Mmmmmm, pie

Welcome back to George v the Listener Crossword, your weekly dose of often not quite there solving.  The italicised letters of the last few weeks have been replaced by a rather nice serif font – I hope that this is the final version for the online puzzle, but who knows (in about 15 minutes the new Times Crossword Club is about to be put to the test or the sword, methinks).

When Merchandise came off the printer, I looked at the small number of lines in the grid and thought that we might have been in jumbly land and sure enough – across answers must be jumbled.  On the other hand all clues are normal so we have normality!

This is Adam’s 54th Listener! He’s written about as many as I’ve gotten right in my lifetime! So way to go A. J. Sobey.  There’s only been one in George versus the Listener, Baker’s Dozen, and I found that one pretty straightforward, though the preamble was rather oddly printed in bold letters above the grid.

There is a 1 across, and a pass on the 1 across test, as (on)LY,COS,A gives us some spiders and nothing to enter in the grid.  You would think that a smart guy like me would start on the downs which could be entered normally, right?

The 1 down test is passed with ASHAMED, but it was in the Florida corner that I got my first completed grid quadrant, shortly followed by the top left.  I’ll admit, I made pretty heavy use of word wizards, getting BESETS and DOLINA from entering in the four letters I had at the time and looking for possibilities.  Definitely needed that in the top right corner which was my last to fall.

Now to find a regularly embedded message.  None of the usual suspects appeared to be here, diagonals, alternating letters, boustrobloodyphredrons, so the hunt is on

Attempt #1:  look for words in spirals.  That looked pretty good when I saw PLEASE, and went as far as drawing a line through it.  Nope.  Please isn’t 11 words.

Attempt #2:  There’s 11 columns.  Maybe one word is hidden in each column.  Every second or third letter…  column 7 has HATS (every third letter) and column 9 has AMONG (every third letter) and column 10 has HIS (every 6th letter).  Maybe… though I can’t make anything out from the rest of them.  Googling for quotations that have HATS AMONG HIS isn’t getting anywhere.  I try to make my own up.  BLESSED IS THE MAN WHO HAS HATS IN HIS CLOSET.  But that’s not it.

Attempt #3:  HATS and AMONG both use every third letter.  So picking up in the column between them… HATSLEEPAMONG – oh… THAT SLEEP AMONG?  Yes! It’s every third letter.


Sounds foolish… and it is, it’s good old Lewis Carroll, you maybe pedophile you.  And these butterflies get made into MUTTON PIES


My grid for Listener Crossword 4104: Merchandise by Adam

Now with false leads!

And we have a grid and solution!

Victory to George! Never heard of the phrase, and it was pretty cunningly hidden.

2010 tally:  George 31, Listener 7.  Current streak:  George 2.

Anyone want to buy a DVD?

Feel free to comment below, and see you next week when Charybdis puts us out to work.



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