Don’t trust whitey!

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, and this is it for the 2012 set of Listener crosswords.  And who do we finish out the year with but Mango!  A three-headed setter, a carte blanche and a grid shape with shaded squares that triggered something as soon as I saw it.

Let’s see – most clues look normal, down clues lose a letter, some significance to 27.  Thematic items and shaded cells.  Hmmm… coldish solving time!

It looks like there’s only two possibilities for the arrangements of the across clues, with the first two going in the first line, and the next one going one line down.  Chances are this first one does begin in the top left hand corner, so let’s call it one across, and it’s AMAZ(ON)E and we’re away!

Must admit, my first sneaking suspicion was correct, as fitting AMUSEMENT, MEAT and ALFALFA into AMAZE revealed “POT” as the three letters that needed to disappear!  I knew this grid looked familiar.

Hey, remember a few years ago when there wasn’t a Listener on Christmas Day, and an amazing setter named Zaphod contribtted a puzzle to the first (and to date only, but there may be more) original crossword in GvL history, the Lessener.  By the way, there was one correct solution to that puzzle, congratulations to N. Talbott (see the solution here).  So with five clues solved, I shot off a note to Zaphod suggesting this Listener may ring a bell.  Some steady solving later… and that’s what we have – a snooker table, with the balls indicated by their colors, and “white lies” is our thematic entry.  Grid was full in about an hour and a half…

My working grid for Listener 4222 - White Lies by Mango

So our instructions are to put the balls in order, keeping them rolling along those shaded squares.  I traced a set of paths to get the balls to their final resting places, working both backwards and forwards, since it seems there’s only one way the black can go down.

So the white has to hit the yellow, and then sit on the path that will eventually be traced by the blue, giving it a long route around the table to knock in the green.  The blue then takes its long trip around the table, until the brown gets knocked into the side pocket.  The pink goes straight in and the black takes a long trip.  So after the first shot the white lies on the E of the blue path and before the last one it’s right next to the B on the W.  In the mail it goes!

Well I’m a bit behind so the solution is out, and it appears I may have found one that does not find favor with the graders.  I’m not quite sure how to score this.  I guess I should call it one of the “close but no cigar”.

2012 final tally:  40-3-8.

Feel free to criticize my pool playing, and see you next week for a fresh start on 2013!


One Response

  1. […] – the tropical fruit that I just can’t seem to crack.  Last year we had the baffling White Lies, where I still can’t figure out what made my submission incorrect.  Before that was one I […]

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