Carte blanche, shaken but not stirred

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword.  I’m on holiday right now and the internet where I am is spotty at best, so I’m going to try to set up a post to show up automatically.  That doesn’t always work, so bear with me, not that you’ll be able to read this if it doesn’t post in time.

I did a double-take when this came up, thinking that it might have been a Mass puzzle, having heard of his departure a few months ago, but having not ever done a Mass Listener.  But it is not Mass, it is Mash.  Mash is also a new (to me) setter, there’s one from 2006 that I may have tried but it doesn’t ring a bell.

OK, what have we here – a puzzle that doesn’t fit into the 10×15 provided, apparently it fits into a 10×30 and must be “transferred”.  Hmmm, OK.  There’s jumblies (but numbered jumblies) of the down answers.  Something about thinking things over and seeing things through, neither of which are my strong points.

Well, maybe some of this cold solving will help clear the way – there is a 1 across, and a pass on the 1-across test with a nice juicy anagram of KAMA SUTRA.  It’s crossing WHISKY MAC, though that needs to go in as KIAHYCWMS.  There’s a 2 down that is THUMB KNOT, which may or may not pass through the T of KAMA SUTRA.  Looks less likely that it does, since a peek through the rest of the acrosses and BICIPITAL is poking out for 7 across and that’s not going to play nice with WHISKY MAC and THUMB KNOT.

Hmmm… since there’s 15 across entries, it looks like there’ll be one across entry every other line.  So I started a new grid with the down entries I found written in their order and just looking at the letters of the 5 or 6 across entries I cold solved.  A second pattern emerges with the three “across and down” start at the same square entries of 1, 10 and 19.  They look like they should be under each other.

A few stabs into constructing this new grid, I had to pull out the big guns.  Fired up Crossword Compiler to put together a grid.  Those last few entries (particularly the downs) took a lot of grunting and groaning, but after about 13 rejected attempts and 45 poor transcriptions of jumbling those down answers, I believe I have the grid that was being searched for at the start.

my working grid for Listener 4162, Carte Blanche with a Twist, by Mash
So now to that second part… transferring

Doesn’t look like we’re going to roll it into a ball.

Doesn’t look like folding it along a diagonal is going to do anything

The rows alternate between full and empty, but there doesn’t seem to be a great deal of common places for them to overlap.

Maybe the jumbled answers need to be unjumbled.  That looked promising for a while, but I can’t seem to make the unjumbled down answers fit with the other down lines.

I tried writing the across answers forwards and backwards one line at a time and trying to match up mirror image letters.

I tried cutting the grid in half and folding the top over the bottom forward and reverse.

I tried looking for patterns of letters that could overlay on each other, since there was only meant to be one clash.

I still think that last one is the most likely place this solution is meant to come from, since there’s a lot of T’s and I’s in the grid (a whole row of them in once case), but it totally escapes me how we are meant to transfer this grid.

Houston, we have a lack of transference.

I looked up transfer in Chambers and it does say that it can mean to place a design on a different surface.  But a mobius strip would need to match up somewhere forward or reverse.

Head hurts.

Mash wins.

I have no idea where to go from here.  Nothing at all seems to be coming from the preamble, I wonder if there’s a leap of faith or just something really well hidden.

Victory to the Listener Crossword.  2011 tally:  Listener 10, George 35.  Current streak:  Listener 1

Feel free to comment on my lack of transferability below and catch you next week when we’ll have an averse reaction to Brock.

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