Shelley? Just a small one, medium dry.

Welcome back to George vs the Listener, and for a change I’m back at home and have a half an hour free to finish up this little thingy and be on timish.  This week we have a new setter (or newdonym) in Tangram.  Hi Tangram, if you’re looking in.  Well just so that everyone can have a complain about clue types they don’t like, we’ve got misprints (definition), misprints (wordplay) and letters latent!  Though the Letters Latent are easy to spot (at least if you can count, since even after going through it three times looking for the 12 letters latent ones I didn’t spot 13 down).  Two answers need modification, but it looks like this means that every answer in the grid is going to be a real word or a real word with one misprint.  So yay for that Word Solver thing that does misprints!

I didn’t get to start this until I was in California, so the first solving session was accompanied by some very delicious cali-mexi style chicken and churros.  If I lived there I would be about 85% churro.

There is a 1 across, and it nearly proved to be my downfall, because I rather confidently wrote in LANDGRAVINE with a misprinted E in the wordplay, making the first letter of my useful quote L.  That seemed OK at the time, as it fitted with ESTH, D(R)ONE, RO(A,RE)D and the letters latent AITERS so I was pretty happy with my utterly wrong start.

The grid turned out to be of the type where one starts at the top and then again at the bottom and hope they meet at the middle.  Sort of.  TWELVEMONTH with a misprinted N popped out quite nicely, and fit with LEE,TLE, the normal clue SERRATE and letters latent MISSAPE.  But Not so well with 27 down which I was pretty sure was L(O,C,A)L or with 23 which I couldn’t figure out at all.

Completely stuck on a half-full grid it’s time to turn to what clues I have solved to see if I can get a message.  Oh, and an author!  SH-LL–.  Now an astute person would have jumped right on one of the SHELLEYs but I was utterly convinced that this was Joseph HELLER (because I don’t think I’ve seen a Heller based crossword) and went poring through the intertubes for connections to catch-22, and my other spotty parts of the message:  LIN-E-IS–MEA–GONE-UTWI–T–.

This is not looking good.  Wonder if it’s not HELLER. SH-LL… oh bloody hell it is one of the SHELLEYS.  But that’s not going to help me at all… if that’s an E, then 23 is INTRIM and…

TWELVEMONTH has to be reversed!  That takes care of LOCAL (but kills SERRATE… no it doesn’t, I reverse it with the misprint intact.

Shelley, twelvemonth in reverse.  Let’s look up Shelley quotes about years… and there it is… WINTER IS COME AND GONE BUT GRIEF RETURNS WITH THE REVOLVING YEAR.

So 1 across is wrong! Re-thiking 2 down and getting LA(TRIM)NE and hunting to find a new 1 across and we have WALDGRAVINE and that W at the start of the clue.  TWELVEMONTH is reversed, TENT is reversed and we are home and hosed.

Ummm… except that there’s about 6 empty squares over there on the right hand side.  Including 13 down, which I still hadn’t figured out was Letters Latent, but now new it had something to do with H.

A bit more poking and prodding and I think I have a correct grid… not 475% on LAMER for 20 across (more strikingly crocked?) but if my counting is correct (man am I making a bunch of assumptions), I was left with that needing to be a misprint in definition clue, and that’s the only word that would work.

My original grid for Listener Crossword 4129, Letters Lament by Tangram

original sort of conufused grid

There’s the first effort, let’s clean it up a little.

My final grid for Listener Crossword 4129, Letters Lament by Tangram

It’s not TWELVEMONTH that gets reversed, it’s TWELVEMOETH

And I think I’ve got it.  Going to call this one a Victory to George.  Thanks Tangram, I suspect those more up on their verse would have found this a lot harder, but I found it tough until twigging the quote.

The ship is slowly righting!  2011 tally:  George 9, Listener 3.  Current streak, George 4.

Feel free to leave comments below and see you next week to see if I get rattled by Augeas.  And I have to finish with the scene with the line from the title (whoever uploaded this put an annoying musical sting at the start, so just ignore the first 5 seconds or so).

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2 Responses

  1. As it was we had had our first breakthrough when we realized that the solutions that were not fitting into our grid were the four-letter ones. Of course we should know by now that ANNE is far too obvious for a Listener setter in Bird seen in Channel?

  2. […] time!  We had a Tangram Listener last year with a Shelley theme, and it was a struggle but I got there. Let’s see what we’ve got here – Letters […]

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