But did she have an angry inch?

Welcome back to George vs the Listener crossword, and who knows, this time we may actually be on time (it’s 10:43am right now, so 17 minutes to what I suspect is a numerical Listener coming out).

Quinapaulus!  Already been defeated by him once this year, with my inability to read preambles costing me badly in Elm.  On the other hand, I found Small but Perfectly Formed pretty straightforward, so which Q is it this time?  Quinapaulus‘ website is amazing – it was invaluable this past week in solving the Azed “play””fair” puzzle (believe it or not, it solved the keyword with just four placements).  But I digress! What have we here… what looks like a tone row underneath the grid (Schoenberg? Scriabin?) . Five clues to be modified, the rest have a definition misprint, and there’s a LOT of clues!  Quite a few three- and four- letter answers in the grid, hmmm… well it looks like it’s real words, so let’s see where we get.

There is a 1 across, but I couldn’t solve it, so a big fail on the 1 across test.  Next up is an anagram of SHAWM (couldn’t remember if it was SHWAM or SHAWM) and an O in the misprints.  We are away!  Unfortunately SKREEN (which didn’t look like it had a misprint or a clue modification needed) was the only crossing answer I got right off so it was a slow start.

I struggled with these clues, particularly in the Florida corner of the grid.  After five or six short solving sessions, I had scattered clues all over, no idea what was going on with the clue modifications and was feeling pretty helpless.  I put it aside for a while.

I had a weekend of meetings in DC, so was going to be alone and at the mercy of US airlines for a while, so time to get back on to this puzzle… what can I make from the misprints?  COLUMNS looks promising as a word near the start… that would make 15 across “Chopped” as the definition – (b)EATEN?  Chop can mean eat, so that’s looking good.  and 3 down doesn’t have EDU in the middle, it’s ENU – so PLENUMS!  Ahhh – so is that ECSTASY in the middle?  Scriabin wrote a poem of ecstasy.   If that’s ECSTASY in the message, then 6 needs a misprint A – aaaah, it’s a partition WALL!  The Y could come from 8, but 8 really looks like it should be WHITE – WHIT+E, but monkfish aren’t really white are they?  Ohhh… it’s MONKISH and F moves to be the anagram indicator.  Hmmm… moving the F?  That could make 35 down CARGO and the F moves where… FOTHER is cargo.  Yes!  F’s are moving!  So the Y for ECSTASY comes from 9 down… BRINY!

Now we’re cooking… 41 is German UND s0 that’s AND. 46 could be DELILAH if we move the F to make LAKE.  So now I have AND WHITE CARGO DELILAH as four of the F-moving answers.  Enter that into Google and we have two Hedy Lamarr movies – WHITE CARGO and SAMSON AND DELILAH.  Hmmm… what does Hedy Lamarr have to do with Scriabin?  But this would make 42 SAMSON (F moved to BEEF) and Hedy Lamarr’s real name is HEDWIG KIESLER and it looks like most of those letters are in the second row.  One of the pages that came up in my online searching called Hedy Lamarr the inventor of frequency hopping.  Well that would explain the theme.  She was also in ECSTASY.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Hedy Lamarr film…

OK back to this message… that’s got to be SORT COLUMNS BY FREQUENCY (aaaaah… the notes represent different frequencies, except for the repeated A) ECSTASY, BIT OF ??R??? ?RU?PET.  GERMAN CRUMPET?  She was Austrian, wasn’t she?

Well with SAMSON in place, 28 looks like REPOSAL – so that’s NO  PANICKY STATE.  ??R??N. DRYWALL, which was in there with a question mark, LINES condos… SCREEN CRUMPET?  That would make 33 TEES (sounds like TEASE), and 27 AT HOME (VISIBLE).  Last up is URANIA being a MUSE.

Many many sessions later – we have a grid!

My working grid for Listener 4267, German Serial Composition by Quinapaulus

So now we have to arrange  the columns… FHSS is in Chambers as FREQUENCY HOPPING SPREAD SPECTRUM and we have to take an E and change it to an F to complete the theme.  I printed off another copy of the grid, I hope we weren’t meant to chop it up.

My final grid for Listener 4267 - German Serial Composition by Quinapaulus

Woohoo!  That was some pretty stunning (and tricky) stuff, Quinapaulus.  I had no idea about the theme, but it was a really fun execution, and I got a kick out of the final manipulations.

I believe I can call this one a Victory to George.

2013 tally:  32-7-6.  Putting in a decent showing towards the end of the year, but not what I was hoping for.

Feel free to tell me I need to watch more old movies, and see you next week when Charybdis is apparently asking us to check him out.


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