Welcome to church, pull up a pew

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword.  I hope everyone got what they were hoping for over the holiday break.  I got a cricket bat signed by Mike Hussey, some caramello koalas and a sunburn, so I’m deliriously happy.  On the other hand, I started writing this in Firefox and WordPress told me I needed to update Firefox, and so I guess half the world is downloading the Firefox update which has stalled my computer a short while.  I am smarter than the average nobody, so I’ve switched over to Chrome and snuck in through the back door.  Soon we will have more browsers than any other programs on our computers.

All this and a Listener Crossword!  This week the challenge is put up by Stick Insect.  We’ve only met Stick Insect once before with a Henry the Eighth grid in Hexes, which I got out OK, so I was feeling good about this one.

There was another happy occasion here, as the grid appeared just after my last exam, so I was in a celebrating mood.  Off to the bar we go!  Side-by-side siamese twin grids, apparently joined by the 14-acrosses (sounds painful), and non-overlapping clues.  Challenge for setters, try one of these with overlapping grids and really confuse us.  Some clashes to work out along the way (20 of them) and something hiding in the final grid.  So normal clues…

Stick Insect has given us not just one 1-across but two!  And an instant pass on the 1-across test with a gentle hidden AFAR and A,SP,S meaning I can confidently write an A in at each 1 across marker.  Ha ha!  In what was to later prove a remarkable stretch of luck, I tossed a coin and put AFAR in the left grid and ASPS in the right grid.

The clues were fun, fair, and not too too difficult.  I started filling the right hand grid up pretty quickly, the left one was more of a trouble, and by the end of the first pint I was feeling very good about both myself and the grid, but I had no clashes yet.  I was starting to wonder if this was going to be like one from a few years ago where you had to shift words from one side to the other and create extra clashes.  Finally two clashes appeared in the one word!  CEILIDH clashed with both HEAT and CYST.  Hmmm…

You know how sometimes instincts turn out to be right.  I saw two C/H clashes and the title and thought “How awesome would this be if it’s a Listener about the second Law of thermodynamics”.  I’d found ACCELERATOR PRINCIPLE for one of the long answers, and it confirmed my lucky choice of AFAR left, ASPS right.  There’s three juicy Cs in ACCELERATOR PRINCIPLE, and sure enough – they all clashed with H’s in the downs.

OK, so I love the second law.  It’s basically my religion.  The Universe is tending to heat death and we’re just carrying it along.  There’s no point tidying your room, as the energy you expend in reducing the entropy of stuff all over the floor just contributes to the overall entropy of the universe.  How awesome is that!

There was nothing left to do but continue drinking and solving… sure enough there it all was – every C clashed with an H, MAXWELL’S DEMON was protecting a little DOOR and we have HEAT on the right hand side – so all the H’s go to the right and all the C’s go to the left.

My working grid for Listener 4167 - Lawbreaker by Stick Insect

Three pints, 20 clashes

I was an inspired solving monster here and managed a rare feat – a solution on Friday afternoon!  This was even in the mail before the post office closed on Friday.  Here’s the completed grid.

My final grid for Listener 4167, Lawbreaker by Stick Insect

Thanks, Stick Insect – I never thought that I’d hook on to a theme as quickly, and that all those hours in Physics classes in the late 80s were going to pay off.  Let’s call this one a Victory to George!

2011 tally:  George 38, Listener 12.  Current streak – George 1.

Feel free to leave comments below – and check back soon for another edition of George vs the Azed clueing comp and see you next week for a bit of the old Phizzy with BeRo.


4 Responses

  1. Hi George
    Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the kind comments (and rather belatedly for Hexes too). Happy new year – and good luck for an all correct run …

  2. Here’s a fact: when I was leafing through my Brewers a few months ago, I read the entry for Maxwell’s Demon and I thought, ‘you could do a crossword with this’d, and I came up with an verily similar idea for a crossword which I almost had a crack at writing. Needless to say it would have been pretty shoddy compared to this one. Because of this, I correctly guessed the theme of this one before I solved a single clue!

    • Not quite as fast as Paul, but I do like it when I project something from the title and end up being right. Maybe I’ll add what I think the title is about before I start solving in the blog.

  3. Thanks for checking in, Stick Insect – I sent you a little note with the submission too, not sure when those get back to setters. Looking forward to the next one, and we’ll see about the all-correct.

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