Well, I got as far as spewing sherry, but that’s about it

I may not get this finished so there could be a half-report here.  This week’s challenge is Double Shuffling and Dealing by Auctor.  OK, well I know Auctor to a certain extent from my writing up blogs for Mephisto puzzles on Times for the Times.  We’ve talked a bit in email about clues, wordplay, and I’ve even test solved a few Mephisto puzzles for him.  I seem to be on a pretty good wavelength with definitions, but I can’t always see the wordplay.  So the preamble says that it’s all about the wordplay, and the wordplay leads to one less letter than the answer.

This came out around when I was heading to Wilmington for the Cape Fear Comedy festival, so I did have a rather amusing first solving session early in the morning by the hotel pool.  I’d taken Bradfords with me (it’s a nice travelling size book).  It was a pleasant hour by the pool, but ultimately a frsturating one because I got one single possible answer out of it, thinking that 5 down is some form of NAIVE.  So here’s the problem… for over a week, I was convinced that the definition answer was one letter longer than the grid entry and that the wordplay would be the number of letters in the entry.

It took until about a third solving session (and still an empty grid – I was sure I was headed for my first empty grid since 50-50 by Phi (now watch it by Phi this week).  I was sitting at a bar I plan on never going to again (Thirsty Monk South – their original location is a rather nice dingy dungeon, this one looks and feels like a lunch counter with taps and employees who would rather be microwaving sandwiches).  And finally it hit me… I was working on 36 across, knowing it should be some form of UNGODLY, when it hit me, let’s just put UNGODLY in there… UN,G’DAY with A sub for L and there’s no O indicated in the wordplay.  So D’oh!! The grid does contain normal words and I’ve been barking up the wrong tree for a whole week.  Nice one, idiot.

This still didn’t help me a hell of a lot.  It took painful picking to get through the few that I managed, and I couldn’t get enough of the extra letters to get a good start on the admission of guilt.  This wordplay has gotten the better of me and broken a pretty good run.

My grid for Listener 4087: Double Shuffling and Dealing by Auctor

So Victory to Auctor and the Listener Crossword and a pretty sudden return to Earth – ouch!  I’m really curious to find out what I messed up here.

2010 tally:  Listener 3, George 18.  Current streak:  Listener 1.

If you type “Double Shuffling and Dealing” in to YouTube, this little gem pops up. There’s no video, so just go about your day with the boppiness in the background.

Feel free to leave comments below and see you next week to find out if I get Digimixed by Oyler.

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