The wicked witch is friend to all children!

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword – thanks to Ferret for the shout out in the setters blog over at Listen With Others.  Hey setters, if you prefer to send your solving blogs to a far smaller and less educated audience, feel free to send them my way!  I’m headed out of town again this weekend so I’m writing this blog up a little earlier than usual. Just a little.

This week it’s Flying Tortoise – which made me excited – there’s only one flying tortoise in my ken, and it’s Gamera!

And the theme has something to do with the setter.  Finally a Listener about giant monster movies, woohoo!  Steady on George, got to solve this thing first – what do we have here – nine modified clues, a quotation clued without definition, and a letter added to words to make the theme.  Looks like we’re in real word territory, woohoo!  I was well set-up for this – I was proctoring an exam, and I had Chambers, Bradfords and a computer right in front of me.

1 across is the theme, so we have to try the 12 across test.  And it’s a gentle anagram of OSLO and we are in the game – well in the game with it crossing the recently-seen DOCETIC and a big dent is made on the left side of the grid almost immediately, and… wait a second?  Did flying tortoise sneak CHEKOV in there? CH and then EVOKED with the ends removed reversed?  To boldly go where no setter has gone before? Has there been a Star Wars themed Listener?  Is it in Brewers?

Working down that left hand side proved another mini-breakthrough with CIG, which is all checked, meaning that LOVE has to become GLOVE.  That means 2 down could be LEERS if LANCES became GLANCES.  Aaaah, there’s some letter G jiggery pokery.  G for GAMERA!!!

The message at the bottom is starting to come together – BY THE P????????

I also had a few possibilities up across the top – with RAVEL, ENEW, and STRIDE in place I tried Word Wizards with combinations that would fit the letters that could go on top of that and KENNETH GRAHAME came up – he had a significant anniversary recently right?  D’oh – that doesn’t start with a D.

Back to the drawing board… and to the bottom – BY THE PRICK…   ooo errr – quote – BY THE PRICKING OF MY HANDS, SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES.  Wasn’t there a musical “Something Wicked This Way Comes”?  Oh shit… there is a musical “Wicked” and one of the main songs from it is “Defying Gravity”.   Don’t tell me?

Oh yes it is.

I got my hopes up for Gamera and you give me Wicked???

So the last person I dated drove me batshit crazy (yes, I know it’s not a long drive) and especially with singing that song.  We even went to see it in San Francisco.  It had its moments, but overall I was underwhelmed.

With the theme in place, it didn’t take long to find the last few answers – I was completely done in 90 minutes.


Well – after being teased with Mervyn Peake, Dickens upon Dickens, gardening and other themes I don’t really get into, we have finally hit a Listener that has a theme I actively disliked!  Sorry about that, Flying Tortoise.  You’ve made the most of the theme, but I really wanted Gamera.

Let’s call this a Victory to George – 2012 tally 30-1-6

Feel free to criticize my musical philistinity in comments, and see you next week when Merlin takes us on a city shopping tour?


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