To get doon toon you’ve got t’go undergroond

Hi there and welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword – easily in the top 35 crossword discussion sites there are.  Spotty start to 2011, certainly inauspicious, but who knows, maybe I can get it together to be all-correctish from here.

This week we have Travel Guide by Aedites.  I had a rare free weekend the day that this came out, and so I got started on it in a rather pleasant circumstances – I was on a plane headed to Houston to spend the weekend with my brother and his family.  There’s three boys that need to be spoiled rotten by their uncle.  So I was on a plane with my gifts of subversive books and violent video games and ready to crack this one open with Bradfords and my WordWeb version of Chambers.

We’ve run into Aedites a few times in both letter and number form.  It was the circular grid Babes that actually got this blog a little attention in the days of trying for 50% completion.  The round grid returned full of numbers for Euclid’s Algorithm which might be the biggest numberical ever! I was feeling pretty confident with Aedites until I hit Question where one silly wrong answer unravelled my whole grid and I didn’t understand bell-ringing. And I noticed the poor spam filtration on Blogspot which eventually prompted the move to WordPress.  That one earned me an email from Aedites himself, showing me how bell-ringing works – thanks Aedites!

OK here we go… extra words, and misprints.  Useful hints and something to do with places.  That’s a rather confidence-inspiring preamble, and even better – all real words in the grid!

There is a 1 across, and it looks like some form of anagram but I’m not sure of what originally.  First one in was D,REAM at 11, and we have a misprint of D.

The clueing was fun, but very much on my wavelength – I’ve noticed that a lot when I do the Independent or Guardian dailies… I know that if I hit a Orlando/Paul/Shed/Dac/Brendan/Chifonie puzzle I’m going to get the wordplay, but when I see Anax(sorry Dean)/Gordius/Quixote/Arachne I know I’m going to be in “duh” land.

The upshot was that two hours and a lot of smiles later, I got off the plane with a full (though I wanted to check KNAVE, not sure if KN was ok for Knots or EVAN might have been a girl’s name as well) grid, a good suspicion of what the majority of the extra words were and knew we were looking for something of the Glasgow Underground Circle.  I didn’t even know there was a subway in Glasgow!


First grid for Listener 4124: Travel Guide by Aedies

A full grid but no theme yet

Google to the rescue – this is going to work – there are 15 stations on the Glasgow undeground, and they can be pieced together from the extra words.

Map of the Glasgow Subway from the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport

Here’s the subway map from Strathclyde Partnership for Transport

My working notes for the thematic material

In which we learn about the Glasgow underground

And there’s THE RIVER CLYDE running a path right through the middle.  Let’s tidy it all up and put it in the proper form.

My final grid for Listener 4124, Travel Guide by Aedites

Straight line provided by the side of an envelope

All done in two sessions, so I guess that’s on the easy side of Listeners, but that was one of the most fun Listener’s I’ve done in ages!  It fit together so well, there’s a bunch of thematic material and I learned something new.  Thanks Aedites, you kept me from turning on my fellow passengers (I had a book to read on the way home).

So Victory to George!  Starting to right the ship.

2011 tally:  George 5, Listener 2.  Current streak:  George 2.

Feel free to leave comments below and we’ll see you back next week for some elementary number theory with Oyler.  Look in sometime during the week to see if we have the next instalment of George vs the Times Clueing Challenge – I believe it’s also time to fail in an Azed comp this week too!


6 Responses

  1. I thought pointing out the letters of Glasgow in indicated cells was an unnecessary giveaway.

  2. Really? I liked it as an extra layer of thematic material (though I guess most crosswords will have that combination of letters), but maybe without recourse to the Internet, having just “Underground Circle” and a bunch of partial place names may have been too difficult to piece together?

  3. Regarding AZED clues:
    Have a stroll through the AZED ‘slip’. Try and think of the surface you want at the same time as the wordplay. This month’s is tough, as it’s not very amenable to anagrams. Have a look at the clues of: Mark Barclay, NC (Colin) Dexter, CJ Morse, DF Manley, and Dr E Young. Superb. ‘Rough and Ready’ by E Young, my favourite!

    • See here’s the thing… I do read and admire those clues. What I don’t want to be is a copy-cat… get my own style and flavor into the clue and hope that it passes muster. My brain couldn’t be wired further apart than the Morses, Manleys and Dexters of the world (the few).

      I saw an immediate wordplay element that I would be kicking myself if I didn’t get into this months word, and I went with it! We’ll see what happens.

  4. […] see what Aedites has in store for us.  You may remember Aedites from early last year with Travel Guides giving us a trip around the Glasgow subway (a definite win), before that was some bell changing […]

  5. […] with the tale of Froude and Kingsley.  Before that was a trip through the Glasgow subway in Travel Guide,  a failed piece of bell-ringing in Question, a ring of numbers in Euclid’s Algorithm and […]

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