Up and atom!

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, where sometimes they appear the week of, sometimes a week behind, sometimes mystifyingly midweek.  Let’s try to get back on track, shall we?

I made a complete bish of one clue in Rood’s last Listener, so let’s see what we have here?  Hmmm… wordplay requires elementary deductions… I wonder if that’s atomic symbol elementary deductions?  If it is I’m in the camp of liking this one already.  Looks like all real words in the grid apart from five clashes, electronic dictionaries at the ready.

Let’s get to it then… there is a 1 across but I could not for the life of me see what it was.  Big boo fail on the 1 across test!  Hmmm… Nor 5.  Hmmm…

Often if I can’t see the first few clues I go to the bottom and see if I can work myself up.  What’s going on at 46 down?  Those domestic gods are LARES so LARI looks like it could be LARES,I without ES (Einsteinium, named after Albert Einsteinium).  That checks AFRIT less R as AIT with an extra F and my suspicion is looking pretty good.

From here, it became frustrating.

The grid filled up pretty readily, with real words in most places due to clear definitions, but a lot of the wordplay was leaving me bewildered, even though I knew there had to be elemental symbols removed.  I wasn’t having much luck piecing together all of the message – PARTICLES near the end, CLOCKWISE CARE WITH, hmmm, OK.  EVERY FIFTH… that looks like something.  INITIATING AT COLUMN FIVE.  Okeydoke.

It was the bits in-between that weren’t making sense.

And I put it down for a few days.

And they still weren’t making sense.

I only had four clashes, though I was sure the fifth was lurking somewhere in 29 across…  When the first class was X and V I thought maybe it was something to do with atomic symbols again – XV would be 15 which is the atomic number of phosphorus.

Hmmmm… something starting in column 5?

How can I not be solving a puzzle with a Chemistry theme?  I’ve got a doctorate in the bloody subject.  AAAAARGH!

And I put it down for a few more days.

And the deadline passed.

I hate giving up.

So I did something I shouldn’t have done…  I got a hint.

I was told to read every fifth letter starting from column 5 around the outside… DRAWINGS OF ATOMIC TO (something needed to be resolved by clashes).

Atomic TO?   Ohhh…. 34 down isn’t NIGHT, it’s TIGHT and it’s TINY PARTICLES… there’s not many E’s in the grid, are there?  And resolving clashes could make 6 of them, meaning it’s going to be CARBON instead of BORON, and two E’s are close to the middle, and four are on the outside, like the shell model of the electrons.

My working grid for Listener 4312, Elementary Deduction by RoodHmmmm,,, I wanted to love this so much.  But there’s bits and pieces here I don’t like.  The AT vs TA possibility at 41, whatever was going on in 29 or 31.  Mostly that I couldn’t get it without a hint.  Victory to Rood and the Listener Crossword.

2014 tally:  31-0-6.

Feel free to tell me I cheated (I didn’t submit… actually I sent some comments in but well after the deadline), and see you next week when I have a legitimate chance to not be able to force against weakness with ‘Tut.



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