George with the Listener happyword

Welcome back to GvL – your one stop source for poor identification of themes and ignorance of thematic material, not to mention grids scanned at uncomfortable angles.

This week it’s Kea – editor, prolific setter, and showing that he has very little taste in reading material, subscriber to this blog.  Let’s look back… Kea most recently gave us Scattered, which was an anagram of a whole other crossword (got it), the numerical eponym 4164 (yup), Table-Turning (fail, and missed a chance for grid mutilation), Admission (which I flubbed mightily on a puzzle many waxed lyrical over), and Conflict Resolution (limped to a finish battered and bruised).  Kea has since been revealed on the Listener website to have had fingers in the Corvettes puzzle (a tribute to Viking, which I got) and with Viking, as Kevin (a tribute to 1000 Listeners in the Times).  So take a deep breath, I believe that’s  5-2 I am with Kea puzzles.

What have we here – transformations (why am I not surprised Kea is not letting us settle at the original grid – I wonder if it’s a ploy to get people to buy more than one copy of the paper, or in my case, print out a bunch of grids).  Also transformations in clues.  Well there’s real words everywhere!

There is a 1 across but I couldn’t make head or tail of it, so that’s a big fail on the 1 across test.  Gulp.

Not a good start, with nothing coming from the clues until LOO,SE gets us started.  Fortunately that leads to a mini-start with TOO,LED and EG,O slotting in.  That was it for a while until AS,KEW gets me going.  Hey, maybe I can only do charade clues now!

Hmm… 26 down looks like it should be ARCUS, but that’s not really irregularly seen.  Fits definition, lets me put S(U)ING and CHIN,O (yay, I can do hidden answer and container clues!) in.  Which probably means 18 down is some form of DAKOITI (there’s about 3453 spellings for that in Chambers, but those pirates are getting a lot of love in the Listener).

What’s going on here – maybe some funniness in wordplay?

And how about 22?  VERNON would fit, but that’s a not a woman’s name


Some words have to be changed to antonyms?  That could make 11 PO,GOING (hopefully all of you who solved that had flashbacks to Plastic Bertrand jumping up and down while the colours swirled behind him) and 5 NON-TERM.

That helped a bunch – off I went slotting answers in and highlighting the ones that had the changes – though along the way I saw if BLACK changed to WHITE then there’d be all real words (and an IPOD, which Chambers allows, but I refuse to think of as a real word).  Yep – LOOSE, STUPID, HEAVY and WRONG can all change.

My working grid for Listener crossword 4226, Polar by Kea

Interesting experience, after a long and slow start, once I got the theme, it was less than an hour until everything was done and dusted.  That was a rather fun theme, Kea reigns as the master of “fill one grid, now make another”, however I still have the challenge out there to make a Listener where you have to set fire to the grid!  Let’s call this one a Victory to George

2013 tally:  3-1-0

Feel free to leave comments below, and see you next week when Xanthippe finally sets that Douglas Adams themed crossword I’ve been waiting for!



3 Responses

  1. Great stuff! As usual!

  2. You realise when I get appointed Pope that my first edict will be to put you on every PubWatch list.

  3. […] is making a second appearance for the year, with the first one being back in January in Polar, where one had to change a bunch of words to their antonyms to solve clues.  Took a while, but I […]

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