How do you like them apples?

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, making you feel better about your solving abilities since 2008.

And if you’re looking to be better solvers than me, you should try Mango – the tropical fruit that I just can’t seem to crack.  Last year we had the baffling White Lies, where I still can’t figure out what made my submission incorrect.  Before that was one I did actually complete, Aristocrat, and before that City Tour where I wiped out.  So Mango is up on this battle.

What have we this time around?  Let’s take a look at this preamble…

Each clue is an across and a down mashed together, except when they are not.  The ones that aren’t, don’t lead to the answer but lead to misprints, except when they don’t.  Some answers fit in the spaces provided, except when they don’t.  Most letters are oriented in the right direction, except when they aren’t.  The final grid represents the result of an historically significant event, which can be recreated using the game Risk (minus three cards, which must be highlighted).  Solvers must choose which player went first and draw them holding a set of dice on the appropriate side of the grid (Mercator projection assumed).  There is only one way of filling the grid, except there are two.  Extra letters in preamble may be arranged to give WTF MANGO REALLY NOW?  The question mark is significant and will appear in the completed grid, which needs to be poked with burning matches until a thematic tattoo appears.  Solvers will then face a choice of submitting the crossword, or cutting off a finger and mailing it to Hertfordshire with the nail polished in a thematic colour.  All ties will be broken with a coin flip.  There is no actual solution to this crossword.

My working grid for Listener 4260, Nuts and Bolts by Mango

I spent hours on this and go absobloodylutely nowhere.  I got kind of somewhere, the three wordplay-only clues led to names of apples with misprints BOW, which means we’re probably in apples and bows territory, so maybe William Tell or a really bad afternoon at kindergarten.

This is a definite victory to Mango and the Listener crossword – well played, gentlemen, and I’m sure I’ll hear about this on the book of face.

2013 tally:  25-7-6

Feel free to shoot me all sorts of criticism and preamble-reading advice, and see you next week when Cubic cooks us up another Listener offering (with a paltry four-line preamble).


One Response

  1. The only things I couldn’t solve were the unclued apple entries… this was a tour de force, but interesting how like you I was able to guess at the theme based on very little.

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