Brew please?

Hi there and welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword.  Wow it’s been a crazy few weeks in my world, so I never got around to finishing the post about Primordial (I will, really, probably over the weekend).  I did read the setter’s notes on Listen With Others and can understand the idea of throwing solvers a bone by having a relatively easy numerical one.

I also gained a little bit of completely unearned fame with my own entry in Michael Curl’s Best for Puzzles Crossword Who’s Who!  That’s a bit scary to be on the same page with John Halpern (whose Paul puzzles in the Guardian are often a highlight of my week), Derek Harrison, John Henderson, Phi, and Eimi.  The H’s of the crosswording world are a lofty bunch, and I’m the anchor dragging it all down.  Thanks for the shoutout, Michael (I also recommend doing the Guardian crossword when you see it’s Orlando).

All this and a Listener Crossword – this week it’s Something’s Brewing by Poat.  We first met Poat in Reappearance, where I only managed a few answers and most of them were wrong! Last year there was Rules of Construction which had a huge word square in the middle, that I did not come close to getting.  I got two of the words in the word square but didn’t figure that was the way things are going.  So we’re in for a tough week here.

And the Listener now prints with italicised clues.  That’s going to make it a mess if we get any Azed-type clues with italics in them, I guess they will show up as normal letters.  We have a cipher, letters latent in more than half of the down clues and since there’s a clue for everything, it looks like clues are normal, except six are missing a definition.  OK, where can we go with this…

There is a 1 across but I have no idea… anagram of MEN-ONLY without EN?  That’s not leading anywhere.  Similarly 5 across yields nothing, but 10 across looks like MASSAGE becoming MESSAGE and no definition. Great – my first word and I can’t put a single letter into the grid.

Hey, is it just me or does that encrpytion method sound suspiciously close to a Playfair word square?

I am completely lost on these across clues – DEVOIR looks like a possibility for 17 across, but not enough to write it in confidently.

Finally!  20 across is one written for we who live in the south – GRITS (which are disgusting) minus G reversed for STIR.  That crosses SCHOOLBAG at 20 down so 1 down has to be a normal clue, normal answer.  I gain a foothold in the California region of the grid – all the way to the point of finding the first latent letter – to match with ON THE BALL, ILL SEE has to lose the N at the end.

But after hours of poking, prodding, scanning words in WordWeb, trying to get it together through all these clues, it’s clear that Poat has my number yet again, and is one of the regular setters that I just can’t crack.  I’ve only got a few scattered answers, and I can solve so few of these across clues it’s embarrassing.

My grid for Listener Crossword 4101: Something's Brewing by Poat

Ummmm, well it’s not completely empty

Congratulations, Poat – I have absolutely no clue here and feel like although I’m having a really good year, I’ve just been smacked down into my place.  I’m going to have to go to a school of Poat clue-solving, which will happen when I take a peek at the answer.  George V Poat is 0-3!

Victory to Poat and the Listener Crossword!

2010 tally:  Listener 7, George 29.  Current streak:  Listener 1.

When you type in “Something’s Brewing” in YouTube, this little poem/rant (slightly not safe for work) pops up. It’s clear this guy is trying to start a revolution, but thus far it’s only gained 128 views, so let’s give him a hand.

Feel free to point out my lesser points of solving, and see you next week when we turn over an annual (maybe it’s Beano!) with Ragtag.


One Response

  1. […] is the fourth Lato Listener I have tried – and Lato is a setter I struggle with.  Something’s Brewing was almost an empty grid, Rules of Construction was a similarly futile effort and the less said […]

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