Build your own clues with Mr. E

Greetings Listener fans and fans of bad writing.  It’s George vs the Listener, where I plug away at these little beasties and see what happens.

This has been an exciting week or two at George V Listener.  I got a new laptop, it takes video.  Unfortunately the video I made for this crossword didn’t load up onto YouTube properly – it looks hysterical, everything is at double speed except for the audio track which is half speed.  Instead, here’s a quick clip of me on stage with the Feral Chihuahuas

Anyone else see the title “Some Assembly Required” and think back to Perplex City?  There was a card game that I was addicted to a while back where you would buy trading cards with puzzles on them (one I think even had some cryptic crossword clues).  One of the more difficult cards was called “Some Assembly Required” that required you to construct a word out of shapes drawn in the card.  So after seeing the title, I saw Mr E as this week’s combatant.  I completely bombed on Mr E in “Indication of Height” but I did succeed in the first Listener of this year, “Be My Guest“.  That also makes Mr E the first setter to appear twice in the new blog – and a chance to tip the scales in one direction or the other!

Okeydoke, what do we have here – irregularities in most clues, only three normal, and it looks like 7 unclued and according to the preamble, two of them aren’t even words.  Wow.

I started this on a flight from Charlotte to Washington DC and got off to an awesome start by seeing that there is 1 across, and thinking of 4-letter Australian cities, only BEGA and EDEN came to mind.  5 across was not defined, nor was 11 across, but 12 across looked like a definition and most of the wordplay for EL NINO.  Crossing that we had what looked to be a normal clue – ON,US and a definition for COSH and most of the hidden word but no H

Browsing through the crossword, this did appear to be a pattern – there were definitions and some wordplay, but parts of the clues didn’t make sense.  2 down looked like ECONOMISE, 4 down looked like EMBLEMATISED.  Bradfords gave TWEER for PEER (Bradfords is handy on a plane!).

So this looking for definitions thing sent me on all sorts of weird, later to be found incorrect answers written in lightly.  Give me a chance and I’ll turn anything into a quick crossword!  I had HOME TRUTHS in at 13, NOCENT at 27 and RIPOSTE at 20.

Eventually I was back home with Chambers and google and other good things.  The discovery that a ZARF is a cup holder gave me a second normal entry, and looking through the definitions of HIVE, it was also an intact clue.

OK… so in all these wordplays it looks like one letter is not indicated… But they don’t make any sort of message.  The down ones read MKDWIH.  And it looks like there’s a phrase or a word that is not a part of the wordplay.  First letters of those doesn’t seem to be getting me anywhere – BUSACM

Thinking back to last week’s theme – none of the extra letters seem to be repeated.  Quick check – there were none repeated and there’s 26 such clues.  One for each letter in the alphabet!  That discovery let me get the rest of the clues (and sort out whether 1 across was AGEE or AJEE – I already had a G not indicated in GLADYS at 23 down).  Grid complete!  7 down looked like it should be ILLUSTRATEDS, 5 across ETHIOPIC, 11 looks like it’s not going to be a word, though a check of word wizards suggests PICKMAW.

OK – got 26 uninidicated letters and 26 extra words.  I bet if I wrote them in order from A to Z then I’ll get a secret message and all will be good with the world and more importantly this grid.


That’s not looking too promising.

The normal answers have to come into play… ZARF HIVE ONUS. None of them have repeated letters… GRANDMA’S TIRAMUSU USES WINE.  Aaaah… that’s a clue for ASTI which would fit in 30.  MISTAKENLY CITE HOPI TONGUE is ETHIOPIC, and EACH EXPERT HOLDING PRIZE is APIECE.

At this point I’m really abuzz.  P-CKM-W would be AFRICAN – GREW UP BY – AREA – add in CITY (J) and DRY (Q) and we have a clue for ROSETTA, and L-DYB-G is OUR – STARTED RIOTING AFTER – PUBLICATIONS – put in PEOPLE and HURTFUL and you have a clue for ILLUSTRATEDS!

Wow, Mr E – this was by far my favorite of the three of yours I’ve done so far.  I went from head-scratching stupidity to really loving this.

My grid for Listener Crossword 4096:  Some Assembly Required by Mr EI was going to put in a video bit here about the point where I was trying to shoehorn answers in based on definitions and was at the drivers licence office.   I put in ABSTRICT and QUIEN SABE (that was a tough clue), and the woman sitting next to me who was sorely underprepared for the drivers licence office wait informed me that I’m meant to only put real words in crosswords.  Instead, here’s some more Feral Chihuahuas

Victory to George!

2010 tally:  George 25, Listener 5.  Current streak:  George 2.

Feel free to leave comments below, and check in next week when for a change Dipper does a Listener about killer robots and space clowns.  And maybe I figure out how to synch files up on youtube.  Oh – and maybe we’ll know how my first entry did in Azed’s clueing competition!  When do those results come out?


2 Responses

  1. […] My Line”.  I’ve been improving on Mr E Listeners steadily, I really loved (and solved) Some Assembly Required, Be My Guest was a struggle but I got there – I remember some consternation with how to cut […]

  2. […] In Clue Order On and On… where there was level after level of hints hidden in clues, and Some Assembly Required, where we had to make up clues for missing entries.  Applying it to coming up with a preamble was […]

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