There will be clashes alright!

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, and hopefully a chance to rebound from last week’s effort.  Still smacking myself for missing those two words and the thing is both were words I just bunged in without fully working out the wordplay.  Loose lips sink political careers!

But it wouldn’t be George vs the Listener without failure, and as always, a week where I post an incorrect solution gets double the hits of an average week.  So thanks for all of those who came in for multiple reads and a laugh, and I hope I don’t let you down this time.

Let’s start with a video, shall we?  A few months ago I was interviewed for the International Year of Chemistry.  There’s no jokes, I come across as a super-dork, but my interview ended up featured…

OK, now to Garden Scraps…  Colleague has appeared here once before, with Times Group, all about St Bridget and her O Lord’s.  I got that one, though I had to hunt down the Os.  I remember the grid fill being much easier than the endgame.  What are we up against here?

Wound up protagonists and clashes, some coloring, something going on in the middle vertical and some letter-turning.  Might be another one where the end could be trickier than the beginning.

As seems to happen, this one got started in an airport, where I was delayed by several hours for a flight, missed a connection, but wound up on first class for the last leg (so if some letters look illegible, you’ll know why).  There is no 1 across… there is a 1 down, and it looks like an anagram but I couldn’t get it on a first go, so back to the top.  A gentle anagram of DAY ONE at 6 across and we’re off.

Didn’t take me long to find my first clash, with OUTCROP  not playing nice with ARSENIATE or TEIND.  I wasn’t sure if 17 down was OWN or KEN, if it was KEN there was another clash and I’ve got a V of clashes.

With all real words in the grid, this wasn’t that onerous of a fill – the New England corner gave me the most trouble (mostly around KROONS and KRABS), but something hit me – I couldn’t find any more letter clashes.  Nor did anything drawn through my clashes in OUTCROP, ARSENIATE, KEN and TEIND.

Hmmm….

If in doubt, check the diagonals… EBLOREHEATH…  TEEKESBURY.  TEWKESBURY rings a bell… maybe it is OWN and there’s only one clash.  Even better, maybe it’s OUTSAIL and there’s no clashes… at least in letters.

Forgive me readers, but my knowledge of the Wars of the Roses, at least up until now, could be written on the back of a postage stamp along with the names of all Dickens characters I can remember.  Back on ground and with internet access, the battles at TEWKESBURY and BLORE HEATH appear, and the image of the crossed swords with the roses for LANCASTER (red, in the top right) and YORK (white, in the top right) reveal themselves.  The D’s at the end of 1 down and 10 down become the handles of the swords.

My recent trip to England included a visit to the DALES and I was familiar with the PENNIES (I thought the first 6 was SN,ID,E, and that makes the other EN,PLANE,S).  Here’s the grid before the coloring and twisting

My grid for Listener Crossword 4150 - Garden Scraps by Colleague

Lancaster’s rose is bigger… who won?

Despite myself, I think I’ve got it!  Sneaky trick, making me look for letter clashes (I guess it would have specifically said letter clashes, right?).  That was fun and I learned something, about Wars of the Roses and about taking preambles literally.

Victory to George!  2011 tally:  George 26, Listener 7.  Current streak: George 1

Feel free to leave comments below!  See you next week when we take Ruslan to task for Numbers, Nummers, Bummers and Summers, and if you happen to be in the Asheville, North Carolina area next week, maybe you’d like to see a show?

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One Response

  1. […] crossword fans know, a colleague is an organized set of mountain passes).  Also the setter of Garden Scraps, where I created a pretty tortuous path to the solution for myself by misinterpreting the preamble, […]

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