Invisible Think

Have a great Christmas from the staff of one at George vs the Listener.  I’m in Australia with limited access and will try to get my report in tonight.  Enjoy whatever you celebrate!

OK, I’m now drunk and I’ve checked the solution.  This is what happens in Australia.  Welcome to just about the end of the 2010 series and the last in the list of pain puzzles done with a huge open wound and MRSA being squeezed out.  My leg now just looks like it’s been attacked by a very very large mosquito.

Invisible Ink II was started on a plane, as I left Asheville for far far warmer places (this is not difficult at this time of year).  I was on a Very Long Flight with Bradfords and my laptop with Chambers Online.  To the untrained eye, I probably looked like I was doing something terribly important, when really I was just looking for patterns of letters that fit.

Inivisible Ink appears to be a sequel to a puzzle some years ago for which a complete solution does not appear on the Listener crossword site.  Though it appears similar – find the solutions to the clues that appear, and you should be able to turn the rest of the puzzle into a jigsaw that slots together.  But we are still dealing with Sabre, with whom I have had an upsy-downy run of luck – early this year we had Pangrams which was a success, before that the wine-soaked (rather like me) Whirly-Birly, a very close call on Au Contraire, and a big fat fail on Lip Service.

The good news here was that the plane flight was enough time to solve almost all of the available clues.  Everything checking 5 down and 6 down had a definition and with that BEBOPBOP pattern there couldn’t have been that many possibilities right?  Just none that could come to me on the plane and I’d run out of batteries to do pattern searches.  Once I got to my destination and checked out the interweeb available at the hotel, some of the pattern became clear.  BEBOPBOP was NONSENSE, OTLTOIO could be either SIZISTS or SIZISMS, but O-B-PO-R-IP- had to be SYNAESTHETES so that fixed I as being T.  The rest of the grid was a steady find of likely-looking words – the double Z at the end of the translated BLOWBALL would have to be HUZOORS and OOZE.

Things were starting to look good – and then we hit California!

Short story shorter… I made a real mess and didn’t figure a way out and now feel really stupid.  I had PRODIGY for 20 down and YARN for 31 down and just could not make that bottom left work out.  This led to QUANTISE going across the bottom and a few more messes that I now see in the solution grid.

I had resigned myself to one of PRODIGY and YARN being wrong, but could not see what the other possibilities could be. Combine that with having W as the substitution for H, there was not going to be a filled grid on my end.

Very excited along the way, frustrated at the finish!  Victory to Sabre and the Listener crossword.  We are ending the year on rather a spectacular crash and burn!

2010 tally:  Listener 12, George 37.  Current streak:  Listener 3.

It doesn’t appear there is a new Listener today, so there may be only two to go for the year.  So join me at some similarly random time when I talk about being drunk at New Years and play a(nother) game of 1 with Glow-Worm.

Merry whatever it is you believe in, and feel free to leave comments below.

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