A vegetarian vs the Listener Crossword

Welcome back to George vs the Listener crossword, edging up on one year of being meat-free.  In October of last year I was diagnosed with some health problems and the recommended options were giving up meat or taking pills that are bad for the liver.  I need my liver (I don’t treat it like I love it, but I really do love you, liver).

So when the title of Wan’s puzzle appeared I was a little confused.  Even in omnivorous days, I don’t seem to recall salami going with walnuts.  Must be a deeper meaning.  OKeydoke, what do we have – thematic clues have to have something removed from a word.  OK.  39 elements to find at the end.  Hmmm…

Well it does appear we have a grid of all real words, so that should help.  Let’s get to it!

There is a 1 across and it’s a straightforward RA,TABLE so we finally have a pass on the 1 across test!  Woohoo!  That crosses R,E,PAST and what looks like AD VIVUM but that means there’s something wrong with PUMA.  Aaaah – take away the P and A.  Hmmm… 5 down looks like it could be LEER from the wordplay, maybe there’s something wrong with KEYNES.

All real words and not that many obscure words in a 13×13 grid meant the fill was going pretty steadily.  It seemed for a while that it was the first and last letters of four letter words that had to be dropped in order to solve the clue – but that can’t be all there is, since I can’t explain 3 down, 5 down 43 across (which looked like it should be EMBERS) or 17 down (which looked like it should be OESTRAL from the definition).


From OESTRAL to get the rest of the anagram I have to lose the 1st, 4th, 6th or 7th and 8th character.

Primes?  Keep the primes?

That would turn KEYNES into EYE – GLAD-EYE!

Aaaah and the clue number is prime too – is it all the primes?  Looks like it.

Something at the back of my mind was ringing… isn’t there a thing called a PRIME SPIRAL?  Spiral is in the title and preamble.  Googlytime!

Thank you wikioogle for telling me that it is a thing – and STANISLAW ULAM is an anagram of SALAMI and WALNUTS.

Now we’re getting somewhere – the grid was not quite full, but it appears that the letters in the prime number positions of the prime spiral would have something for me – HIGHLY SEASONED ?AUSAGE ?ND EDIBLE TREE SEEDS

Even I can guess the missing letters – so 36 across must be VALSE?  Aaaah VALETAS minus TA with an S inside.  Yup, and 37 is SIDE – and SPANGLET becomes PAGE and 22 down has to be P(LATE)AS,M.  I never did figure out the wordplay for FIASCO, so if it turns out to be ZIANCO then I could be wrong, but I think I’m right.

Unfortunately my printer ran out of ink this morning (this is not a euphemism) and for some reason when it’s out of ink it won’t scan – just screams at me “buy me more black ink and then we’ll talk”, so I don’t have a scan just yet.

Even more unfortuantely – this arrived right at the end of my long roadtrip, and I didn’t even get to pick it up until after the due date has passed.  I know Wan checks in here sometimes, so I don’t think you got any feedback from me, although I did mail in my grid and a note with another puzzle.

OK – this was great fun!  One of my personal favorites for the year but I doubt it will be everyone’s cup of tea (particularly among those who were expecting to not have to deal with primes until the next week).  I do have a fondness for messages hidden in an unusual way (we’ve had Fibonacci and golden mean hiding before), and the large grid was generously filled with starter words.  Woohoo!

I think I can claim this as a Victory to George (though I won’t be winning an electronic atlas or whatever they’re giving as prizes these days)!  Yes, I can – the official solution has FIASCO.

2014 tally:  28-0-5

Feel free to tell me what I’m missing out on by not eating meat, and see you next week when Ruslan primes our subs.


One Response

  1. Hi George

    I thought that I had left a comment last night, but I must have messed it up. If two appear perhaps you would delete one.

    First things first, I hope that your health issues aren’t serious and that you improve quickly.

    I do, as you say, look in to see how you got on most weeks and I am really pleased that you enjoyed this one.

    All the best


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