Listener fans of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your all-corrects

Welcome back to George vs the Listener crossword, your weekly chance to find out what happens when the hardest challenge meets the warpedest mind.  And last week was a prime example of where I was well and truly up the garden path, and got plenty of page views, comments and emails to point out my density.  Thanks to all, it’s good to be loved or loathed.

Lavatch time!  And time is what I associate Lavatch with – We had “The Fragmentation of Reality” last year with the Kurosawa theme that had me lost for a while, before that “Beat It!”  which I thought I’d gotten but missed an important thematic element, and “Key: cutting”, which is still one of the longest periods of time I’ve spent on a Listener.  So what we know about Lavatch is that he/she picks themes I know nothing about, and I may get close and fail.  Let’s see what’s going on here.

14 clues, definition extra letter or missing one (no misprints this week).  Thematic entries, some on one side, some on the other.  So maybe not real words in the grid.  Something to go in the top line and then one more transformation.

OKeydoke… well there is a 1 across, and for the first time in a while, we have a big pass on the 1 across test.  with M,EL(L)ITE – sometimes it’s good to have some Inorganic Chemistry experience!  Almost immediately a problem arises, as 6 down is a nice juicy anagram of SNICK OR SNEE and that’s not going to play nice with MELLITE.

However assistance is soon at hand – the crossing of AYES with YOUR and PUNICA with both KUDOS and SNICK OR SNEE suggests that some of our down answers are to be entered reversed.  A little more plodding away and it looks like all of the left hand side downs are ups.  Upside downs?  Well that’s half a full grid, I wonder what’s going on over on Side B?

I had a full left side with very little on the right.  I had most of the answers that needed to be shortened, but no way of shortening them, though it didn’t look like jumbles.

TRIPPLERS had to fit into TR-PLE-

INVALIDATE had to fit into IN-ALI-

Isn’t there’s some ambiguity there?  I guess INVALID is a real word, but it’s not just chopping the ends off.

OPPOSING could become POSING.  I’ve now lost PR — ATE — OP… if HIVING becomes HING (which is a word, much to my surprise), we can take PRIVATE PROPERTY out of the right side and leave real words.

Hey, looky that, I’ve got a grid!  Woohoo!  I haven’t understood much yet, but I have a full grid.

Let’s look at those extra letters… I’ve only got 13 of them.  There’s meant to be 14?


Hmmm… well what 7 letter words can I make out of that.  Yes, I fed all those letters into Word Matcher and saw a long list of 7-letter words.  One that jumped out was WORKERS – the leftover letters from that would be APICAT which is an L away from CAPITAL.  Neither CAPITAL WORKERS nor WORKERS CAPITAL are in Chambers or Brewers, but some googling shows that WORKERS CAPITAL exists.  Adding PRIVATE PROPERTY to the search pulls up something in a flash.  It’s even something I’ve read!

Marx and Engels – Communist Manifesto!  Elimination of PRIVATE PROPERTY and WORKERS RISING.

I hope a bunch more of you laughed out loud when you saw it.  And so the things those workers of the world that united were going to lose were YOUR CHAINS, which is reversed in the left side of the grid.

Working grid for Listener 4161, To Have and Have Not by LavatchReplacing YOUR CHAINS with MARX and ENGELS reversed leads to more real words, and a final grid.

My final grid for Listener 4161, To Have and Have Not by LavatchI’m awestruck.  Lavatch, my winter hat is doffed to you.  This grid is a thematic marvel – symmetry (not our usual 180 degree, but mirror symmetry nonetheless), all real words (though sometimes in different directions) with EVERY SINGLE word fully contained in one half contributing to the theme, and all real words in the final version.

This was a great Listener, comrade Lavatch.  I’m still dumbfounded by how you managed to do it.

Now where was that L I missed?

Victory to George!  2011 tally:  George 35, Listener 9.  Current streak:  George 1.

Feel free to leave comments below, and see you next week when Mash serves us a Carte Blanche with a twist (for those of you who don’t like your Carte Blanche’s dirty).


2 Responses

  1. Hi George – I sympathise with the missing “L” – it took me 90 minutes after the rest was done to find it, trying to replace an extra “A”. Enjoyed this week’s report and looking forward to your struggles with Mash…….

  2. […] – let’s review Lavatch… there hasn’t been one since the end of 2011, when To Have and Have Not introduced us to Marxism/Engelsism (one of those is easier to say so I guess that’s why it […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: