You can have any color, as long as it’s one I have in a pen or highlighter

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword.  There was an interesting comment on the Crossword Centre message board this week from Ozzie (hope your Z key gets well soon!) about Listener submissions – that if you do not put your name and address on comments to setters, then JEG transcribes it from your envelope (so much for anaonymity).  Whether any setter likes to get my comments or not, I include my name, address and email with my submission, and I thought most people would.  Anyhoo, if you’re reading here and didn’t catch Ozzie’s message – include your contact details on comments to setters.  This is a public service announcement from your friendly neighbourhood sometimes solving blog.

Speaking of setters who just got my address and email – it’s Tea Leaves stepping up this week.  I thought I’d tackled a few Tea Leaves puzzles, and was surprised to see that I had only tried one, and it was an utter failure in Wild Goose Chase.  I think I’ve tried some Tea Leaves puzzles in other places, though, maybe my occasional dips into the Inquisitor?

What have we here – a carte blanche with a clash in every single square due to all answers being too long.  Oh that should be easy…

I spent a long time struggling with a starting point here – it wasn’t until I had about 15 answers that it struck me – all these answers have colors in there somwhere.  And CHAMPAGNE SOCIALIST would fit in the top row if I cut out CHAMPAGNE or SOCIALIST, but YELLOW SUBMARINE would fit nicely in one row if I cut out YELLOW.

A grid slowly starting to come together now… I could fit in a few of the entries – since SOCIALIST, (EBON)ITE, (BLUE)MURDER, (BLUE)CHIP, SMEA(RED) and (BUFF)I fit in the first three rows and give homes to (GREEN)SICKNESS, CE(RED), IMPO(SABLE), A(ROSE) and L(UMBER), maybe every across answer fits neatly into this box.

That would make SUBMARINE the bottom row.

But no clashes…

But of course there are clashes!  You’re meant to write in the words in the color indicated, that way you’re actually entering the word as is.  AHA!  So there’ll be some resolution of colors from this message.


Well here I hope I’m right – I think this means BLACK and BLUE.  And MODEL T FORD is right in the middle of the grid, and Henry Ford is known for saying “Available in any color as long as it is black”.  So all those clashing colors need to be blue, except for the MODEL T FORD in the middle.

So we’re all done…

Except I haven’t even looked at 16 of the clues.

You know, by this point it was already Thursday – I found a lot of these clues very difficult but I was happy enough with my answers to the across ones that did completely fill the grid that I think I have it and put it in the mail.  But I feel like I’ve taken a cheap way out.

My working grid for Listener Crossword 4178 - Confused by Tea Leaves

What a curious puzzle – I’m sorry that I didn’t get to solve every clue, Tea Leaves, it looks like it must have taken a good deal of effort to construct, but sometimes when a shortcut is available, I’m all over it!

Let’s call this a victory to George and keep some fingers crossed.

2012 tally:  7-0-1

Feel free to berate my laziness in comments, and see you next week when Augeas asks for twelve to be gathered.


2 Responses

  1. I too submitted this one without having solved several of the one-letter-entry clues. Interesting to have every cell checked like that, but I just couldn’t bring myself to toil at those last few clues given only one letter of the answer and the fact that the rest is a colour (surprisingly less helpful than it might seem) when I was certain anyway (or as certain as I ever am) that the solution I had was correct.

    Fun stuff though. I greatly enjoyed the mental picture of the multi-coloured intermediate grid, sadly never to be realised on paper.

  2. There appears to be a shot at the multicolored grid at Listen With Others, but I agree. I guess that’s necessary with there being a clash in every single cell, but it would have upped the ante to maybe being every checked cell and leave a few unchecked here and there to make sure all the clues needed to be solved.

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