Mind the gap (in prompt posting)

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, which didn’t get written yesterday because of a red-eye flight back from the West Coast of the US to the East Coast of the US.  East to West – no worries, dead easy. West to East – mandatory day’s recovery (doubly so if one has to work immediately after getting off the plane).

Ozzie time!  I’ll tag the previous Ozzie puzzle on George vs Listener

Soooo… all may have been said and done about this puzzle already, though I haven’t checked the solution yet.   What have we here – carte blanche grid, though it looks like bars will be entered later (oh yes there will be entering of bars later!), ten letters to be inserted somewhere.  Most clues normal but ten have been tampered with.  OK, what does this bring?

There is a 1 across and it’s a nice gentle AC(R)E so Ozzie is a member of the 1 across club.  Since it cosses RESORBS and what looks like CHERIMOYERS then I don’t think there’s any blank spaces there.

Since there’s only 10 blank spaces, I started solving and slotting in normally, hoping something would pop up sooner or later.  The first strange one to pop up was a clue that looked like it was for ARI – there was AI, and R, and Onassis but something wonky with the clue.  I guess this would be tamperment.

Both sides of the grid seemed to be filling up nicely, but what is going on in the middle?  At the end of the first session of solving I had most of the outside, and a sneaking suspicion something was going on in the second row.

Second solving session was the sort of penny-drop moment familiar to all thematic crossword fans… a 10-letter warning had already made me think of MIND THE GAP.  Doubly so because in tagging Calmac puzzles a few weeks ago I was reminded of Listener 4091, Mind The Gap by Calmac.  There was a definition in 14 across for THEREAFTER and bits of the wordplay, and it looks like start of the word fits on the left hand side, the right hand side could have the AFTER part… and add MIN to THERE and you get THEREMIN and D to AFTER for DAFTER… it also looks like CARRIAGE is forming in the fifth row and PLATFORM on the seventh. So that is looking pretty good. Oh – THE GAP could go between them and make EMBATHE and GAPYEAR.

That just left a bit of what is going on with the other clues… aaah – there’s gaps in them… so that ARI clue would be witHin, and the clue with the wordplay for THRIFT is LivingsTon and conTrolling.  Not much longer and we have a complete grid.

My working grid for Listener 4304, Warning! by Ozzie

I started working on bars in this version of it, but decided it was a task best left to Crossword Compiler.

Adding the bars for Listener 4304

I don’t know how anyone without Crossword Compiler did with adding all of these bars, and thanks Ozzie for keeping symmetry in the final grid!  And I was surprised at first to see, since TMYRRH isn’t a name, that we had closed off a cell… I guess there’s gaps in the final grid!  Can’t have a one-letter answer, so in my submitted version I left those two squares empty.

I think I would have struggled more with this one if I hadn’t recently been thinking of the theme.  In the US, “Mind The Gap” means look after a clothing store for enabled brats.   This was a fun little challenge, but I think (unless I’ve got a bar stray in the submitted grid), I can call this a Victory to George!

As pointed out in email – I shouldn’t have trusted Crossword Solver!!! It did count the two one-letter words as answers and so I only have 42 words in this grid.  Well that was fun while it lasted, wasn’t it?

2014 tally: 26-0-4

Feel free to tell me what else I can mind, and see you next week (hopefully on time) when Lavatch shows us how a laxative can work on a crossword.

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