What do you call a thousand lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword.  Last week’s turned out to be a bit of a polarizer, didn’t it?  Well this week we’re back in rebound mode to face Mr. Lemon.  Not the best time to be in rebound mode, methinks, because I have struck out majorly on the last three Mr. Lemon Listeners – Forced Entry with all those adding and subtracting of letters, replacing S and N with T in Tobacco, and gotten tantalisingly close (but missing the hidden message in corrected letters) in Unusual.  Time for some revenge!

I was in Denver when this one appeared, and it looked disarmingly straightforward.  Sixteen misprints, it doesn’t appear any modifications of grid entries, so we’re in real word territory, and a long quote going around the outside.

With the top row being the quote there is no 1 across, but a win on the 7 across test, with NOS,H giving me a misprinted V (read preamble carefully, keep misprints, not corrections).  One day I’m going to try to set a crossword where you’re asked to keep the misprints but the corrections will end up coming out to DUMBASS READ THE PREAMBLE.  Setters, feel free to steal that idea.  With that I was away, the top half of the grid coming together in the space of a few gin and tonics!  The wordplay this time around was mostly straightforward, and am I just getting better at spotting them, or were the misprints sometimes kind of obvious, particularly when joined to another word – like FIRMER KINGDOM at 10 across?

Good thing I had that top half quickly because it turned out to be the key in this case.  With my unclued REPE?TE ?EMO ??RPI?SIM?? it’s pretty obvious we’re not looking for an English phrase, and the outside looked like it was shaping up to TAKES SEVEN YEARS TO something (and I definitely had that V for the corner).

I will admit I had never heard of the phrase, but Googlyoolge to the rescue – checking on DEMO REPENTE asked me if I really meant NEMO REPENTE and maybe NEMO FUIT REPENTE TURPISSIMUS (nobody becomes bad in one step).  Yes, Google, that was exactly what I was meaning.  Thanks for doing my crossword for me.

Finding that the quote was from JUVENAL (who I had not heard of either) solved the headache of that J from the misprint at 13, and there we have it…  IT TAKES SEVEN YEARS TO BECOME A SOLICITOR.  Cue Basil Brush and the BOOM BOOM – here’s my grid (yes, there’s an A where there should be a U, but I don’t often scan the cleaned-up grid until there’s a significant change).

Wow, compared to all those hours bashing with letters and numbers last week, this was like a breeze!

And maybe Mr. Lemon took pity on me and threw me a softie for beating me up so many times.  Or I’ve missed something stupid.  But I’m going to claim a Victory to George here!

2011 tally:  George 27, Listener 8.  Current streak:  George 1.

Feel free to leave comments and criticisms below, and see you next week when Brimstone drops the beat on us.  Untz untz untz untz untz…


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