Howard’s rear end?

Welcome back to the almost timely George vs the Listener Crossword.  So look what happens – after invoking the name of The Tall’n a few weeks ago as the first Listener setter with an apostrophe in the pseudonym, look what we have – The Tall’n!

I was proctoring an exam the afternoon this one came out, so I was about to be treated to something rare – two hours of blissful silence (well, other than students coughing, shuffling and cheating).  OK, what have we here – unclued words, relocations, and it does appear real words, though some letters removed from answers… OK, let’s go then.

There is a 1 across, and it’s it’s a subtraction anagram to give CONSUL, woohoo we are away!

I got a really good jump on the middle of this one, noting that the across answers weren’t going to play well with the positions of OVER and CASTER… but if OVER moved to 43 down then I could have HANOVER (if the line at 31 was ETA THETA IOTA).  Royal houses in the columns?  Move CASTER under LAN and there’s another one.

It was just over an hour in by the time I’d fixed the six royal houses, and now the grid was looking pretty full – I had spotted that the letters to be omitted were vowels, leading to final words that were real words in Chambers (always take Chambers to an exam… if you don’t read it, you can sit on it and look very tall, maybe even as tall as The Tall’n).

This just left the two spaces near the top… and I have to be honest, I didn’t quite get the significance at the time – I’ve seen the solution now and understand why, but I’ve never seen the show.  TORE and SAURY and just worked to make linked words… I’m relieved I was correct.

My grid for Listener 4317, Only Connect Two by the Tall'n

I wonder if The Tall’n got any more comments like mine – I got a grid, but I didn’t quite understand why, and the pieces just didn’t come together to make a consistent whole for me.  I was still looking for references to Forester or Howard’s End.  Half-hearted Victory to George

2014 tally:  35-0-7.

Feel free to tell me to make better connections, and see you next week when Schadenfreude gives us a play made up of words.

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