Hi there, are you in the mood for a spine-chilling title and the preamble to end all preambles?  Well you’ve come to the right place!  I saw the title and nearly had a coronary – I’ve read about Printers Devilry puzzles and never tried one.  New setter too, so nothing to fall back on.  The preamble makes this sound like a regular printer’s devilry crossword would be a walk in the park – some letters latent, some decoding from instructions that make little sense after three readings, and the rest have misprints somewhere in the clue.  Hmmm, maybe those misprints will be easy to spot.  And maybe it’s not a new setter, maybe it’s an encoded version of an old setter.  Three letters… hmmm, we’ve had Phi and MrE lately. Gos perhaps?

Well maybe there’ll be some easy clues and I can get a cracking start.

1 across does not fail me – PLASTERSTONE and to fit in 10 spaces it’s got to lose a S, T or E. Oh great.  Apart from that the only one I see on a first go-through is BASS at 7 down which is not going to cross very well with the remaining letters from PLASTERSTONE.  Hey empty grid, how do you look?

Deep breaths, George, deep breaths… this can’t be all that bad, can it?  There’s a lot of clues that look like they should be anagrams or pretty close to anagrams, so surely there’s another chance to make a real actual start here.

To the anagram solvers!  Hooray for Word Wizards and Word Matcher because I’m on a roll…

MARIE ANTOINETTE – MATTER = NEOTEINIA with only one character to be removed, so it has to be an O,T or A

AGNTHES – STENGHA, another one to remove one letter

GEAR DR NO – RANGE ROD.  Either to be coded, or there’s a misprint in nicked to make an anagrindicator (kicked?)

LARAMIE + S – MARSILEA – so AS becomes IS

L,EG,A something Y – probably LEGATARY. TAR is under BOY in Bradfords, so probably LEGATARY

CONTROLS AIR – CONIROSTRAL, only one letter to go away from this one

S,A,STRAUSS,FAN – SASSAFRAS NUT and no ambiguity as to what goes out here

PANTRIES + G – STRING PEA another one letter to go

THE DUD AGES with A for U – STAG-HEADED – confirming the A at STENGHA goes

LULUOBRIAN – UNILOBULAR and to fit with STENGH the Us are out of here

HER+GOA – GHERAO. Encoded or there’s a misprint I can’t see – though the O could go with CONIROSTRAL

Now this grid is starting to look like someone who knows what he’s doing is at it.  There’s a lot of mentions of Linotype (even with the trade mark, which I can probably do somehow on wordpress).  I don’t know much about linotype, but a peek at the wikipedia article even has what I think I’m looking for highlighted.  If it’s 6 across and 6 down answers that are letters latent, that means there are four to be found between 3 and 21 down, and two more to be found in the acrosses.  I think 6 down is one too, it looks like STOP something. 19 down looks like it could be TRAM something…

If they’re symmetically placed, the across extra letters could be 1(E), 14(T), 20(A), 26(O),33(I),36(N) and downs could be 3(S), 6(H), 9(R), 18(D), 19(L), 21(U).  I have to take a break now, but here’s how we’re looking.

grid at the end of the second solving burst

OK – well this last part is going to be a pretty rush job, I was hoping to finish the post before I left for the weekend, but that didn’t happen.  Hooray for wireless interweebs.  The rest of the crossword came together pretty nicely – since none of the letters in ETAOIN SHRDLU are repeated then the coded answers (turns out they were all the four-letter words) were easy to encode/unencode.  I used a few unencoded letters to confirm the rest of the four-letter entries (such as BYTE and TANK), and of all things, the last two to appear were the last two letters latent clues – TAMPONADE and APOTHEM, both of whom needed word wizards and the available letters to get.  Lining up the misprints, I originally had TO RISH LEAD IN, but I think it should be “TO RUSH LEAD IN” which is an anagram and sounds like a phrase.  Still don’t know where the U would fit in to 24 across.  Here’s my final grid.

Since I’m writing this so late, I can peek at the answer and have a definite answer as to whether this is a victory to George or not…

And we are (US instead of IS.. I guess that works).  So a victory to George, a late write-up, and a chance to go woohoo – slaughtering my start from last year!

2010 tally:  George 8, Listener 0.  Current streak:  George 8.

I’m in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, for the weekend.  There’s a really good band from Chapel Hill, the Carolina Chocolate Drops.  Unfortunately they’re not in town this weekend, so here’s Georgie Buck.

Feel free to leave comments below, and see you next week to bash some squares with Arden


3 Responses

  1. […] crossword, I was looking up new setters on the Listener website and noticed something.  Qid (from 4074: Printer’s Devilry) was identified as a quartet of setters – Bud, Radix, Samuel and Seth […]

  2. […] of hands, and Sir Isaac being brained by an apple gives me hope.  I also see Samuel is in with Qid, so my record is a good 4.25-1 versus Samuel (and […]

  3. […] in Motion, and Newtons ups and downs in The Cause of Much pain.  Add to that his role in Qid in Printer’s Devilry – the age of this blog may well be measured in […]

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