Poco a poco, paco and pavo

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword.

Got the sad news this morning about Radix.  A moment’s silence for you, sir.

Back to regularly scheduled silliness… I’m back submitting Listener puzzles and even Azed cluing competitions, completely striking out in the SAYONARA clueing competition.   So how did Fore and Aft work out – well I’ve had some mighty battles with Poat (read about them by using the tags at the bottom of this post), but it’s been a while since the last Poat Listener, so maybe this will be easier.  There’s two grids, and no long answer joining them, they are just two identical grids…OK.  Some modifications the can happen to words, and there’s extra words or phrases in clues… OK.

Let’s solve, shall we – in an attempt to truly subvert the 1 across test, there’s two 1 acrosses! Couldn’t pick the first one right off, but that second one looks like a SARA BAND with extra RUIN, so that’s a start.  Since it’s the first one I solved, I put it in the left grid for now.

Looking at first few down clues, AJAR jumps out, which appears to be a normal clue, so AJAR can be modified somehow – it won’t work with SARABAND so it goes in the other grid, and now I’ve got a start on both.

With the two small grids, and all real words, the fill wasn’t too treacherous and the patterns were starting to emerge – there were some pretty obvious words that could be augmented by one letter on the end (DIGITALIS, GAMBO, DOO, PROO, LENTI) and some that could take a letter on the front (ESTER, IDEOPHONE) – PYRE in one had the tantalising prospect of becoming PERSPEX… so maybe all 26 letters of the alphabet were used once. I couldn’t see the wordplay for what had to be GELATI (with only one unchecked letter, and the prospect of becoming GELATIN), and nothing in the dictionaries to fit _OOE (Googling eventually gave me LOOE), things were looking good.  Of course I’d picked the wrong choice of fore and aft…

Were all 26 letters used?  I made a chart to make sure everything worked and was in the right side

Definition Extra Letters Sorted Def Sorted Letters
Swamp-dwelling NOMA (aft) letter (A)ITCH
Ruin SLAM oppose (B)EARD
Rough MANG Swamp-dwelling LENTI(C)
From a remarkable time DOO(aft) itinerant NOMA(D)
Scots promise ESTER (fore) Convert to binary DIGITALIS(E)
Convert to binary LENTI (aft) demonstration PROO(F)
Like quartz PENNYWORT (aft) standards (G)AGES
religion DIGITALIS A small sum PENNYWORT(H)
fruit ASPEROUS religion (I)SLAM
Glass ovenware PAS(fore) Like quartz (J)ASPEROUS
moralistic PYRE Serving-boy (K)NAVE
itinerant RECEPTIVE From a remarkable time EPOCHA(L)
Singing carols EPOCHA (aft) ruin DOO(M)
dynasty ASSAILING size GELATI(N)
Oppose AJAR (fore) fruit MANG(O)
Scraping tool BELLYACHE(aft) moralistic (P)RECEPTIVE
size AGES(fore) dynasty (Q)AJAR
A small sum UNDRESSES Fault-finder BELLYACHE(R)
Demonstration NAVE (fore) Summer attire (S)UNDRESSES
Serving-boy PROO(aft) Scots promise HECH(T)
Summer attire HECH(aft) tree (U)PAS
Letter ITCH Telecoms device (V)IDEOPHONE
Fault-finder IDEOPHONE Singing carols (W)ASSAILING
Tree SANDPAPER Glass ovenware PYRE(X)
standards GELATI rough SANDPAPER(Y)
Telecoms device BEARD Scraping tool (Z)ESTER

OK – I started the chart in scribble, but it became confusing quickly.   This chart helped me get the last few answers (POA, PAS and EPOCHA) and confirmed PAVO went in the fore grid and PACO in the aft grid.  Here’s my working grids (I swapped them in my submission copy… at least I hope I did!).

My working grid for Listener 4276, Fore and Aft by Poat

This was a tricky one, and I hope I’ve sorted it all out correctly.  I’m hazarding calling it a Victory to George, and if so, breaking my official all-correct-and-submitted record, which was 1 last year.  Can it be 2?

2014 record:  2-0-0

Feel free to tell me that Word is cheating, or overly-scrupulous for what is usually a scribbly grid, and see you next week when Colleague go up and Colleague go down.

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