A Listener for a solver of little brain…

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword.  Let’s start off with some pirates, shall we?

I was about to accuse Nutmeg of being a new setter, but looking way back in the archive – there was Franglais back near the start of 2008 (and this blog), so hi Nutmeg if you’re looking in.  I came up one entry short on Franglais (but still claimed it using George v Listener fuzzy logic), so let’s see what we have here.

Letters slipping in and out of clues and grid entries, that’s a pretty neat device that I don’t recall being used before.

There is a 1 across but a massive fail on the 1ac test as I have no idea what’s going on there.  Next up is 5 across, where RIFLING looks like it might be TRIFLING, but similarly, no luck.  Nor with 10.

New rule – if you can’t solve the first three clues, start from the bottom and work up!

Excellent – 34 down is PLUG, there’s an E moved into the answer, and I’ve narrowed it down to authors whose name ends in E.  The task is half over!

Working from the bottom up yields a few more results – WRONG PLACE looks like a good candidate for the slippery letters in 6-26 down.  I found it easier to find the extra letters than to solve the clues.

Especially so when I put WRONG PLACE into the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations and up pops:  My spelling is Wobbly.  It’s good spelling but it Wobbles and the letters get in the wrong places – A.A. Milne.

Fits the slippery letters I have, and WINNIE THE POOH going down the middle works with HONEYPOT… actually exceptionally well.

And there was much celebrating, happiness and back-slapping, for the code was cracked and the theme was found.

But I only had about five entries in the grid, and a lot of these clues look like mush and there’s precious few real words in the grid.

One hour to crack… many many more to unravel.  I’m starting to drift back to preferring to get the theme later on in the proceedings.

My worst problems, though now I look at it, I have no idea why, were in the California corner – RAMET is so simple, but eluded me forever, and although 39 really has to be SILLY with an extra G, I can see that from the wordplay – CHILLY losking C and H for S, does SILLY = GIT’S?

And I’m not 100% on 32, it’s either BAR or BAN… I’m going to go with BAR mostly because it puts BEAR in the grid, since HONEYPOT, KANGA, RABBBIT, TIGGER and PIGLET are in (in one form or another).

My grid for Listener 4139, An Unsettled Spell by Nutmeg

here’s that grid!

So a kind of a muffled victory to George – I’m happy to have finished it, but there was something a little… sloggy about the last part.  I liked the number of Hundred Acre Wood characters in the grid, I was a fan of the books when I was a young child, didn’t think much of the animated version.

2011 tally:  George 17, Listener 5.  Current streak:  George 2.

The Keywords shows last weekend were really great and got some good reviews.  Here’s a clip of me in action (I’m playing LiveJournal and LinkedIn) in “A Brief History of Social Networking”

Feel free to leave comments below, and see you next to find out Sabre has me jumping to a completion.

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2 Responses

  1. […] names.  There have been two battles with Nutmeg – last year was the hundred-acre-wood themed An Unsettled Spell which I got, and Franglais, which I got very close on, so George v Nutmeg is very close indeed. […]

  2. […] “Grand old Duke of York” in A Noted Performance, a visit to the Hundred-Acre wood in An Unsettled Spell (both of which I finished) and words that have different meanings in French and English in […]

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