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Is Catherine frightened because Daniel and Anders are coming for her? And is Lord Kelvin watching on? Where’s Reameur? Those dirty scientists!

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword – what an interesting week last week, I ended up with a correct grid for all of the wrong reasons (well in one case a semi-educated guess).  I got a hat-tip from Nudd in Listen with Others nonetheless.

This week we have another new setter or newdonym, Ifor!  In schoolboy alphabet, isn’t Ifor grudge?  And there’s no gridlines… or answer lengths.  Looks like solving is going to be a little cold here.  And twelve clues are definitions that differ by one letter.  Araucaria had a crossword like that around Christmastime in the Guardian and I couldn’t do it.  Mind you, for me that is true of many Araucaria crosswords.

There is a 1 across (and with the lack of a 1 down, unless something funny is going on then this one will go in the top right), and it’s one of those different by one letter clues with AFRIC/AFRIT.  This could be a record for me putting an answer (well almost an answer) in a carte blanche.  I did a run of cold-solving through the clues, and didn’t get that many, but as it turned out, I got just the right ones.

I must have been having a super brain day when I started this one, because realizations came pretty thick and fast.. AFRI? looked like it would cross quite nicely with FRAENA (though I didn’t spell it right first time in), ROSALIA and ITA.  6 across looked like somethingTRAP and in my run through the clues looking for obvious anagrams, there’s PORTERHOUSE and SLIDING SEAT.  So if 6 across does end in TRAP, then PORTERHOUSE can go down the right side, SLIDING SEAT 180 degrees from it, and there’s no more down answers starting on the second line – meaning PROTEST/PROTIST and ERUV fill up the second line to the O from PORTERHOUSE.

Sometimes I stun myself!  That also looks promising as it puts the letters that differ by one below each other.  Toss in LEAST/LEASH and we’re looking really good!  That probably means NOUGHT/NOUGAT goes on the left side to line up with them.

Knowing the shape of the top two lines, means that bottom line must be TANGRAM and EARLS/FARLS… and right above it is GOAHEAD/GODHEAD.

Enter word wizards… hey word wizards, give me all the words that start out [CT][EI].[TH]…[AH]* – CENTIGRADE sticks out… which might make FAHRENHEIT going up in the opposite corner.  CENTIGRADE starts at 5, and the reversed FAHRENHEIT starts at 41, and of course, 5 degrees C is 41 degrees F

I’m on a roll, let’s write it in… SERIFS/SERIES and ONLY/OILY later and I’m convinced.  With the game given away, it’s now just down to solving the last few clues knowing the letters and trying to place some of the words I didn’t have room for originally, like AT SEA, OLOGY and SIR.

39 is our unnecessary clue, and since 40 is below it, that’s what we need – the temperature where Farhenheit and Celsius meet – FORTY BELOW!

My final grid for Listener 4137, Frightened Catherine by Ifor

cold enough for ya?

Loved everything about it, particularly since I used to teach science history, and had students make a Fahrenheit thermometer (almost – we didn’t use cow blood or wine, but we did use sal ammoniac).  This was a long session, but a single session solve and a lot of fun.  Thanks Ifor!

Victory to George!  2011 tally: George 16, Listener 4.  Current streak:  George 5

GEORGE YOU TOTAL DUMBASS!!!  Guess who fell for the most deliberate trap in the world – I didn’t even get the answer to 39 but I did get the answer to 40 so I figured 39 was the omission and FORTY BELOW was the answer.

Grrrrrrr (still liked it, Ifor)

2011 tally:  George 15, Listener 5.  Current streak: Listener 1.

Feel free to leave comments below and see you next week for something that used to be a quiz show with IOA.

4 Responses

  1. Yes, I made exactly the same mistake 😦 – I thought that 39 could be interpreted as “F to C”, confirming that it was the extra clue.

  2. I saw you owned up to that on the Crossword Centre message board, Peter – misery always welcomes company – I bet we weren’t the only ones.

  3. […]  This is Ifor’s second Listener – last time was an embarrassing end-of-puzzle gaffe in Frightened Catherine where I thought I had gotten it, so time to right the ship.  What have we here – letters to […]

  4. […] the Flying Scotsman which was a pretty speedy solve, needing a bit of poking around in Brewers, and Frightened Catherine, which I thought I had, but fell for a trap with Fahrenheit and Celsius conversions.  Rubber […]

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