Dope not roped!

My grid for Listener Crossword 4069:  Conversion by Samuel

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, where every week brings brings joy, frustration, more joy, more frustration and then we see who won out in the end.  Although you’ve probably seen the picture of the grid.  But this is the last week where I’ll start with a grid, I found that with wordpress I can do nifty things like modify the post as I go along, so there should be grids in various stages of unfinishednessness and you’ll have to read to the bottom to find out where things went. Unless I get lazy with that and just go straight back to where I started.

Speaking of where I started – Samuel was one of the first people to discover the old blog (or at least to write comments on it), and so it’s been a relief that I’ve been able to crack “The Cause of Much Pain“, “Motion“, and “Playtime“.  All of them were struggles over almost all the time allowed, and all of them had a theme – something had to be done to the final grid to remove a word.

And it looks like we’re back in that territory, but rather than changing the grid around, first we’ve got mess around with a bunch of answers, and then change things to find a phrase.  Samuel is the grid mutator.

Oh boy, deep freeze cold solving! And I’m not breezing through these as quickly as I usually do Samuel crosswords. And a big old FAIL On the 1 across test, I have no idea what is going on in that clue. At the end of solving session #1 (with Bradfords, but no Chambers on hand). I’ve only got 10 answers. I’ve lightly put the across answers in just in case some of the letters stay where they started, so I’ve got a pretty sparse grid from the get-go.

It was a bit of reliance on Word Wizards that got me going with the anagrams near the bottom – SEALCH, SIDEREAL (I just noticed now that I made a mistake in the final grid and that should be an L in the bottom-left corner), and SANGRIA along with RIM suggested that it was the last letter of the across answers that needed to be moved (I guessed to the front), and I laboured under the mistaken impression that it was the first letter of the down answers that was deleted.

I got a lot further than I should have now with some checking letters (though a few of them were wrong), until I was faced with what to do with EFFABLE and FEASTED.  That got the penny to drop that it was the second letter (I didn’t work out the message until I’d solved almost all the clues – some of my last entries were the ones with the misprints).

I got the theme after solving FOREMAN and COOPER and getting the boxing connection.  That helped out a lot, I saw that CASSIA could start to make CASSIUS CLAY, which meant the conversion would be to MUHAMMAD ALI, and so the “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” would be the message. Finishing the message helped me get REPLACEABLE, replace SCRUMMY with STREAMY and gave me ADO.  A little more word wizards to get YCLEEPED and I’ve got a message (SECONDS OUT, ROUND ONE) and a grid and a completion.  Wooohooo!

Another piece of fun manipulation from Samuel, who must write crosswords backwards!  It was a very slow to get going experience, but once I saw all the pieces, the rest of it came together nicely. The misprints were better-hidden than usual, particularly OOLITE hidden as POLITE (I was thinking POLICE for a long time).

Victory to George and we’re off to a good start for the year!  2010 tally:  George 3, Listener 0.  Current streak:  George 3.

I usually go for something silly at the end, but here’s Ali realigning the nasal mucus of “Aussie” Joe Bugner.

Feel free to leave comments, and see you next week for a walk in a Glady Marsh with Salamanca

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4 Responses

  1. I am afraid I was completely stumped by that one – not one answer in the grid. So well done on your victory!

  2. […] the penny-dropping pachinko puzzle “Playtime” and some Muhammed Ali with “Conversion“.  I managed to get out all of those, though there were a few struggles along the […]

  3. […] crosswords discussed here number five, including a big fail on a yule classic, however success on Conversion, a game of pachinko, a show of hands, and Sir Isaac being brained by an apple gives me hope.  I […]

  4. […] a grid in Noye, having us construct an Advent calendar in Great Expectations, the poetry of Ali in Conversion, a game of Pachinko in Playtime, a parliamentary vote in Motion, and Newtons ups and downs in The […]

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