She really suffraged for her cause…

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, your one-stop site for poorly articulated crossword criticism.

This week we have a new setter or a newdonym in Chalicea – hi Chalicea if you’re looking in!  I think there was a post on the Crossword Centre about this, but I was surprised when I logged on about 8pm Eastern US time on Thursday night and saw a link to the Listener crossword!  That was weird… so I clicked it and there was Listener 4244, about 15 hours early.

The tantalising challenge was on – could I possibly break the laws of physics and complete a Listener before it was published?  Over on my other blog, this would be a feat:

Solving time:  -3:44 – would have been faster if I had known that A.A. Milne also wrote smutty novels under the name D.V.D.A.A. Milne.  Puzzle of moderate difficultly however three unsigned definitions by example ruined the fun somewhat, fortunately I was listening to a Brandenburg Concerto so that made it all right.

I had to try it – welcome to Listener solving on a Thursday night.

It also appeared to be experimental font week at the Times (Times New Roman 8 point?) with extra spacing between lines.  This meant 2 down was cut off from my printout, but was easily reinserted.

What have we got – 15 misprints in definitions, two lines in phrases, an unclued entry and letters excluded in wordplay.  OK… let’s see

There is no 1 across, and I couldn’t figure out 2 across so a big Fail on the 1 across test.   No luck on 9 across either, but finally at 13 across there is <s>(b)</s>IONIC and we are away.  IONIC crosses VI(LE)ST<s>(a)</s>, ANTS and what looks like the wordplay should be IRE and the definition should be “Fagin might have caught”… WIRE is a pickpocket so there’s an unindicated W..  Hah, got you – double clue whammy, a misprint and a unindicated letter.  Sneaky.

I made pretty steady progress through these clues – Chalicea appears to be a fan of the charades and containers, and there weren’t many of the supercompound anagrams and obscure reference clues that usually slip me up.  After about a half an hour I was sure that the central row was BLUESTOCKINGS and it really looked like the reverse diagonal was going to read DEEDS NOT WORDS… if the other diagonal read VOTES FOR WOMEN then that would confirm KIWI at 29 down and that none of the W’s in the grid were indicated in wordplay.

So let’s start looking for places to stick in some W’s where there’s gaps in the grid – that really helped me sort out JAWAN, JOWL, WIRE and WELD.

So we have women’s sufrage – CHERCHEZ LA FEMME in the misprints and EMILY DAVIS or EMILY DAVISON sitting at the bottom of the grid.  To Google!

Looks like Emily met her doom trying to meddle with the horse ANMER (aaaah, up in the top), and got trampled to death.  ANMER appears to be a long way above EMILY DAVISON in the grid.  AHA!  I believe we are done – highlight Emily and make a cross with the two suffragette sayings slogans.

My working grid for Listener Crossword 4244.At Spes Non Fracta by Chalicea

Mission accomplished!  This was in the mail before it officially “appeared” being mailed at about 9:30am on Friday morning.  That appeared to be a one-off and the two Listeners since have not shown up on Thursday night.  Fun puzzle, Chalicea, and I learned something (which helped since Emily has appeared in at least one crossword since, with the 100th anniversary of her fate looming).

I believe I can call this one a Victory to George!  Oh – funny thing – I have something in common with Emily – neither of us can vote!  Since it’s been nearly 20 years since I left Australia I’ve been taken off the electoral roll, and I have not taken out citizenship in any of the other countries I have lived in.  Well this will be changing soon, I hope, as I am in the process of filing for US Citizenship. Yeee-ha!

2013 tally:  16-3-3

Feel free to tell me whether you had Anmer in the trifecta, and see you next week when Plinth wants to tell you a scary story.


One Response

  1. Chalicea here, George, aka one of the numpties on the other Listener blog. I don’t know why I merited the day early publication or the odd print setup but have to agree that this was definitely a victory to George and that you achieved Guiness Book of Records status by solving it before it was even published. I did enjoy the blog, thanks.

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