O St Bridget, O, O, O, O, O, O, O, O, OOOOOO! (naughty nun)

Greetings and welcome back to George v the Listener.  Thanks for all the people who kindly (and not so kindly)  pointed out what I missed last week, that was a nifty device I did not spot, maybe (with all due respect to BuFo) if it wasn’t always the last word that was omitted then the device may have worked better?  A win is a win, and we’re not drawing pictures – except the odd bit of shading.

Which brings us to Times Group by Colleague.  Colleague sounded like a group pseudonym to me (it may still be), but apparently there’s one Listener from 2002 with a golf theme that I did not do.

Well this puzzle came out on July 1st, and I live in the land of Apple Pie and Unca Sam so that’s a holiday weekend involving fireworks and drinking truly terrible beer, and I took advantage of some nice days to go camping.  A friend knew a nice spot to hike and camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains and I haven’t done any camping for a while.  So the first solving session was rather alien to me, it was under the trees in the middle of nowhere.  Of course I brought Bradfords, it fit neatly in the backpack.

It appears we’re in the realm of normal clues, and the grid is full of all real words! There’s some blocked off squares and some groups and anagrams to find.  This sounds deceptively straightforward…

The 1 across test is made of win, add an anagram of HERMIT to A and TIC and we’ve got ARITHMETIC.  Maybe I should do this more often, because within an hour or so, I had an almost complete grid!  Wasn’t too sure about ERGETE (a trip to Chambers later showed that I should have been unsure, as it was ERGATE).  If you can see the little question marks on my grid, those were the ones I was going to go back and check.  I had KANGHA wrong as well, can’t see what it was orginally.

The first group leaped out, because with ARITHMETIC and WRITING, an anagram of READING was not too far behind.  Two groups to find and I can fill in those boxen (not that anything near them looked like it was going to make a word or a name).

Still got two groups to find.

Paging groups two and three… come to me.

Groups, groups!  My kingdom for some groups.

That was the next few days… stare at grid, look for groups.

We were in rehearsals for a show and I had a computer and a few minutes to kill so it was time to start googling answers two by two.  A google of KACCHA and KANGHA together showed that there are the 5 K’s!

A group of fifteen?  I can’t find any more words in there.  There’s an anagram of ACHILLES who kept teasing me from inside this intractable grid.

OK… one hour to fill the grid, one minute to find the first group, five days to find the second group.  At this rate I should have the third group nailed done sometime next year.

This little bastard wasn’t going to give up easily.  Brute force required… I need a group of fifteen somethings.  To Google!  Let’s search for “the fifteen a’s”… now let’s search for “the fifteen b’s”…

Yes, I did that all the way through the alphabet and got two leads, both pointing at the prayers of St Bridget, who has the right number of letters and fifteen prayers full of O Jesus.

Fifteen Os…  quick, count those Os.  There’s 13! (you know that’s unlucky, right, Colleague).  So two more Os in those squares and we have a grid!  There’s MEDITATION in the shape of another O at the center of the grid (should have mentioned that earlier, but I figured the 13×14 grid would have to come into play).

My grid for Listener Crossword 4093: Times Group by Colleague

Still struggling with the new scanner

Wow… quick start and incredibly long finish, is this a Cote du Rhone?  Impressive challenge Colleague, I have never been up against something like that before.  At the end I remember going to a talk on St. Bridget in a humanities conference, to a paper questioning her existance.  I’m sure the presenter is under a bridge somewhere now.

I think I can call this one a win, so Victory to George!

2010 tally:  George 23, Listener 4.  Current streak:  George 3.

All sorts of weird things pop up if you type in “Times Group” however one kind of charmed me, from the comedy group at Dartmouth University.  Proudly frittering their parents money, you go kids!

Feel free to leave comments below, and see you next week to get wet wet wet with lato lato lato.  Quick word of warning, I’m on the road again next week, so expect the post to turn up at a completely random time.


3 Responses

  1. Hi George. I rather enjoyed this too! My first thoughts (with the clues I had, there were a lot of vowels). I failed to see O needed to be placed in the blocked cells. I should have re-printed my finished grid and penned it in more neatly. I would have then seen the O in the centre. However I managed to fill the grid fine.

    Don’t know who Colleague is, I have the same suspicions of other setters at work.

  2. […] I created a pretty tortuous path to the solution for myself by misinterpreting the preamble, and Times Group with the 5 K’s and the 15 O’s.  I got both of those, so that’s heartening. […]

  3. […] now to Garden Scraps…  Colleague has appeared here once before, with Times Group, all about St Bridget and her O Lord’s.  I got that one, though I had to hunt down the Os.  […]

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