I bet even at 126 mph it was delayed, had three changes of platform and was full of soccer fans with cans of cheap beer

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword and I am in a foul foul mood.  There’s a pretty simple reason, it’s tea-time on the second day of the second Test of the Ashes and Australia have just collapsibated (that’s when you mostly go out to wanky decisions).

On the other hand it was a good correspondence week – I got a letter from Shackleton, and an email from Ottorino thanking me for comments on their recent puzzles, so thanks setters, always good to know that the random rantings of someone who wouldn’t know a good clue if it sat on his head and waved a banner saying “I’m a good clue” in front of my eyes have been making the setters.

Shane Warne is getting an award at Lords – just to rub it in the faces of Australian supporters, what’s next – they’ll roll out Steve Waugh to remind us that we used to have great batsmen?

OK, OK – there’s a Listener – and it’s Class by Augeas.  Augeas has been here twice before – in O Gather Twelve, we had the great vowel shift, and in Rattle there were a bunch of chickens.  I managed to get both of them out with a fairly minimal amount of stress, so maybe this would be a gentle one.

What have we here – a few blocked off squares (THEMATIC MATERIAL GOES HERE ALERT), both on the main diagonal.  Extra words in clues, numbers in brackets are length of grid entries (WOOP WOOP SOMETHING’S NOT GOING TO FIT).  Well clues are mostly normal, so let’s give it a go.

There is a 1 across and I feel ashamed to not have gotten it right off.  I did badly until LASSI,E and then we’re away.  LASSIE crossed LAYERED, which crosses R(Y,OK)AN and URSULA, which gives me on that diagonal ??????RES???  – ELVIS PRESLEY, surely!  He was even the theme of that month’s 3D Crossword in the RNIB calendar.  So we’re going to find out something Elvis did (shake hips on TV?).

As the rest of the bottom right came together, Elvis was looking good!  Let’s move back up to the top left then…

Bugger… 1 across is NATURE STRIPS, isn’t it?  So much for Elvis?  Did he have a brother Nevin?

About an hour in it was time to sit and evaluate.  I hadn ‘t found anything that didn’t fit in the grid, but I was missing a chunk of the middle of the left hand side (near the unclued 20).  The other two unclued were DUCK and what looked like it should be MALLARD, and the message looked like it was pointing at NINTEEN THIRTY EIGHT.  So this could be a puzzle on a random 75th Anniversary.  To Google!

Search Engines for the win – the MALLARD set the world speed record by hitting 125 MPH with NIGEL GRESLEY (and not PRESLEY) being the engineer, and the train number being 4468.  When it hit 125 MPH it broke the previous record.  So I guess they want 125 MPH and not RECORD in the ACHIEVEMENT space.  That gives me the last few and we are done…

My working grid for Listener 4248, Class by Augeas

Well since I’m watching Australia continue to collapse I might as well contribute my own to it.  Apparently the only accepted answer was 126 MPH.  I put in 125 MPH based on the previous record being 124, so when it hit 125, it got the record.  Wikithingia had it at 125.8, I couldn’t find anything on the trains in Brewer.  The Listener page has a picture of a plaque saying 126 MPH.   Maybe I need to do image searches next time.  Oh well – Victory to Augeas and the Listener Crossword.

2013 tally:  19-4-3

Feel free to tell me that I needed to go the extra mile, and see you next week when Shark invites us to Act 1.


One Response

  1. I’ll bet you weren’t the only person to think of Elvis Presley for a while!

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