You thought he was bad, have you tried Spenser?

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword.  There was some smooth sailing for a while, but I seem to have hit a few rough (and silly) patches in the last few weeks, let’s see if things can be righted again maybe.  At least I didn’t highlight MARM last week (I don’t think I even saw it, or else I probably would have).

Aaaah, Radix this week.  Now Radix has taken a few little playful digs at me on the Crossword Centre Message Board over the years, and  I have struggled with his offerings in the Listener.  The last full-blown Radix we had was Double Cross which I managed to get.  I just noticed that the previous Radix, which was the Play”fair” Argentum attracted about half of the usual number of entries.  Not to mention various incarnations of Mango and Qid that have passed by.  So a modicum of revenge is sought on Radix.

Misprints somewhere, across spell a person.  Double misprints in downs, doing one of those boustrothingys that pop up from time to time.  That’s a lot of misprints.

A misprint-hunting we will go.

There is a 1 across and it looks like SHE,A for a tree that makes regular appearances in barred- and American-style grids.  The first misprint is a W and when there’s a person’s name that starts with a W, what are the odds that it’s going to be WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE?  It’s the right number of across clues.  6 across – braId and ENLACE, didn’t see 11 or 12 straight off, but 13 is UNMATCHED and fIt and 22 across is MOLDERING and decAy and the Shakespeare thing is looking dead on.

Theme found, time 5 seconds.  Pat on the back George, you’re really good at these.

Knowing the misprints, most of the across clues went in pretty easily, and quite a few of the down clues.  I hadn’t found a single clash though… each across clue has at least one unchecked cell, so it’s probably the case that repairs have to happen in unchecked letters.  Given my luck on the first guess, I thought I’d ride this out and not have any clashes.

For a day or so, that was as far as I got.  Despite having almost all of the across clues from knowing the misprints, the down clues were BEASTS! I thought there’d be some obvious Shakespeare quote appearing, but I couldn’t get anything until finding PAJOCK in the middle there.  It’s in Chambers as a word that may be a misspelling.  Well I knew where one word ended and another began, so back to looking for words that Shakespeare invented by messing up spellings of other words?

Seems like that’s the way to go – as eventually GALOWSES appears.  Finding leO as the misprint was a hold-up here.  I had a large number of mismisprints (I may have invented a word just little Willy S there!) including two in the second down clues, where I orginally thought it was Out and taG for H,END.  I had to start searching Chambers through patterns like TU??ON? to get TURBOND and again at the end to get HANDSAW.  Eventually there was a grid… and messy it was!

My working grid for Listener 4193, Taste and Fancy by Radix

OK, now to these rectifications.  Radix had done me a favor here, in that the entry at 12 now had to be ARAM, an easy find in the full-text search of Chambers. I did abuse chambers a fair bit here, looking for all possible misprints and writing down the letter options in a column (I thought I’d scanned it, but not that smart).  ISH SPELLER came out as a contender at the bottom.  I AM A —-ISH SPELLER?

Googling I AM A ISH SPELLER brings up that I AM A WEAKISH SPELLER is an anagram of WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE.  Ahhh, hardy har har.  In go the recitified words…

final grid for Listener 4193, Taste and Fancy by Radix

For what I thought might be a Friday finish based on the first two brainwaves, this wasn’t in the post until Wednesday!  But I think I’ve got everything in its place, and can breathe a sigh of relief.

Thanks Radix for teaching me a new amusing anagram – don’t understand the title at all, but I think I’ve got everything else worked out.  I’m going to claim this one as a Victory for George!

2012 tally:  19-0-4

Feel free to tell me about how I should be able to get titles with no problems, and see you next week when Ben Trovato foreshadows the England batting lineup for the upcoming one day series with Australia – at least two little ducks.

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One Response

  1. […] by Radix (and several more Radix-influenced Listeners by Mango and Qid).  Most recently was Taste and Fancy which I managed without too much trouble, the two-for one Double Cross which I crawled to a finish […]

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