There’s a lady who’s sure all her bacon is cold…

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, being written for you lovingly on the Fourth of July (U!S!A!, U!S!A!), in the midst of a flood warning (Climate Change! Climate Change!) in beautiful about to wash away Asheville, North Carolina.

Shackleton time – I have enjoyed Shackleton’s offerings, though I have had mixed luck on them – last year I completely blew The Missing Vowels Round by not shading in the appropriate colours.  Before that was Location, Location, Location, with some Hemingway in the bars in the grid, which I got, Luddie V in Sine Qua Non (got it), but my first encounter with Shackleton was a complete disaster in Much Ado About Nothing.  So we’re even (let’s leave out the Mango puzzles for now)!

What have we here – that’s an interesting looking grid, and it appears we’re in jigsaw territory again!  Two in a row!  Clues appear to be normal and it’s all real words in the grid until something happens at the end.  Okeydoke.

First rule of jigsawy puzzles, look for a number of letters for which there are not that many clues, and it appears 8 is the winner, there’s only four 8-letter answers.  Not that many 4’s, but it appears the 8’s are our way in.  Now let’s look at those clues

There is a first clue and it’s a gentle subtraction anagram for ADONAI so we are off and running and a check plus on the first clue test.  Good-o.  A first run through the clues was not that promising, I got about two dozen of them, and of the 8-letters the only ones I got at a first pass were BACKLIST and EINSTEIN.

Looked like there were a lot of clues that started with E, so some banging around with those clues netted me a few.  Eventually I had all but one of the 4 letter clues (which I knew had to be A??? or BA??), most of the 7 letter clues, but was missing a few.  I made a list to see if I could get started on the grid fill.  Hope this makes sense…

word list for Listener 4246

Even though I was only about a dozen clues away from having everything, I was having a tough time fitting it in.  Eventually what I did to get started was target the 8-letter entry in the fourth row, since it crossed the last letter of a 4-letter answer (and I had almost all of those), and some six-letters that joined together to some five-letters.  EINSTEIN looked to be the best candidate for this one, slotting in the answers that joined up with BOSNS, it looked like we were on the right track!

Not much later, I had almost a full grid – looked like HEAVEN was on top (that makes sense), in the middle could be BACON.  I Googled for some Bacon quotes about HEAVEN and found one likely candidate

Certainly, it is heaven upon earth, to have a man’s mind move in charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the poles of truth

OK, so I have to find a mind moving in charity, something resting in providence (Rhode Island?) and some poles of truth.

Hey completely incorrect idea, welcome to a waste of time – I looked for an hour on that and realized I was missing two things

– I hadn’t looked at this message

– Wasn’t there meant to be a overlong answer?

I’d even written the numbers of letters in the answers beside the grid to get this message… OK

BOOK OF GENESIS ELEVEN FOUR (from the acrosses)

TITLE OF LED ZEPPELIN SONG (from the downs)

And it was BYLANES that was our overlong answer…

Genesis 11:4 appears to be about the Tower of Babylon, and that would make the Zep song “Stairway to heaven”.  Hmm… so heaven is at the top, is there a quote in the form of a stair?  ALL RIS ING… there it is – ALL RISING TO GREAT PLACES BY A WINDING STAIR going right up to the top.

my working grid for Listener 4246 - Construction by ShackletonWow!  Damn you, Shackleton for taking a theme I don’t really care much for and crafting a really compelling crossword out of it!  That was a pretty stunning piece of construction, and there was nothing wasted.  It’s also a pretty outstanding feat to have a jigsaw that eluded me until I had almost all of the answers solved.

In the end though, I believe I can call this a Victory to George!

2013 tally:  18-3-3.  Feel free to tell me that since I live in it’s belt, I should have more respect for a certain book (or Bacon), and see you next week when Ottorino puts the fear of Yod (Jsyv Dox) in us all!

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