.– …. .- – .- … .-.. — –.!

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, one rather silly man’s attempt to get an all-almost year.  Traffic is slowly picking back up after a few weeks of me posting rather tragically late.  This one is only slightly late.  But it comes after just finding out that my sketch comedy group has been rejected from the New York Sketch Fest (I’m not even going to dignify them with a link – no free advertising for you).

Can we recover by looking at Shackleton?  There’s only been one Shackleton Listener in George vs the Listener, and it was all about a painting I didn’t know.  I didn’t get far with that… but then the Listener page upps my confidence even more by saying that Shackleton is associated somehow with Mango, who produced a Listener I couldn’t get even though I got really close (hey, Listener website people, if you’re reading, or Mango people, they have the wrong date for that Crossword on the Listener website).

Let’s skip the preamble – there’s elements, changes, highlighting, more highlighting, alternative versions of elements, that’s just going to hurt to keep reading it.  Most clues have misprints, let’s just start from there.

Victory on the 1 across test – WE,AKS,POT and we’ve got a misprint of TENDER.  Actually, I had the entire top half before having anything on the bottom half except PANNED DOSE and ARCH.  It looked like a really curious mix.

Good news was having the entire top half meant that I could see a message forming pretty readily – DOT ONES IS AND —(S,F)—–(T?)-.  Wasn’t sure if the misprint in 38 was for SLY or FLY, but 47 (though I hadn’t solved it) had a misprint sticking out like a sore thumb.

OK, so we’re looking good for the across answers to all have misprints and read DOT ONES IS AND CROSS ONES TS. Interesting.  Oh, and PAEON was sitting there in the middle of the top of the grid.  I have a fondness from that word from a fellow pseudointellectual in Tasmania who fancied himself as a poet but couldn’t figure out the difference between PAEON, PEAN, and PEON and so used to write these hysterical PEONS to boys who rejected him.  Chris, if you’re looking in, you’re remembered, and were finally useful as assistance on a Listener crossword.

The down clues were a bit more of a mess… I had a 1 down dilemma – MAGE or MAGI.  EDDY or IDDY?  Then a bunch with no misprints, until we hit PYNE, and then there’s a U and an M?

Good news though – figuring out those misprints in the acrosses gave me a boost to filling in the bottom of the grid – and again a game of two halves, I had all of the left hand side before having much at all of the right.

Next to my rescue was google.  A google search on “EDDY UMPT” asked me, rather condescendingly, if I meant to serach for IDDY UMPTY.  Of course I did, Google, now out of my way.  I’ve got IDDY UMPTYs to learn about (never found where that Y came from, is it YEARS? I hope I have the wordplay right – Y in RANE(e).

Morse code time!  Looky that… those other clues don’t have many i’s and t’s in them do they?  There’s no morse code translator in the back of Chambers, so good thing Google is leading me around by the little fingers.


I wonder if a lot of people have been using Google for this, when I typed in the search bar “MUST IT BE” it filled in BEETHOVEN at the end of the line.  BEETHOVEN?

MUSS ES SEIN… it bloody well is BEETHOVEN.  Listener gremlins have invaded Google and want me to finish this crossword.  It is a good sign!

So we’ve got to find BEETOHVEN somewhere in here.  Well there’s only one B and it’s up in the top right corner and there’s only one V and it’s in the top right corner too and… L V B!  Ahhhh, I get it, L, V and B are all made from the PAEON of three short one long syllables.  So is F and there’s only one F, sitting above A MAJORI. And the MUSS ES SEIN is a sttring quartet in F MAJOR.

Now to get another message out of those clues. V is five.  Fifth letters of first words give me nothing, neither do first letters of fifth words, but fifth letters of fifth words (isn’t that a succession in wizarding dynasties?) spell out DIAMETRIC EXCHANGES… this turns PAEON into DITDI and that line into DITDITDITDAH.  Beethoven’s well known piano thingy in (help me Google), C MINOR… so we change the key from F MAJOR to C MINOR, highlight it and… I think we have a solution.

Holy moly!  A friend called me while I was trying to do the Morse code translation and I snapped at him (“don’t you realise I’m trying to decipher morse code here!”).  Sorry Steven.

Turns out the Ludwig Van connection is known in teaching Morse code, but that’s a pretty amazing bunch of stuff Shackleton put together in there.  It took me way to the limit, and was a lot of fun (if more of it than I’m used to).

But I’m going to call this a victory to George!  2010 tally:  George 11, Listener 2.  Current streak:  George 2.

I’m much more partial to Camper Van than Ludwig Van, so here’s a recent live recording of them doing “When I Win The Lottery”.

Feel free to leave comments below and see you next week to see if Stick Insect puts a hex on me.


7 Responses

  1. Piano thingy? Surely you mean the fifth symphony?


  2. That’s right, I was writing the blog from fading memory. I remember it as being in the middle bit in “Decomposing Composers”. I used to know a lot more about classical music, but those brain cells are an endangered species.

  3. Congratulations on sorting that one out. I was at the most frustrating of all points – a complete grid (after 2 weeks!) but no idea of what to do next. Struggling this year.

  4. […] Radix (and Seth Mould) also sets as part of Mango with Shackleton, from 4079: Sine Qua Non. […]

  5. […] week we have Shackleton, who we have encountered before in Sine Qua Non, which I got, although I brought umbrage from a reader by calling Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony […]

  6. […] by a weird coincidence I also blogged about at this very airport), the Beethoven piano-thingy Sine Qua Non, and a Pollock theme that I couldn’t get at all in Much Ado About Nothing.   So what does […]

  7. […] Location, Location, Location, with some Hemingway in the bars in the grid, which I got, Luddie V in Sine Qua Non (got it), but my first encounter with Shackleton was a complete disaster in Much Ado About Nothing. […]

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