Shouldn’t this have been by Radixx?

So while I was working on this 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 Mould.

So now we’ve got 4081: Double Cross by Radix

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

Is this a conspiracy?  Is Radix and his various grouplings attempting to take over the Listener Crossword?  I’ll be very suspicious if I see a Samuel, Seth Mould or Bud (does Bud set alone?) in the next few weeks.

Now I’m also kind of leery here because the last time Radix appeared (and the only Radix I’ve attempted, though I also tried a Mango and couldn’t get it), shortly after was the dreaded Playfair square, in Argentum.  Thankfully no little squares of squares here, just a symmetric grid, and side-by-side clues.  Extra letters give a message, and it appears there’s real words everywhere, woohoo!

This means there’s two 1 across tests… and it passes both of them!  Looks like the first half is going to be some combinations of the letters in YO SCOT, and a quick trip to Word Matcher suggests COOST, COOTS, SCOOT, SOOTY and TOCOS and the last of those is a punishment.  The second half is a hidden PACED.

I tried putting both sets of answers in one grid, then caved and printed off a second and third grid to try to mash these together into one.  I had both versions of the top-left fairly readily, though with a C in the middle of both 3 down starting letters, I couldn’t tell for a while which was the CAESURA/SAUTERNE crossing and which was the one that crossed with HANDSELS.

I also made a mess of things by putting PILCORN in the wrong place (I had it at 5 across in the PACED grid).

One thing that stuck out pretty quickly with both top lefts being reasonably full was that there was a message in the diagonals – THESE in the TOCOS grid and PL-AS- in the PACED grid.  Once PILCORN was repositioned, the word ANSWERS started to appear in the PACED grid, and on seeing PURVIEW in the TOCOS grid, it looked like ANSWERS was along both diagonals.

So finishing off the grids was helped a lot by seeing those diagonals… PLEASE IGNORE THESE ANSWERS in the PACED grid and THESE ANSWERS SHOULD BE USED in the TOCOS grid.

I needed the rest of the message in the clues to get some of the niggly 4-letter answers (like DOER at 27 down in the TOCOS grid and DIRT at 30 down in the PACED grid), but eventually there it all was – YOU MAY NEED TO CONSIDER THE OTHER CLUES INSTEAD.

Hmmm… well now I’ve got a real headache. Should I use the TOCOS grid and have the alternative as PLEASE IGNORE THESE ANSWERS or use the PACED grid and have the alternative as THESE ANSWERS SHOULD BE USED?  The first option makes more sense to me, the “Other clues” presumably being the messages in the diagonals.

So here is what I think should be the solution

My final grid for Listener Crossword 4081:  Double Cross by Radix

And there’s a bonus grid that we get to keep for ourselves.

The "other" grid for Listener Crossword 4081: Double Cross by Radix

There’s a few niggling doubts here, am I thinking correctly about which is the “right” grid?  Is 4 down DAHL?  Can’t figure the wordplay out, but I think it’s the only word that fits and works with the definition.  Was Radix trying to work a record number of obscure anagrindicators into this crossword (red, suffering, brewing, do, trill, loco, mobile, working, up, salad, smashing) – but amongst all of them I can’t find the anagrindicator in 31 across (unless FIDDLER is doing double-duty).

However even with the doubts I’m going to claim that I’ve cracked this one, and declare victory for George, and wonder if somewhere out there, a devious setter is working on a crossword with three grids.

2010 tally:  George 13, Listener 2.  Current streak, George 3.

So I was looking at the stats on the blog, and one thing that gets recorded is what online searches end up finding this blog.  And last week some lucky soul got here by typing in “what is flagmentation”.  Hope you enjoyed it… so in the same sprit, when I type “Double Cross” into the youtube search, I get this bizarre advertisement for Slovakian vodka.  Salut!

Please feel free to leave comments below, and see you next week for grams of pans with Sabre.

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3 Responses

  1. Enjoyed this, George, but I had trouble finding it. I finally fed the request into Google since the link from Derek’s message board doesn’t seem to work any more. Your conclusion about the devious setter with three grids echoes my final comment in Listen With Others.

  2. […] and  I have struggled with his offerings in the Listener.  The last full-blown Radix we had was Double Cross which I managed to get.  I just noticed that the previous Radix, which was the […]

  3. […] Qid).  Most recently was Taste and Fancy which I managed without too much trouble, the two-for one Double Cross which I crawled to a finish on but I didn’t get very far on the Playfair challenge Argentum. […]

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