V for La France

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, your one-stop site for half-finished commentary.

It’s been pretty busy here lately and pet projects have taken a back seat, so I’m sorry about this not appearing until Wednesday, when it’s probably only Chalicea checking in to see if there’s an update.  OKeydoke – what did we have here?  No symmetry and roughly a third of the cells are not utilised.

OK – I got that far and thought “hey, that sounds suspiciously like the Samuel puzzle with the map of England”.  I know that Chalicea and Samuel are familiar with each other… are they splitting puzzle ideas now?

I should probably solve it and see… anyhoo we have extra letters in wordplay and some clues lacking a definition. OKey, away we go.

There is a 1 across and it looks like CASA with one letter unnecessary – yep it’s the S with CAA being to telephone.  So a pass on the 1 across test, just no obvious place to put 1 across.  Moving on – 6 and 7 are pretty short clues… 7 looks like an anagram of TITAN in a harsh sound.  BRITTANY?  Could this be a map of France?  That would make sense with the title.  Is 6 maybe another part of France… NORM(h)ANDY.  Aaaaah – I believe we have a winner.

About 45 minutes of solving later I was able to start putting together a grid.  I tried at first using the grid from the printer, as it seemed there were some obvious places to start around CAA being on one line, NOMANDY below it and BRITTANY below that.

My working grid for Listener 4311, Carte Blanche by Chalicea

This was becoming a big schemozzle… so time to do what one should always do when faced with a carte blanche – turn to Crossword Compiler!  I guess I should point out that as I was putting this together, I had not been able to solve 1 down.  So I kept hoping that something would appear that would fit around the far left corner.  Is there a bit of France over there?

Finally that last piece of the map puzzle fell – it’s GANYMEDE.  Here’s what might get me to upgrade to Crossword Compiler 9 or 10… the ability to add an extra row to the top or the bottom of an existing grid.  It’s a tad frustrating getting so close and having to start the grid all over again…


finally we have it!  Map o’France, the strangely unclued 2 letter entry RF (mentioned in the extra letters), and we have to shade EURO which was hiding in AERONEUROSIS.  I confirmed with Chalicea over email after the deadline that the RF was to avoid overunching.

This was fun, but it was a strange experience to have the theme so early and have it in that fashion (“hey, this is just like that other puzzle”).  But in the end I can claim it a Victory to George and now this blog is only behind by 6 days and 23 minutes.

2014 tally:  31-0-5

Feel free to tell me that there’s no point being this late in posting and see you next week (well, hour) when Rood asks us to figure something out something from earth, air, fire water and possibly aether.


One Response

  1. Yes, I did keep checking in, just to see that you were OK really and indeed this one sprang from a discussion with Samuel about what a real carte blanche should be when he created his superb ‘Generalists’.


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