A crossword for the hard of herring

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, coming to you from rather bizarre circumstances in smoggy Dallas, Texas.  I had to make a hasty exit yesterday as the weather was closing in, and wasn’t quite packed and ready, and didn’t get a chance to scan my grid before I left.  So I’m writing this up without my grid, and without a copy of the crossword, so it could be a short one…

New year of solving! Slate erased!

Verbascum was a new name to me as a setter, but a peek at the Listener archive has two puzzles from over ten years ago, so hi Verbascum if you’re looking in!  What have we here… misprints, and two names linked by two concepts.  A couple of misprints in definitions leading to two definitions.

So all real words in the grid (at least for the clued entries) – this might not be too too bad.  I remember getting started on Friday afternoon, with the internet and all the dictionaries one could need close by.

1 is thematic, so it’s an 8-across test and it’s a gentle subtraction anagram to get ISN’T and we are away…

I remember this being a pretty quick grid fill – I was in tune to Vebascum’s style of clue, and most of the grid was together before I tackled the thematic stuff – 1 across came first, with BINOMINAL a possibility Chambers directed me to LINNAEUS, and right above BINOMINAL is BINOMINAL, which I knew could be linked to NEWTON, who was hiding down there.

So the end of the message is just the constant associated with Newton and gravity, G.  But what of the rest of the connections… I had to google a bit to find PYRUS MALUS, and then we have a full grid.

Now to find a work of LINNAEUS and highlight it… I couldn’t really make anything much out of the rest of my misprint letters – CULPEA appeared to be some sort of fish, but LINNAEUS didn’t do much with fishes, did he?

I had to put it down for a night, but on Saturday, it was one of those flash moments… back to check on CULPEA, it’s a HERRING… so maybe this is a Linneaun version of RED HERRING?  There’s HERRING in the grid sloping backwards.  AHA!  Highlight him in red and we are done.

This was in the mail on Saturday, which was good, since I was about to head out of town for a week and wouldn’t have had a chance to get a copy in the mail.

2013 starts off with a Victory to George!  Now can I break past that 40 barrier?

2013 tally:  1-0-0

Feel free to remind me to scan my grids early and often, and see you next week when Colleague teaches us how to… something

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5 Responses

  1. I think I’m going have have to up the ante for the next one

    Verbascum

    • Thanks for checking in, Verbascum – I’m afraid there’s weeks where I have my grid sitting next to me, and am lucid when I get to the computer usually on Thursday night or Friday morning, and there are times when I’m in a hotel room and working from memory, I’m afraid you hit the latter.

      Listener solvers are a tough bunch to please, I just looked at the list of comments on the Crossword Center. Some seem to want to have to translate all of quantum physics from bra-ket notation to Dirac notation, and some want to show off how they put in the mail Monday morning something that took mere mortals until three weeks after the solution was published. Who knows… I’m now finding I can tackle most in 3-4 sessions, and it depends on how my week is shaping up as to whether I have to bust it out on Friday or take it a bit at a time during the week.

  2. I hope you break the 40 barrier . Good luck.

    • Thanks, Mike. Right now I’m at a good solid 1 I believe. This will be the first year I get the official statistics, so I wonder how close my reckoning is to the Official Checker. What’s funny is I tend to get emails from setters when they see my name on the fail list.

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