In the court of King Heraclitus – were just passing by…

So I’m way way late in posting this – mostly because I’m getting ready to open a new show tonight.  If you’re within getting-to-North-Carolina distance, this contains one sketch that I think is a career highlight for my writing.  The whole show is top-to-bottom surreal and silly, with the overarching theme of making fun of genetic modification in all its forms.  I hope this edition of George vs the Listener Crossword is worth the wait…

Feral Chihuahuas new show this weekend

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword.   Another late posting I’m afraid, but I hope it will be worth it.  I copped a bit of flak for my lack of interest in football last week, so when I saw it was BeRo after the football I had a panic attack.  I have had a mighty struggle with BeRo puzzles – Phiz made it into my hall of fame/shame, Oh Yes It Does made me struggle right to the end, and I got practically nowhere on Fizz Buzz.  So what have we here on what looks like a very long phone number and a postcode?

Oh goody, codes!  I nearly met my match with codes a few weeks ago – and we have some thematic treatment.  So all wordplay is normal, but I’ve got to work out some definitions, and there’s extra letters.  OK… here we go…

There is a 1 across  but I couldn’t work out either the answer or the decoding of the last word in the clue.  Better luck with 12 across – after looking up that Eyjafjallajokull is a volcano, this has to be some sort of lava, and LAP,ILL,I works.  Yep, forgetting that normal definition words have to be treated, I wrote it straight into the grid.  14 across looks like a juicy anagram that could be TITMOUSE and I could extract BIRD from the definition.  A bit further in to the solve, and it appears ALDERMAN and CROP don’t fit well together… so it’s probably jumbly time, since I don’t think it’s another code.

About two hours in and my grid was a complete mess… I had written in some of the answers to be modified and I’d worked out about a third of the codes.  Something had to be done!  Oh – my printer has issues with the Listener most of the time, but one is that US Letter paper just isn’t friendly.  This time around the down clues (not the word “down”, just the clues) printed on page 2.  Time to make use of Page 2 for some codebreaking!

I had a real struggle getting through this code when I realized that most of the letters would be two-digit entries.  So I tried it with writing letters that could be made from two digits on the top and one digit on the bottom.

decoding part 1

The Times Jumbo does the same thing, so let’s continue underneath the second page of the Jumbo…

more decoding

No paper wasted in my place – it’s all written all over!  Now I think I have something – it looks like the down clues are giving me APANHIE and two other letters – there’s got to be an R from the second “word” in the title, so putting in other possible letters into Word Wizards pops up PANTA RHEI which is in Chambers!  Everything is in flux… which is a good statement of how my grid looked at that point.  Here ’tis…

My first crack at Listener 4250, 201611214 91885 by BeRo

I think it’s time to print off a new grid.  The speaker of PANTA RHEI is Heraclitus, and I’ve found most of his letters in the across codes.

Fresh grid – put in the answers from the decoded clues, and now know that every letter in the other ones has to move to another square…  my last few clues to solve required poking around with the available letters – NIDAL in particular.  But finally every letter has been moved and I have a complete grid – and the letters of Heraclitus are in the squares matching the numbers for the letters of his name.  Woohooo!  Take that, BeRo!

My final (but incorrect) grid for Listener 4450Until… last night… an email.  From the man himself, BeRo.

Gently probing whether I’d actually solved the code in 25 down to get EYELIKE.

Which I hadn’t.

And I trusted I had the wordplay correct – O,V,UL,AR and just presumed there was something eggy in the code.  Rookie mistake!  Idiot George!

BeRo!   You are now 3-1 up on me!  Victory to BeRo and the Listener Crossword.

2013 tally:  19-6-3.  Three misses in a row!

Feel free to let me know that I still can’t solve codes, and see you next week when Corylus renders me unchless.

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5 Responses

  1. Thanks for the blog George, which again showed me that I made the same mistake as you. Remember Vera by Elf earlier in the year and our OF LATE/OBLATE mistake? Like you I “just presumed there was something eggy in the code. Rookie mistake. Idiot” Dave.

  2. And so did I until just before filling in the mailing copy when a little voice said ‘Have you checked that – are you sure it is right – could it be OCULAR?’ (The other Numpty) So hopefully just one of the three of us who tussle regularly with the BigL has got it right – though I never check my solution against the official one so might well have other errors. (I’m out this year anyway through careless copying earlier on.)
    Shirley

  3. Is it wrong of me to feel flattered I made the same mistake as someone who has the grid animating skills of Dave?

  4. Not sure how I’m doing for the year either. Last year, my first full year of Listeners, I got 28 correct/ 36 submitted, Which I was pretty pleased with, although a number of silly errors cost my those 8 extra I could have had. This year so far I’m on 27-1-2 at best, up to and including Lavatch’s Carte Blanche, that I didn’t submit, but I expect I’ve made one or two other errors. Didn’t complete Vera, and messed up Laureate by only entering one letter per cell. The target is 42 correct at least, just so I can make it onto those end-of-year stats!

  5. […]  Oh dear… I have a TERRIBLE record with BeRo.  It wasn’t that long ago that BeRo caught me with one piece of wordplay, after a puzzle I slogged long and hard at.  I’ve tagged the other BeRo Listeners, so you […]

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