She’s not a well woman, my wife. Which makes it worse when she goes to the well at 5 in the morning to get water for the frogs

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword.  We’re back to wordy words this week, which is a relief after last weeks number disaster.  Even after reading the solutions notes, I wonder if anyone could have solved it without brute force or googling trivia about pythagorean triples in base-25.  OK – let’s not dwell, let’s move on to Ferret!

We last saw Ferret a little under a year ago with Loco – an intricate doozy with times and clock hands making the British Rail logo.  This one has a different look for the grid with some outside “cells” – I guess it’s not really a perimeter because there’s no outside grid lines.  Hmmm… entertainment, three members.  Letters Latent clues (once upon a time those freaked me out but I’ve gotten better at working them out) with letters being put to one side or at the bottom.  Hmmm, OK…

There is a 1 across, and it looks like some sort of anagram… SCHOLASTICAL with a latent H!  Big pass on the 1 across test and we are away.  One of the answers checked by SCOLASTICAL is ALLEGES with… well a latent LEG so that must be the missing member.

I’m filling in the grid wondering whether I’m going to have to fill a whole title around the perimeter – there’s a lot of unchecked letters if that’s the case.  There’s an N and a Y that can go on either end, but the bottom row is starting to fill up.

ON?LEG?OOFEW

Really?  The editors allowed a crossword based on a Peter Cook sketch!!!!!

So as an aspiring comedy writer (yes, I’m still an aspiring comedy writer), Peter Cook was my hero, and reading that he had died (I still remember, I was having breakfast in a cafe in Hobart while I was working on the University of Tasmania’s equivalent of a Footlights show) was devastating.  I used to hoard any clips I could find of old Peter Cook material.  A surpisingly large amount of it is on YouTube now, but the appearance of a battered VHS tape with a half-recorded episode of “Not Only… But Also” was a gem.

My personal favorite is the Frog and Peach, followed by Peter Cook having “the talk” with his son Dudly Moore just home from school (“Dirty Uncle Bertie, we call him”), but One Leg Too Few is a great sketch (“And a fine leg it is too”).

So there you have it – BEYOND THE FRINGE is around the outside (completed by LEG), ONE LEG TOO FEW is at the bottom (completed by MOORE) and Peter COOK is the surname.

You’d be hard pressed to think up a crossword more on my wavelength.  Even with very little time available I managed to solve it in fits and starts.  With apologies to Ferret, what I couldn’t do was print and post it, as I was on the road most of the week.  I scanned the grid, but left it on the computer attached to the scanner (D’OH) so I’ll add it to this post later.

And here ’tis

My working grid for Listener 4257 - a short entertainment by Ferret

Well, well, well – now to see if a compiler can fill a grid with cheeses from the Cheese Shop.

Victory to George!  Maybe the ship has been righted momentarily.

2013 tally:  23-7-5

Feel free to tell me that I’ll never write a sketch as good as this one (my personal favorite sketch I’ve written “A King At War” will hopefully be up on youtube someday – if you can’t wait that long, watch us performing it at the Lake Eden Arts Festival in October), and see you next week when Hot damn spur lassoes us with a yeee ha.

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