No gay sex danke, we’re German

Here we go – 2011!  Break out the fireworks and prepare to snog at midnight.  It was already 2011 when I cracked this one out, and I actually started it in the departure lounge (given the state of them, I have no idea how that term still applies) waiting for my first of several flights that would take me from Melbourne to Asheville.

I always seem to have fun with Loda’s crosswords, (hi Loda, if you’re looking in).  There weren’t any last year, but 2009 brought ROC with those little flying birds, and one of my favorite puzzles of that year, In Clue Order, On and On which must have taken a bazillion years to write.  So I was looking forward to Auf Wiedersehen (is that the correct spelling? I guess it’s phoenetic anyway).

So what do we have?  Extra words, some messages coming from first and third letters, only one clash and something to find in the grid.  Sounds gentle enough – and the initial grid is all real words, so I can cheat like crazy with the full text search of Chambers. All right!

There is a 1 across, but I didn’t see it straight off (something to do with L and EME), but I’m hooked straight away sitting waiting to leave the country and seeing a clue for VEGEMITE.  For those of you who don’t know, some brewer somewhere saw black gunk on dead yeast, said “I bet that tastes awful on toast” and a legend was born.  I hate the stuff, but I like the clue, and ALASTRIM did sort of stick out there as “hey, I’m an extra word”.

The grid put itself together, the top half being largely finished as I was sitting in another “lounge” at Sydney airport.

I’ve been to some terribly oppressive airport bars in my day, but the shiny wall of death that is the bar near gate 8 of Sydney international departures must win some sort of award every year.  Uncomfortable plastic chairs molded to the shape of some alien with three bum cheeks, and a barman whose plane left hours ago and must loathe his life slinging drinks to people trying to figure out what they can get for their remaining Aussie dollars, while topping up the drinks with their duty free.

Oh, so I was there and finishing off the top half of the crossword when I figured out what was going on. ?ALLY BO?LES and FR?U NOWAK did it for me.  We’re in “Cabaret” land, or at least in “Goodbye To Berlin” land.

It was then I noticed GAY in the fourth row and SEX in the final one.  I didn’t think this was going to be a part of the puzzle, but there you go – GAY SEX makes an appearance in the Listener.  Not sure how much of it there is in “Goodbye To Berlin” but apparently Isherwood was a fan.

A bit of in-flight onlining and I had my quote to finish off the clues – MAN SHAVING AT THE WINDOW, WOMAN IN KIMONO WASHING HER HAIR.  So there is it – a camera in the middle, and CI is in the lens.  Wonder if he should be reversed?

Now the grid fills at a rate of knots (yay for all real words!), one of the last things I found was that clash – and it is C clashing with I for the author that can be replaced with the G from “Goodbye To Berlin”.

A bit more poking around Isherwood quotes and there’s I AM A CAMERA WITH ITS SHUTTER OPEN, which can be spotted around the middle.

Would you believe I’ll probably be wrong anyway, because there’s one I just don’t get.  I think 30 is UNHATS, but I can only fit it to one half of the clue.  UNIATS I don’t think is going to work and I can’t find anything else that could go in that unchecked letter.

My grid for Listener 4118:  Auf Wiedersehen by Loda

smile for Loda

Unfortunately by the time I got back to snow-covered Asheville the deadline had passed for sending it in, so my true all-correct aim is blown in the very first crossword (even if UNHATS is correct).  But in George versus Listener terms, I’m going to call this one a victory.

I had a lot of fun with this one, maybe it’s a warm-up to start the year, or it helped I knew the source material, but I enjoyed this one and it kept me sane on a lot of time spent with Qantas and Delta (I also did most of puzzles 8-11 in the Times Listener book).

2011 tally:  George 1, Listener 0.  Current streak:  George 1.

Hope you enjoy the new stuff, feel free to comment below, and see you next week as we produce a mass with Hedge-sparrow.

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One Response

  1. ooops – ignore anything I said about GAY SEX – the Y is really an X from my rather poorly-written ELIXIR.
    Wonder if Isherwood was into GAX SEX?

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