi Dave and Erwin – I’ll restore the links soon so there will be a proper link to LWO. A lot of the reason to move here was from looking at the interface (and lack of spam comments) from LWO and liking it. I hope I can change the picture in the banner, I liked the layout for the blog more than the picture.

  4. Too much for me, this one. Had the bottom left in place, and should have spotted the clashing cell pattern at least, but no 😦

    Good luck in your new home!

  5. Good luck with the new year and new site – and so glad you’re carrying on with the blog. I know what sort of commitment it is – and know that I failed to keep it up – but it’s much appreciated by your readers.

    We’re all willing you on to that all-correct status…

  6. Thanks – I doubt that all-correct is coming anytime soon, but so far so good with WordPress… I’ll get links and widgets going soon.

  7. […] in “Indication of Height” but I did succeed in the first Listener of this year, “Be My Guest“.  That also makes Mr E the first setter to appear twice in the new blog – and a […]

  8. […] been improving on Mr E Listeners steadily, I really loved (and solved) Some Assembly Required, Be My Guest was a struggle but I got there – I remember some consternation with how to cut out the square […]

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