Gogito Ego Sum?

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword – your home for grids with scribble all over them and terrible jokes.

Want to vote for something that means a lot to my friends?  There’s a rather bizarre informal poll called “Beer City USA” – my little town of Asheville, North Carolina has won or shared it for the last four years.  This has actually gotten me rather a lot of work, as when people drink beer they want jokes told to them, so in the upcoming Asheville Beer Week I have a number of shows.

So go vote for Asheville NC (or if you don’t like this column, vote for Grand Rapids, MI)

OK, back to the Listener – Jaques today, who according to the Listener site is the word-puzzle alterego of Arden, which means I’ve really done two Jaques/Arden puzzles – Body of Evidence with the moving earth and the Galileo quote and the sidey-sidey numerical Square-Bashing.  Both of those I managed to solve, but they each put up a fight.  So what have we here?

Brief preamble – extra words, first letters spelling out an instruction, and down jumblies.  The dreaded jumblies!

Well let’s try it, shall we – there is a 1 across for a change, and with G(LAD)E we are away, with a Q at the start of the instruction (and one of those “undeservedlys” in the second clue looking suspicious.  It’s not my usual approach to the Listener (I try to match checking letters as soon as possible), but since there was the threat of jumbling, I went on and worked on the rest of the across clues.

Not a bad start… a first run through the across clues got me a little under half of them, more in the top half than in the bottom half, and it looks like the instruction begins QUOTE (must be a quote somewhere in the grid, thinks smart George) and maybe BREWER near the bottom.

On to the downs… did OK with a first run through the down clues, as usually happens I got more of the lower half of the grid from down clues.  On the other hand SHOULD BE HIGHLIGHTED looked like a definite from the down clues.

There was a little hunt-and-pecking back to the clues, but in the end it was electronic aids central with liberal abuse of Word Matcher in particular to look for words that would fit [af].[iroltc][ait].[pros] to get FACTOR and similar searches to find SOLANO and UMPTY (at which point I left a note for Ms Curran at another place where you can find more elegantly illustrated grids, to note that her choice of moniker has appeared twice in recent weeks.

Around this point GRAMMATICA was poking out near the middle of the grid, and so it was time to poke in to Brewer.  Fortunately it’s there near the end of the entry for GRAMMAR: EGO SUM IMPERATOR ROMANO RUMET SUPRA GRAMMATICUM, which roughly translates to “Them they call the Romans they go on the house”.  And was said by SIGISMUND I, who was not a sea monster, apparently.

Well that’s a good find – the quote is in one big block, and I already had the bottom row finished, so completing the quote let met me confirm HEPATIC and UPROAR, and get my last down clue – COSECANT which was a pretty sneaky use of the extra word.

My working grid for Listener 4238, Typtoing in Grammar's Footsteps


Two solving sessions, things never really got held up, and my Brewers finally let me find the thing I was looking for on a first check, so that was a lot of fun, and I think I can call this one a Victory to George!

Feel free to tell me how word matcher is vastly overpowered, and see you next week when Wasp hopefully has a puzzle that insults Robert Pinsky (who once told me I wasn’t particularly funny or clever).


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