Where you been Haydn redux

Welcome back to George vs the Listener, and a quick observation of ANZAC day for my fellow Aussies.  I gave my friend Judy a recipe for Anzac biscuits a few years ago and she makes them for me every April.  Lest we forget.

OK, now we’re on to KevGar – we’ve seen KevGar once before in a Listener about Paul Wittgenstein, so before it all started I was thinking maybe another musical connection.  I’ve added it to the tags at the bottom of the post.

I was in a slightly unusual place when I started this one, a friend had invited me to a seminar on the philosophy of comedy, particularly Hegel.  My major take-home message from it is that Hegel thought if the hero survived it was comedy, if the hero died it was tragedy. So I have this idea of Romeo and Juliet suddenly becoming a comedy when they both wake up and say “It wasn’t poison, it was apple juice… ta da!”

Maybe I wasn’t paying complete attention because I was sneaking peeks at the Listener.

What have we here… numerical expressions, a series, another series… hmmm.. seven extra words. So most clues are normal and it looks like real words (though some unclued) in the grid, so this could be friendly.

There is a 1 across but it’s thematic (I guess I can give a pass on the 1 across test when it’s a thematic entry encompassing the entire row).  No luck intially with the second clue, but HALO not only gets us going but gives an S as one of the letters of a series, so woohoo!

The lecture went for 90 minutes… by the end of it I had about two-thirds of the grid filled… SCHOOLMASTER looked good for 1 across, PHILSOSOPHER (hey, I was sort of listening to one) at 10, MIRACLE at 6 and DRUMROLL or CRUMHORN at 36.  DRUMROLL sounds familiar – wasn’t it one of Haydn’s symphonies?  That means maybe there’s a CLOCK hiding somewhere – if 8 down isn’t ENGRAVE we could have not only CLOCK but also MERCURY.  Why was this so familiar?  There was a Haydn themed crossword five years ago on the 200th anniversary of Haydn’s death which also included DRUMROLL, CLOCK, and MIRACLE.

Back home after the talk, I didn’t have all of the extra words, but I had enough to think it was SQUARES, so I started out on that and confirmed the numbers of the symphonies to the functions of the squares.  A run-through of the symphonies confirmed BEAR and MIRACLE as my last two, and the grid was finished in about two hours.

My working grid for Listener Crossword 4288, A Birthday -A-B-C(E-F) by KevGar

Now for the last part – I figured with a three-letter symphony we’re HEN-pecking, and there it is.  I used to be good at this sort of thing, can we combine the numbers together in the right order?  Did you know there was a game show in Australia called “Letters and Numbers” where that was one of the rounds, to combine a series of numbers together to get as close to a target number as possible.  Here’s a clip.

Bonus points if you spotted the Listener setter.

Fortunately this one wasn’t too bad – I added the primes together and got 91, which is 8 greater than the number of the hen (83).  I need to use that more – mark of the beast = 666, number of the hen = 83.  So the 4 needs to be subtracted rather than added.

That was a lot of fun, and a nice breeze solve, thanks KevGar!

Not only that, but I think I’ve reached the amazing tally of 14 correct for the year, and the all-correct has not been busted.

Feel free to tell me about the sins of using previous instalments of George vs the Listener as a reference, and see you next week when Tibea contests the popularity of the Listener Crossword.

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3 Responses

  1. That show looks suspiciously like an Australian version of countdown… can’t say I saw the setter myself.

  2. I hadn’t heard of Countdown, but you’re right, it is an Australian version

  3. Indeed, the short-lived Letters and Numbers starring yours truly (Poat). As I already mentioned to George, this segment is my campaign in a nutshell – good at words, feeble at numbers.

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