What do you have against the first half of the alphabet, Llig?

I’m putting the embed at the front – if you type in “Atom Smasher” to YouTube then you get the music from the game Time Splitters.  There’s no video, so just hit play and listen while you read.

Hi there and welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword.  It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, but for a few weeks I’m back at the home base and these posts may make a bit more sense, but who knows.  I do know that I know absolutely nothing about the Lake Poets so I would have needed a lot of luck to get to the end of last week’s little number.    Lato continues to pick projects not in my realm.

However Atom Smashing sounds right up my alley!  I did my doctorate in quantum chemistry so I’ve theoretically smashed a few atoms in my time.  Llig has made two appearances here, last year there was Raj with a star-crossed theme, and the year before was Half a Ton a tribute to Ralph Vaughn Williams.  And I got both of them! So good signs ahead.  Except that the bloody thing printed on three pages again, one page had three across clues, the second page the rest of the across clues and a third page all the down clues.  I kept getting the pages out of order and thinking I was looking at a down clue when it was really an across clue (a particular pain when I was sorting out the 34s).

Preamble short – mispronts in down clues, 13 clashes.  Normal across clues!  Maybe all real words, but with only 13 clashes in a 13×13 grid, probably no more than one per word, maybe only one per row.  Enough of that, let’s get solving!

There is a 1 across, and I thought it was E-BAR or I-BAR.  So score me a fail on the 1 across test and not the crossword.  No luck until the anagram of NEREID at 10 across to get me going.  Crossing that at 2 and 3 down it looks like SHEEP and HORSE are our misprints.  I should point out I was without Chambers for most of the time I was working on this, but I did have Bradfords, which gave me ANCON for a sheep (hey, it fits – later on I found out about ANCONA) and well I could figure out ARABS for the horses.  Clashes were starting to emerge, but with two of them in an inncoent-looking word like E-BAR or I-BAR, I started to suspect it.

Top half of the grid came together without a great amount of hassle (though I couldn’t get 5 across until right near the end). Of course it helped that there were only a few clashes in there.

I think I’m starting to get a bit sneaky about this, because when I see -HEL—ERSATO in misprints I immedately thought THE LETTERS, then A TO… looking up DENEBOLA online it’s a bright star, so it leams… THE LETTERS A TO M ARE ERASED.

Nice bait and switch, Llig – here was I hoping for something scientific, but I guess there’s one clash of letters A to M and one clash of letters N to Z – sure enough of the clashes I had found at that time, none had repeated letters and each were a letter from the first half of the alphabet clashing with a letter from the last half.

Needed that too – eventually that gave me S,Y,U to clash with J,K,G and let me get my last three entries – JAVA, YOICK and UNDO (at this point I had Chambers and could confirm the definitions of the last two).

Still not 100% on 5 down – the definition seems to be pointing at DIOXIN, but the wordplay looks more like DI(OC)AN.  Watch me be wrong (but I’m still going to claim it even if it’s one letter wrong – this is George V Listener Counting, not George V Checker counting).

Here’s the grid with all the scribbles and scrawls

My working grid for Listener Crosword 4059: Atom Smasher by Llig

And once we’ve resolved the clashes, the (rather non real-wordy) grid looks like this.

final grid for Listener Crossword 4095That was a nifty resolution Llig, pity it didn’t leave all real words but that would be extra setter challenging.  I’m going to call this one aVictory to George!

2010 tally:  George 24, Listener 5.  Current streak, George 1.

Feel free to leave comments below, and see you next week to assemble with Mr E.


3 Responses

  1. Hi

    I am a newcomer to The Listener and am prepared to take up the challenge. I have hard work to even understand some of the preambles but Atom Smasher was the first one I helped to solve (three of us often work together). Once we had solved the Atom reference things went pretty smoothly after that (except I had ‘befoul’ instead of ‘befool’).

    I am very proud of myself today though, having solved this week’s Double Devilry (‘alone and without a leader’ as Rumpole says) over Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning and really enjoyed it. I hope to find more of this type on line somewhere.

    Best wishes, George


    • Congratulations and thanks for the comment. Just a little shhh – we’re not meant to talk about “live” puzzles, so let’s keep things secret about this week’s until it is over.

  2. […] fourth appearance in George v Listener – last year there was a puzzle based on a pun – Atom Smasher, before that crossed stars in Raj, and we started off on the edge of Wenlock with Half a […]

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