A long walk ruined by a dead router

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword.  Got some bad news, no internet at my place means I haven’t been able to scan the grid (I haven’t even been able to download the last few dailies, I’m stealing work internet to write this up).  Fingers crossed the post will be up tomorrow – if you want the short version of it – Teddy Roosevelt got shot, the bullet stayed in, and I found the front nine far easier than the back nine.

Check back tomorrow for more bad jokes and a grid.

In case anyone comes back to check, I now have a new Netgear modem and router and I am back on the web, just in time to get my Mephisto writeup done on Times for the Times.  So let’s get back to this one…

Quick wrap-up note from last week – I got an email during the week from KevGar with a few notes on the final step – my entry doesn’t quite match what was on the Times site, but I have a feeling I may be marked correct for showing it was the Paul Wittgenstein we were looking for.  I’m going to keep my tally as is and see what happens at the end of the year.

OK – let’s look at this week’s challenge – Artix, who is a new setter or a newdonym, so hi Artix if you are or were checking in.  I saw the grid and the title, and was reminded of a Wall Street Journal puzzle from last year (if you’re not overloaded with cryptic crosswords, and particularly if you like US puzzles, I highly recommend the WSJ monthly puzzle) with a similar idea.  I was on my way to New York City when this crossword came out, so the first sitting was a plane solve on Friday afternoon.

This was a frustrating start, because a first scan through the hole clues only yielded five or six, none of which were together, and only 10 of the ones where we were given a hint on the position of came easily.  I did a bit better with the colums, getting seven of them on the first reading, and finally one entry could go in – KINCOB had to go up and across since there was no I In BLOODSUGAR.  A few more promising developmenst on the front nine – all of the letters in LAPPER are in PERIPTERAL, so maybe that went down the left hand column – that would have the front nine mostly on the left hand and top side, and the back nine on the right side and bottom.  Most of PHAETON is in SYMPATHIES, so that could join to DARG at the top…

It was very much a bits and pieces solve, but I twigged to the theme relatively early – with FUGUE and BLIND ROADS comprising part of the middle section, something twigged.  I had STRONG???B?LL?O??? as the last letters and thought it might have been STRONG and BALL, but when I type in STRONG AS A into Google, it finishs off with STRONG AS A BULL MOOSE… now last year I taught a class on Humanities, and students had to write research papers on a figure or a theme.  I had one student who was obsessed with Teddy Roosevelt, and wrote a paper on Roosevelt’s finest moments, including being shot and giving a stump speech, and the bullet never being recovered.  That’s even in (lucky) clue 13… is this a Roosevelt theme and the BULLET is in the clubhouse?

That would work with UDO connecting the two close together circles at the bottom.

So I have a lot of portions, most of the jumbles, about three quarters of the holes and a good idea of the theme…. time to start putting it together and make sense of this message.  I started with the columns and circling letters I had already placed

working out the positions of the holes and messages in Listener 4211


This approach helped me get the last few columns (MATTAMORES, BROOM and AEROPHOBIC) and confirmed the Roosevelt theme with SPEAK SOFTLY and CARRY A BIG STICK with the leftover letters.  This also confirmed what I thought was DAMOSEL was DAMOISEL.

Still two to go, though – used Word Matcher with the available remaining letters to get MIRADORS (then groaned at the clue), and that left

One last problem… I couldn’t place DAMOSEL in the space that it needed to fit in, and that left the remaining letters to spell SARUM, which works with the clue, but wasn’t a city I had found in previous hunts.

Anyhoo, after a lot of sweating, I finally had a complete grid – this took the whole week and wasn’t in the mail until the next Monday.

my grid for Listener 4211 - One Shot at a Time by Artix


Great fun, Artix – and really stretched me to the limit there, but looks like it’s all in order and I can call this a Victory to George!

2012 tally:  33-1-6.

Feel free to leave comments on reliable web connectivity, and see you next week (on time, I hope), when Raich gives us a resolution well in advance of New Years!


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