Did you know it was an allegory for the recent Ashes series?

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword.  A big hi to Poat who sent me an email this week which I think confims the all-correct is intact at least up until week 3.  What does Week 4 bring?  Ack – it’s Colleague, who killed my all-correct last year in the second week.  How kind to wait twice as long to derail me.  I’ve tagged previous Colleague puzzles so you can enjoy them by clickying the link at the bottom.

What have we here – clashes resolving to characters, and eight letter jumbles to be removed along with definitions and some changes to the grid.  Hmm… so it appears apart from clashes we’re heading to mostly real words in the grid.  Let’s get solving!

There is a 1 across, but I couldn’t figure it out at first glance so that’s a fail on the 1 across test. 5 across is more promising – NEST(EG,G)S gets us going.  Yankee corner sorted itself out pretty easily after that along with the first clash – SORES and MILLIE.  Working further down the across clues it appears LANBOWLS needs to be removed from 18 across which anagrams to SNOWBALL, and just after that, ERSEQUAL to becoming SQUEALER… aaaah… with SNOWBALL and SQUEALER, could NAPOLEON be far behind?  Yep, in 34 across! It’s Animal Farm.

Wow… I read that in high school sometime in the 80s.  Only one thing to do – go get the Spark Notes online to confirm the characters, and back to the grid with those characters in mind.  Glad I had that, because I retrofitted the character names with clashes to solve JAMESON (which here is a cheapish whiskey) which clashes to give JESSIE.

Colleague managed to get almost all of the characters in the grid – I think all the animals are there, along with JONES to disappear at the top, and MANOR at the bottom which gets replaced by ANIMAL.  All done and dusted in about two hours, woohoo!

My working grid for Listener 4277, Rise and Fall by Colleague

This was also a fun transcription (I didn’t scan my transcribed grid), where I made sure I put in the character names (resolving the clashes) first, and carefully avoiding the JONES squares (I actually started to put in the S and scribbled it out, hopefully that passed the one-man jury).  Fun and not too too difficult puzzle with a massive amount of thematic material and best of all I think I’ve tripled my all-correct run from last year!

2014 tally:  3-0-0

Feel free to tell me that spark notes are the lowest form of online referencing, and see you next week when Samuel generalises us.

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