Hercule Poirot and The case of the missing preamble

Another Friday, another Listener – and hi to any new readers (there was a huge spike in views last week, not sure if that was because I posted late, or there was something special about last week).  This is George vs the Listener, where one average solver makes public his hits and misses and transcription errors are the norm (if you missed it, scroll down for a funny postscript on Xanthippe’s puzzle from last week).

This week’s challenge comes from Ilver – there’s only been one Ilver Listener before, Easy Win, which I managed fairly easily with the Pig Latin theme.  What have we here?  Well I don’t know, there’s no preamble. Hmmm…

Now how does one get started when there’s no preamble?  With 1 across of course, and at the time, nothing was coming (even though it was a pretty obvious clue later on).  This was a frustrating start, no preamble and no obvious answers to clues until I hit 16 across… well LA(T)TE fits the clue, and fits the space, let’s bung it in!  The crosses A1,TS so are all the clues normal?  Not sure what’s going on with 19 across, but the next one I can answer is E(SS)E at 20 across, so things are still kind of looking normal.

28 across is a mini-breakthrough.  Clearly an anagram clue, but if it’s NEW+TRADE+AREA it’s WEAR AND TEAR with an extra E or if it’s N+TRADE+AREA it’s WEAR AND TEAR with a missing W.  Almost immediately under that in the clue list is another wonky anagram, this time it’s definitely ARTY with an extra N.  OK, some clues have extra letters in wordplay (D’OH – that makes 1 across SORT).

Now we’re cooking… in go some answers…

OK, what’s this 41 across?  The answer has to be TOPIC, but the clue is SORT FIRST LETTERS OF OTHER IMPERFECT CLUES TO PRODUCE THEME.  Which works kind of as a clue (anagram of first letters) but is kind of awkward.

Hey idiot – maybe that’s a part of the preamble?  Can we make a preamble of these other clues that have a bunch of numbers in them?

BEING IMPERFECT, SOME WORDPLAYS INCLUDE EXTRA LETTERS… well I knew that, but that’s a fun clue for SIN

FIRST LETTERS OF EVERY DOWN IMPERFECT CLUE TENDER INSTRUCTIONS… aaaah  I guess I should read those then…

READ THE EXTRA LETTERS… well I was going to do that, duh – do you think I’m a novice at this.

UNCLUED ENTRY IS AN APPROPRIATE TITLE… oh yeah… you would have thought that at this point I would have worked out the middle row, but although I’d poked at it, I didn’t have an answer for the middle row – is it THE DOUBLE CLUE?

To Google – THE DOUBLE CLUE is a HERCULE POIROT mystery, and he’s an anagram of the first letters of the across imperfect clues.

Gentle readers – there are gaps in my education that you could drive a semi through.  I have not successfully finished a novel by Dickens, Peake, any Bronte or Austen.  I have never read a Poirot novel, and really only know of him through parodies on The Goodies.

But I have a grid for him

My working grid for Listener 4228, Detective work by Ilver

Much as I was unfamiliar with the subject matter, I loved this puzzle from start to finish.  It reminded me of two fond favorites… In Clue Order On and On… where there was level after level of hints hidden in clues, and Some Assembly Required, where we had to make up clues for missing entries.  Applying it to coming up with a preamble was a stroke of genius.

And the law of preamble average equilibrium means we should be in for a three-page preamble next week, right?  (yes we all know the answer to that).

Victory to George!  2013 tally:  5-1-0

Feel free to criticize my reading abilities, and tell me where to get started on the works of whoever wrote Poirot in comments, and see you next week when Ruslan gives us some ancient Egyptian sewing techniques.

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One Response

  1. […] time – and this is a quick turnaround for Ilver, since we last met this February in Detective Work where I got to learn something about Hercule Poirot.  Phi once told me that to get two in a year […]

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