listener 4109 post

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword – I’m afraid it’s going to be a short one this week, the rush of travel is upon me again, with DC this week, and Hawaii and Australia looming.  Woohoo!

This week it appears we have a new setter or pseudonym, Brock.  Hi Brock, if you’re checking in.  The grid looks like one of those Azed side-by-side specials that I don’t recall seeing in a Listener before.  I wonder if anyone has tried to do one of these with a top half and a bottom half?

Clues are two clues side by side, except for 1 across.  So not only is the 1 across test here, but it looks like it’s crucial.  I expect I looked like a comical figure getting started on this – I was hung over again, and at a chinese restaurant guzzling noodle soup. However, in this state, STABLE BLOCKS came out from the pretty obvious set of anagram letters, so we were away.  The top half (particularly the left side) came together pretty quickly from these clues, the right hand side not so much.

Back home and with dictionaries and the like, the rest of the answers also came in a bit of a rush – solving SOWFF opened up the bottom left (on my original grid), and HALERU took care of the other side.  Three solving sessions later, we have a grid.  A grid with six clashes, but a grid nonetheless.

My grid for Listener Crossword 4109: Not a Black and White Decision by Brock

Ugh... I think I know what's meant to happen but I can't force it to work

OK – the next step looks clear, right? There has to be clashes in rows 6, 7 and 8, because one could never resolve the last letters of 5 and 14, nor the meetings of the 13s with 11s.  I had originally thought you couldn’t match the 16s and 14s, but you could, and maybe this was the assumption that was my undoing.

So now to find ways to move around rows 6-8 and introduce more clashes.

I’ll spare you the 20 or so grids and partial grids.  I couldn’t make this bloody thing work.  I knew that the bottom had to be a choice between HOUSES and HORSES, and I saw most of the letters of GREEN (though split between two rows) and tried to make more types of HOUSES.

I just saw that the solution has gone up on the Listener website (hmmm, it’s not due to go up for another 9 minutes by my reckoning) and I was so utterly and completely looking for the wrong thing that it would have been a miracle.  I just couldn’t get an 18-clash grid where anything stood out.  That sinking feeling that comes with a full grid and no clue.

So well done Brock, a victory first up!

2010 tally:  Listener 9, George 34.  Current streak:  Listener 1

Feel free to point out how I can’t shuffle words around below, and see you next week when we bid a fond farewell to Hubris.

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5 Responses

  1. Fornicate a duck! As soon as I saw the answer I went to a version where I’d written out every possibility like this

    SR | OE | WE | FN | FS | I…

    and FIELD SITE sticks right out now. Idiot!

  2. One Down, by Amicus (Listener 3668) was a top half / bottom half puzzle.

    Bad luck with the puzzle, I thought the final step was a bit of a sod as well!!

    Oli

  3. George,
    Sorry the puzzle defeated you at the last step (you were by no means alone), but hope you enjoyed the clues at least. Keep on blogging!
    Brock

  4. Hi Brock,

    Thanks for looking in – I did enjoy the clues, found the top half a lot easier than the bottom half, still admit I felt silly after seeing what I missed. Enjoyed the setters tale on Listen With Others too. Here’s to the next one!

  5. […] time!  We’ve only met Brock Once before, in  Not a Black and White Decision, where I missed the thematic stuff entirely, but Brock peeked in and wished encouragement (maybe […]

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