Taken another way, this rhyme could be of a voracious homosexual who despised body fat on others

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword.  I forgot to scan my grid before I left for my Thanksgiving break.  Speaking of which, I am writing this from the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas, which is the most kid-enabling hotel I have ever stayed at.  There’s an indoor water park, pizza delivery to rooms (the only food that can be delivered to rooms), and a live action role-playing game stretched across 8 floors.  I am having a ball, my young nephews are starting to be over it.  It doesn’t appear as of yet that they have a printer, so I’m not sure how I’ll deal with the trip back.

Nutmeg time!  I didn’t pick a theme immediately this week, but I thought it was fun that we had two in a row with similar names.  There have been two battles with Nutmeg – last year was the hundred-acre-wood themed An Unsettled Spell which I got, and Franglais, which I got very close on, so George v Nutmeg is very close indeed.  What have we here – an historical character, linked by a number of clue answers, and down answers are entered thematically.  Sounds like a good idea to start with the acrosses!

There is only the thematic long entry in the first row, so we are left with the 11 across test – S(H)EEN gets us going!  Followed byLOCKKEEPER missing KEEP to give LOCKER, ERE,CT,ERS and WIELDED dropping 1 to become WELDED things were looking very bright indeed!  A run through the rest of the acrosses yields almost half of them – I’m very much on Nutmeg’s wavelength here.  In went GRAND, OLD MAN and BATTLE ROYAL to go with the preamble.

Time to look at some down clues – first up is RAWEST, and there’s already a SEW and R in place, so it looks like this is going in reversed or jumbled.  Didn’t get the next down but HEELS at 3 looks like it could go in normally.UNTRUE looks like it’s jumbled, as is SEEDCAKE, AIRBUS has the R and S in place to suggest it could be entered normally… at this point the top row looked like ?H?(U/R)?A???? and the idea that the first word could be THOUSAND started to form… that could make 2 down THRENES and normal – so maybe that 10 is not for the clue 10 down, but there’s 10 THOUSAND MEN from our GRAND OLD DUKE OF YORK… that main diagonal already had ?HED(U/R)?EO??OR? – so that would fit – and if SEEDCAKE went in as SEED-EKAC then we have our methods of entry – UP, DOWN and NEITHER UP NOR DOWN, so it’s not a jumble, it’s the first half and second half of the word written in backwards or forwards.

Woohoo!  About 20 minutes in and I’ve cracked the theme!

But that was not all – I was still left with a big gap on the oottom left hand side.

I had to go to the first night of a film festival that Friday, so the last few entries were solved in a rather sneaky fashion, using the cell-phone to get my last few in – SEDAN and ZOILIST, but overall this was a pretty rapid experience, about two hours in three short sessions, and I was done on Friday and an extremely rare example of a Listener being in Saturday morning’s post!

Still a very fun puzzle but I’m claiming Victory to George!  And now to take the nephews to Legoland.

2012 tally: 36-1-6.

Feel free to send on messages of Black Friday cheer or jeer and see you next week when Rood takes issue with my weight apparently and insists I get in shape.

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One Response

  1. […] saw nutmeg late last year with a fairly gentle take on the “Grand old Duke of York” in A Noted Performance, a visit to the Hundred-Acre wood in An Unsettled Spell (both of which I finished) and words that […]

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