In which there is a failed revolution and no DEVOlution

Welcome back, faithful readers and new friends, to George versus the Listener crossword, where I try to get better at the barred-grid beastie of DOOM.  This week it’s Spud, who is either a new setter or a new pseudonym (spudonym?), and what have we here – the puzzle printed on one sheet of paper with a teeny tiny grid and lots of room to write underneath.

Acrosses, downs and scrambleds.  Oh dear… thematic elements, instructions, misprints in clues.  That’s a heady preamble, might as well get to seeing what I can solve and work the rest out later.

I was very naughty in the first solving session here, did it while paying a half ear to a speech about how the state is out of money, and lots of people may not get paid for their regular day jobs.  Much better to only half listen to that and work on these clues.

There is a 1 across and a victory on the 1 across test, although I couldn’t spell it right the first time – INCANDESCES, and we take the T out of INCEST so the first misprint is here as well and it’s a T (can a H be far behind?).   1 down looks like it should be INACCURACIES but I can’t quite see how the clue works (apart from the CURACIES part).  Two juicy big entries right off the bat!  The Yankee corner seems pretty accessible, with UNALIKE, EIK and CENTRE SPREAD (and with SELF TRAINED I have the perimeter and can work my way in).

Hmm, that’s odd, there’s no clue for 40 down.  Nothing in the preamble about missing clues, maybe some of the alterations send words there.  Similarly 23 down.  Weird.

The right hand side is coming together, but I haven’t entered any of the few “scrambled” words I’ve found.  Those seem more impenetrable than the others… I can see RELUME, what I think is TRUTHS with a misprint O, FEDORA (S), LATENS (no misprint).

I’d been trying to get there for over a week when something struck me… the “scrambled” clues are in normal clue order… so did my printout leave off some clues?


4 missing clues appear when I go to print another copy. Oh, great…  at this point I’ve got so much done in the first grid I just scribble the clues at the bottom of my page.

Misprints are coming together… looks like the across read TURN STEEL BLUE.  Down looks like AUBERGINE… so there’s something blue and something purple.  Scrambled, I have OSIRUCBU  COLOUR somethings?

And now I’m in a real mess… to try to solve the last few clues, I’m trying to enter individual letters from the “scrambled”, but I can’t seem to make it work – the letters of RENNE don’t seem to match up with REEN, LATENS, and GREE and I can’t seem to place the letters in GUNMAKERS across these.

I can’t see any sorts of STEEL in what I have in the grid so far, and there’s more than 16 appearances of the letters S,T,E, and L so maybe I don’t even have the misprints right.


That is where time ran out on this one.  I blame my printer from ruining the initial enjoyment, and I’m really curious to see where things were going.  I do see OCHRE in my grid, but no other words relating to colours.  Wish I could see 2 down or 14 across, that’s the only real gap left here, but I can’t make sense of those clues at all, even with two letters in 2 down and several porings through the NO section of Chambers.  As a testimony to the glorious mess, here’s the left side of my sheet.

Victory to Spud, my lousy printer,  and the Listener Crossword!  Very curious to see where this was going and how close I was to getting there.

2010 tally: Listener 8, George 33.  Current streak:  Listener 1.

This weekend is Halloween, and there’s a big music festival in honor of the late Bob Moog (who I met a few times), that is falling apart at the seams, with two of the headliners (includind DEVO) cancelling recently.  I am feeling better about not jumping up and dropping a bunch of money on tickets as soon as they came out.  So happy Halloween, let’s go way back and celebrate Jazz Butcher style!

Feel free to point out shortcomings below, and see you next week where Emkay not only gives us a past, he (or she) gives us a present!


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