What, no anagram of TOILETS? At least LOO is in 3 down.

Not sure why, but I’m writing this blog (a draft of it, at least) with the aftertaste of the World T-20 final still in my mouth. I really enjoyed the tournament, got to watch a lot of the games (and all of the Australian matches) live over broadband.  Congratulations England on stealing one, grumble grizzle groan.  It was only the second time I’ve seen Ryan Sidebottom in action, and England have seized another mantle – Ryan is now officially the ugliest player in cricket.

He takes over from other cricketing Quasimodos like Lasith Malinga, Andrew Symonds and George W. Bush’s stunt double Ricky Ponting.  Suggestions welcome for the ugliest man in cricket or even the best looking one if you feel inspired.

Oh yes, this blog is about the Listener Crossword, and this week it’s Oh Yes It Does by BeRo.  BeRo has appeared in George versus the Listener once, with Fizz Buzz, which I loved the idea of, but could not get close to finishing.  In Fizz Buzz you had to keep track of the answers carefully, in this one, it appears that part of the challenge is to sort out the clues into the four types.  There’s bits and pieces of a line of verse coming into play, and it does look like we have all real words in the grid!  Release the real word happy balloons.

Complete and utter fail on the 1 across test. Couldn’t even see where there could be a misprint or inserted letter.  So moving on, B(EAVE)R gets me going and finds a Set 1 clue.  And gets me started on the grid, Yankee corner fell pretty quickly, with lots of juicy checking letters.  Oh – I am proud to report that this was a return to the bar solving session, which explains some of the myriad of stains on the paper you can see if you look closely at the printout (which I don’t recommend you do immediately before or after a meal).

So at the end of the bar session, I had all of the Yankee corner and most of Texas filled out.  The other two quadrants were turning out to be tough nuts to crack – the only answer I had in hippy corner was IC,EA,XE.  I was missing a few in Florida but had a suspicion that if I went to a dictionary and looked up BRETON, KENTED and KERNED I’d find some good news.  And good news there was to be had!

I did make a mess of the verse words, thinking that you had to line up the clues in the order of each set.  Since I had most of set 3, and there’s nothing that works with RLWEESWIGO I figured it had to be in the order of all the clues… wish I’d done that a lot earlier, because WORDS AND MEANINGS appeared quickly, and google search brings up T.S. Eliot – THE INTOLERABLE WRESTLES WITH WORDS AND MEANINGS (which means that there’s an R to be inserted or removed somewhere in 32 across which I never got) from “East Coker“.

Knowing the phrase helped fill out Florida – ACE lead to NOBLE and a peek in Chambers confirms VANE for FIN.  So it’s a trip to the top left…

You can see the scribble – I think I had something wrong for everything in here.  I had TEE,M for 4, originally UNPRISON for 3 (when I thought it was release from ESHER, but now I knew there was a T there, it had to be release from TETHER and UNLOOSEN looks good). My —MAP started as BITMAP, went to GEOMAP and finally to ECOMAP.  I was now stuck with an intractable problem – I had S(PEE,C)H for 1 down, HO(OC)H for 2, and TEEM for 4.  That made no word in the English language that would fit across 11, no matter how desperately I looked for a word like PONECHA or PONECTA.

Hmmm… well maybe the rest of the thematic stuff can help me with my dilemma.  PERIPHRASTIC in Chambers is described as a “bombastic, circular expression” – well there’s one X in the grid, and there it is, making a part of EXPRESSION in a circle (well, truncated oval).

Great… that doesn’t help me with 11.  Another near miss looming.

Last-ditch effort… a trip to Chambers to find sugars that fit with the ANOC bit.  Hey – PAN,O,CHA is a sugar, and according to Chambers it’s a coarse Mexican sugar.  So much for HOOCH and TEEM.  Aaaahhh.  I had TEE for T for 160, but it’s T,O,O,M (“empty out”) and HA(NC)H for an alternative to HAUNCH, the hip and all.

I nearly made a final flub… there’s something to be put at the bottom, and I thought it was the five words after “A periphrastic study” which would be “in a worn-out poetical fashion”.  I got as far as writing it in, when I saw that later on in the poem there was “The poetry does not matter”.  I thought that would be a better candidate for under the grid, and I got as far as lying the grid on the scanner before I thought… it’s the five words after the seven words that are needed, which is the next phrase, and it works out well with the title.  So scratch that, in goes THE POETRY DOES NOT MATTER and we have a grid!

I’m trying very hard to mess this up, but I think we have another week with a victory to George!  And I’ve finally cracked a BeRo Listener (first time in three attempts).  Woohoo!

2010 tally:  George 16, Listener 2.  Current streak:  George 6!

When you type “Oh Yes It Does” into YouTube, this rather bizarre video pops up.  I can’t call it good by any stretch, but I was rather taken by the title.

Feel free to leave comments below, and see you next week in order to find out how many times Ploy has to tell me.


2 Responses

  1. […] in George vs the Listener – one based on a T.S. Eliot poem I had to really slog through in Oh Yes It Does, and an utter failure in the word zigzag of Fizz Buzz.  This newer Listener resembles the […]

  2. […]  I have had a mighty struggle with BeRo puzzles – Phiz made it into my hall of fame/shame, Oh Yes It Does made me struggle right to the end, and I got practically nowhere on Fizz Buzz.  So what have we […]

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