Holey grid, Batman!

Welcome back to George versus the Listener Crossword, and we’re getting close to wrapping up Year three of the blog of occasional cluelessness.  Be prepared for a few weeks of weirdness, because of what happened a few weeks ago.

So I had to leave on a business trip and one of the last things I did before I left on Friday afternoon was print the Listener – Girl by Xanthippe.  We’ve had Xanthippe once this year already with the rather fun DOG AND BONE text message puzzle, 364 263, and before that one of the very first puzzles completed for George v Listener, Solitaire.  So I’ve got a good track record with Xanthippe, and enjoyed both of the challenges.  So here I am on a plane with Bradfords in the hand luggage and my laptop with the full-text Chambers, best equipped for travel I’ve been in years.

Oh, and what I thought was an ingrown hair.

Hmm… carte blanche and the number 1 and 2 in odd spots.  Clues in normal order, extra letters and a rather nifty method of getting two messages out.

This one is going to require some preparation.  First the good news, the lengths of answers are given, and with only ten lights across it is obvious which across answer goes on which row.  Even better ENTERTAINS and BEER GARDEN leap out at me, and I know they go right in the middle.

That gives me a place to slot in ILL-OMENED and SEALANT (thanks to a quick peek as to the definition of Mastic at Charlotte airport).  And by the end of my flight to Washington D.C. I’ve got a top left hand corner completely done.  Don’t know where to put VAL, and I had PLACET on the third row.  But that wasn’t a bad start.  I could see where RECTOR could fit with TENON and GLOSSIER, but that didn’t confirm the location of those at the bottom.

My time in DC was productive, but the thing on my leg was turning purple and swollen.  My hotel room was disgusting, and I had to ask for it to be cleaned again once I got in.  Knock a star off the Holiday Inn, Ballston Virginia.

By my last day in DC, the pain was unbearable, but I didn’t feel like dying here. I called my doctor and got an appointment for almost as soon as I got back into town the next day.

On the flight home, I played with the right hand side – I was pretty sure GEESE had to start on the second line, which meant AVAL had to cross LOWEST and stretch to the end of the row.  That got me the top right.  Teasing out LIDOCAINE and I can place GLOSSIER, confirm GNOMONS and I think some version of KAMPONG and I’ve got an almost full grid.

I was about to find out more about LIDOCAINE as luck would have it – my doctor looked at my leg and said I had an abcess than needed immediate surgery.  I laughed pretty hard when my doctor said he was going to use LIDOCAINE to numb my leg before cutting it open, and showed him the crossword.  He didn’t seem all that impressed.  So I was sliced and diced, packed full of gauze, cultures taken…

Turns out I got a staph infection that turned into MRSA.  It also cramped my solving style for a few days as I was in new degrees of pain.  I cancelled a few shows because apparently a guy hobbling around in pain with a bleeding leg isn’t comedy.

I was determined to get to the end of this though – so I started trying to piece together the message, in order to help find those last few answers.

TWO HUNDRED AND leaped out at me from the middle, as did FOLD OVER.  Eventually I had FOLD OVER TWO DASHED LINES, CUT ALONG THICK LINES, and knew those last few extra words (can’t believe i’d missed MOROSE – OS = MORE) for so long.  FORMAL, BREAK-IN and DORP finish the grid.  I started filling in lines (actually going overboard and accidentally putting lines through DARG) and having a go at the instructions.  Here is the result (I used my printer to make a photocopy of the crossword on yellow paper).

My cut-up grid for Listener Crossword 4112:  Girl by Xanthippe

I ginsued that crossword!

And here’s the final grid

My grid for Listener Crossword 4112:  Girl by Xanthippe

My grid for Listener Crossword 4112: Girl by Xanthippe

I wonder if the crossword was meant to be submitted with the holes?  I guess it would be accepted with or without the holes.  That was a really nifty trick, and I like Xanthippe’s approach to grid multilation!

Victory (albeit a painful one) to George!

2010 tally:  George 37, Listener 9.  Current streak:  George 3

Feel free to share my pain, and see you next week when we try to crack the Liberty Bell with Pieman.

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4 Responses

  1. I haven’t seen the solution but I strongly suspect entries would have to be missing the cut-out pieces. Else, there’s no demonstration that the instructions have been properly understood.

  2. According to the Listener Crossword website, the expected they cut-out grid. Now watch the complaints roll in…

  3. […] tried have been word puzzles, and I got all of them with varying degrees of struggle – Girl with the little cut-out holes, 364 263 (I wonder if this will be archaic soon as most people use […]

  4. […] checking in), having entertained us with a numerical involving licence plates and US states, grid mutilation (but still not burning), rhyming slang in text messages, and a crossword that was a game of […]

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