Hi Ludi! How’re you doing?

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, the internet’s favorite crossword blog.

Plinth time!  Plinth appears to be a new setter or a newdonym, so hi Plinth if you’re looking in.  What have we where – a semi-jigsaw, with some normal clues in place and a message in definition misprints.  A phrase that is an anagram of another.

The day this came out was an excellent chance to check myself in at my favorite bar and occupy some barspace.  There were very few people at the bar, but there was a crossword connection – Justin working at the bar is a New York Times crossword addict, and he’s very good friends with Pete Wentz, who has constructed a few and used to live nearby.  I showed him how a cryptic clue works, there may be another conversion in process!

OKeydoke – there is no 1 across, but there is a 4 and it is across so let’s start there – a gentle ELI,OT and we are away!  Victory on what I should now call the “first question” test.  That crosses O,LOG,Y and I guess it’s time to look at the unnumbered ones now.  There’s only two 10-letter unnumbereds – one is ROMANESQUE and the other looks like it could be ORDINARIES or ORDINAIRES – didn’t have a dictionary with me at the time, so both of those can be placed (or close to placed).

The bar solving session went very well, and having the starter words made the jigsaw part less jigsawy. I was mostly missing  the bottom left (still being held up by exactly what fitted the anagram).  I hadn’t made much of the extra letters except it seemed like there were a lot of I’s.

Back home, the bicycle definition of ORDINARIES is sorted out (it appeared in a daily crossword a few days later too), and with it most of the California corner comes together.  To the message…


Well that’s definitely not English!  Hi Ludi rings a bell, but it’s not in Chambers.  Typing it into Google pops up HONORIFICABILITUDINITATIBUS, a word appearing in Love’s Labours Lost which can be rearranged into HI LUDI F BACONIS NATI TUITI ORBI and thus proves Shakespeare’s works were written by Francis Bacon.

This leaves the question as to who wrote Francis Bacon’s works, which was probably Christopher Marlowe, and who wrote Marlowe, which was probably Anne Hathaway.

I should have seen SHAKESPEARE in the bottom of the grid earlier, but there he is – so what was originally LOVE’S LABOURS LOST BY W SHAKESPEARE becomes LOVE’S LABOURS LOST BY FRANCIS BACON, and we have real words at the bottom of the grid.  Neat!



This was finished on Saturday morning, so a fairly brisk two-session solve.  I’m a little late in writing this, so the solution is up already and it appears I can call this one a Victory to George.  Thanks, Plinth, that was a fun puzzle and I learned something today (and ORDINARIES got me through another crossword later on so double thanks!)

2013 tally:  17-3-3.  Feel free to tell me that I don’t know a good clue from an end-table, and come back next week when Shackleton has some sub-contracting for us.



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