Welcome back to George vs the Listener. I’ve got a show in about 30 minutes, so this will be a rapidish write-up but hopefully we can all have a laugh.
Aaaah, Sabre – veteran of at least 61 Listeners, and occasional reader of this little blog (Hi Sabre) and a setter with whom I struggle mightily. Let’s recap – Pangrams – yes, Whirly-Birly – yes, Au contraire – kind of, Lip Service – not even close. Hmmm… there’s a 6×6 bit in the middle with no gridlines. Normal clues (yay), but once a word enters the fobidden zone it goes bouncy bouncy bouncy like a knight until it stops.
Personal to whoever invented chess – really? I can imagine castles sliding, priests going in wonky directions, overstuffed kings barely moving (except to hide behind a castle, the only thing that can conceal their fat arses), and queens flitting in every which direction while pawns are destined to trudge one step forward, but how did you get it in your head that knights do this big leap with a sidestep? Are these ballet knights?
Actually I got off to a really good start here, with KING,C,UPS and MOCH(a) taking up the first row, and I had the whole left side of the puzzle, up until letters entered THE ZONE OF KNIGHTDOOM. This was the first of many snags – is it Thunderdome? Once you enter, can you leave? Because if you can, then JANGLE just backs up on itself. So much for checking letters?
Either I’m getting used to them, or the clues were tame by Sabre standards. By the end of my second solving session, I had all of the left and top side, most of the bottom (though I’m not sure about DONNA at 42 across) and a few of the ones jutting into THE REALM OF KNIGHTS. I can’t figure out 30 or 26.
That’s a lot of blank squares and no real good place to start. D,I,NOT HERE if it stays in the MIDRIFF OF THE ROUND TABLE would be a good one to check some letters, but there’s five possibilities for that I making more than five possibilities for the N.
And that, ladies and gentlemen was about all time and patience could afford. Sorry, Sabre, those jumping words got to me and I could not get anywhere near a finish on this one. Behold the grid of patheticness…
If we call Au Contraire a draw, then George vs Sabre is back to even stevens, but this one is definitely a Victory for the Knights of the Listener Crossword.
2011 tally: Listener 6, George 17. Current streak: Listener 1.
One of the reasons I didn’t have a lot of time lately was that I’ve been involved in the latest Feral Chihuahuas show, Keywords (about to be taken on the road). I’ll warn you, this is 20 minutes long and I sing in it, but if you’ve got some time, enjoy the finale of Keywords – The Great Domain Grab of ’97
Feel free to leave comments below, and see you next week where we’ll blaze a trail with Dysart.