The King James Bible may be 400, but we are 200!

Welcome back to George vs the Listener, where I’m trying to crawl out of the infinite loop I managed to get myself into last week.  I had to admit, I had a bit of fun following the thread about it on the Crossword Centre, looks like I was close to the solution but no cigar.

Brock ushers in Listener #200 for this blog!  Since 3963 I’ve only missed writing about one Listener (Quadrivium, 4000).  It’s been a lot of fun, and I’ve had some really interesting email and blog comment conversations with setters and solvers, and come in for some praise and criticism on the Crossword Centre message board, and I guess most importantly gotten my solving to the point where I’m not missing all that many.  Still not perfect, but who is…

(at this point I had to disappear for a while, and so the blog is late.  I haven’t looked at the solutions or any of the other blogs, but I have a viewer ticker at the top that says 50 people have come looking for this post – that’s very nice of you, it will be there soon).

Brock time!  We’ve only met Brock Once before, in  Not a Black and White Decision, where I missed the thematic stuff entirely, but Brock peeked in and wished encouragement (maybe Brock is one of the 50 hits?).  So be wary and focus on thematic stuff this time, George, there’s a good chap.

Extra words in asterisked clues, extra words giving definitions, and the age of a thematic subject.  Rest of the clues have definition misprints so every clue is meaningful to the theme, and we have (after last week), not only a grid but a gid full of real words!  Solver’s joy.

There is a 1 across but it’s an asterisked 1 across so I figure there’s no point solving it just yet.  Same thing with 10 and 11 (is this top half going to be a pain?).  There is a 12 across, and it looks like A,C,A,I which is a DARK product from South America.  I was in Brazil earlier this year and it was out of season, I’ll be there again in a few weeks, apparently eating the fruit is orgasmic and I could use one of those.

Anyhow, back to this grid… the only one I got that crossed it was EC,TOPIC so it was a very slow start on the top half of the grid.

I found this came together rfrom the bottom up – it seemed there were fewer asterisked clues in the bottom half, and I could work up from SOUL SISTERS.  Since 33-39 down all crossed it FABLE appeared in misprints, and where there’s FABLE, PHRASE OF, and BREWERS can’t be far ahead!  And they weren’t.  I have one of those!  The BREWERS section of this hidden message, encompassing the first few down answers, got me convinced GRANDMOTHER was 1 across and the grid started to come together.

Two B’s close together?  I smell a BIBLE and that K probably means a KING JAMES (and that would fit with the title).

To Bradfords!  The King James Bible was first published in 1611 making it 400 years old today (and it’s still in the stores, not bad work Mr. James).

Very excited like this it looked like a mad dash to the finish – I had most of the checking letters so I’ll confess I didn’t solve all of the asterisked clues, sorry Brock, just put the extra words together to spell out FOUR HUNDRED and tried to find the last few that way.

That mad dash to the finish ran against a wall at 27 down.  I cannot for the life of me figure out what is happening in 27 down.  I think some letters are being removed from LEMONADE… the definition seems to fit one of the usages of MAD in Chambers.

But it’ll be just my luck if I find that I’m one letter awry in my solution.

My grid for Listener 4163, Aversions by Brock

You know, I’m not really a fan of the Bible (check out this accusation on Times for the Times), but I really enjoyed this one so thanks, Brock.  Twigging Bradfords quickly turned it into a two session solve (this was put to bed long before I got my complete grid in Carte Blanche With A Twist).  Since I got all the thematic stuff I’m going to claim this as a G v L win, but I won’t be surprised if MAD is wrong.

Victory to George!

2011 tally:  George 36, Listener 10.  Current streak:  George 1.

Feel free to point out my madness below, and see you next week for the 201st in this series, 4164 4164 (now that’s numberwang).


6 Responses

  1. Hi George,

    As it happens, I wasn’t one of your 50 hits before the blog was completed but could easily have been. Glad you enjoyed my latest offering and hope that maybe I’ll meet you at a setters’ dinner some time?

    By the way, you were right, MAD was wrong. The answer is MAX. Obselete for gin = ” discarded demon drink?”; maxim – (l)im(e).


  2. Hi Brock – I looked at the solution just after hitting the submit button to put the post up. I also missed the significance of the misprints. I have the 18th edition of Brewers and can’t find them in there.

    I’m kicking myself for not seeing MAX = gin in Chambers.

    • In the 18th edition (as in others) of Brewer’s it’s cunningly hidden under “Bible”. There’s a long list of named editions, many of which are due to misprints. A few of the misprints do not correspond to the titles so need a bit of digging to unearth. There are many more misprints listed also which I did not manage to fit in the grid.

  3. I wouldn’t worry too much about not seeing MAX = gin. It took me an entire week after solving the rest of the puzzle to work this one out having been about to enter MA(L)T instead.


    • I feel in esteemed almost-unable-to-solve company! Any chance of seeing another aragon/bannsider puzzle soon? Don’t recall seeing you in the Independent lately.

  4. Aragon? No chance for the forseeable future I’m afraid. I don’t even have the requisite Chambers edition (!) Will probably only splash out on that when inspiration strikes.Or I get stumped on one Listener clue too many.
    Bannsider hopefully before not TOO long.
    By the way I’ve not seen any entries for the Clue writing competition recently.I hope you’ve not given up 🙂

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