Welcome back to George v the Listener Crossword.  Been an interesting week in crosswording – we lost Viking, compiler of Lost and Primordial, and there was a post on the Crossword Centre message board that Hubris (compiler of In Shock) passed recently.  The obituary in the Telegraph states

“Refusing to embrace the internet age, he ignored the many blogs from solvers grappling with his clues, dismissing their arguments as trivial.”

Sorry to have trivialized you, Hubris, rest in peace.

Now let’s see who and what can be trivialized this time. Charybdis! We met Charybdis in How to put on a little weight, and as part of Harpy in Hard Rectangle, both of which I solved and really enjoyed, so there’s high hopes.

11 clashing clues and an axis of symmetry – that means rotation – nice use of the proper symmetry element, since a single answer could constitute an axis.  Now we need a 3-D crossword (listening Sirius?) that uses points and planes of symmetry as well as the axis.  But I digress…  lots of highlighting, some letters to be removed from clues.

There is a 1 across, but initially a big fail on the 1-across test.  But 6 across yields the first extra letter and it’s an O to be taken out of the anagram of RULES and MOB to get SLUMBER.  The top half of the grid was a pretty straightforward fill – at the end of my first solving session (sadly not at a bar or anywhere particularly interesting, but while minding a class for a colleague while the students were taking an exam), I had the top half filled in and enough of the extra letters to piece together MASTER OF NONE.  My adding together of the clashes looked like we were heading to PUMPKIN KING, but Halloween isn’t for weeks?

Penny dropped when I took a higlighter to the clashes and their opposite number – it’s a figure like the way I draw, a stick figure, something to do with hangman… and if you take away the middle of 15 you get STEE-PLE… it’s a JUMPING JACK!  Needed that to help correct MALI and GUSLES.

Still an issue with the across answers… I had OPEDTHEBOX… oh – a KITTEN is a little DOE not a little ONE (well it’s both but in this context)… OPEN THE BOX and the jumping jack pops out and the rest is history.


My working grid for Listener 4105: Out to Work by Charybdis

Original grid, featuring scribblings and markings


Taking out the figure, reveals four occupations associated with JACK – TAR, STEEPLE, QUARTER and LUMBER.  And there’s SPRING-HEELED down the bottom.  My yellow highlighter doesn’t come out well, but here’s the final version, with a little stick figure drawn in for good measure.


My final grid for Listener crossword 4105: Out to Work by Charybdis

That yellowish highlighter doesn’t come out very well on the scan, stick to blue next time

Victory to George!  And another really fun crossword and one that really shows off my artistic limitations.

2010 tally:  George 32, Listener 7.  Current streak:  George 2.

Feel free to leave comments below, and see you next week, when Elgin will change clothes before our very eyes!



2 Responses

  1. […] week?  It’s Charybdis!  You may remember Charybdis from such Listener crosswords as “Out to Work” (with the little jumping jack figure), the doughnut grid in “How to put on a little […]

  2. […] the planet (I’m doing my bit, I have fewer kids than Seth Mould), a stick-figure in Out To Work, and the Bundt-cake grid in How to Put on a Little […]

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