So long, BeRo and thanks for all the Listeners

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword – which may be able to get back on to a regular schedule here soon.  Or not.

Here we have the final Listener by BeRo.  I was an admirer of BeRo’s puzzles far more than I was a solver – there always seemed to be some logic leap I just could not make.

OK – what have we here – some squares in the middle, and a lot of hints (including the numbering of the clues) suggesting Base 13.  Crikey!  At least it’s not boxes.

The preamble makes reference to a striking connection to 13, which sounds like the opening of “1984”, which translates to B98 in Base 13, so believe it or not, the very first thing that gets penciled in is the title as B98.

I guess all I have to do now is solve the crossword, and all the other stuff.

In the past I have found BeRo’s clues really tricky, though I think that may have been the large amount of cold-solving in puzzles like Phiz.  This time I did a lot better, having most of the grid filled in during the first solving session.  I left my copy on the scanner, so I don’t have my solving notes with me, but the 1984 bit was confirmed pretty quickly with the clashing letters matching up with GEORGE ORWELL (so well that in the end I needed to find two clashes in my last two entries – 18 down and 4 down.

So at the end of the second solving session I had a grid, I had the 13 letters starting at clue 13 reading SIX X NINE ADAMS

I met Douglas Adams twice and managed to get him to autograph my copy of a really poorly edited American edition of the Hitchhiker’s Guide (which I think he told me he didn’t get any money from) and “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency”.

Anyhoo – now here’s a dilemma – do I put 6 X 9 = 42 (apparently that is true in base 13) or since according to Douglas Adams 6 X 9 = 42, should it be entered as 33?

listener_xwd_4342Of course all this is moot… as I now am left with the last part of the instruction – filling in the middle row (which so far contains all A’s) and looking for a progressive theme in 13 sets of blocks, including this middle row.

Ummm… what now?

Something about summing up, but apart from there being a lot of A’s B’s and C’s in the top left corner, I don’t see much that makes a sequence?

Oh great… complete grid (apart from those little squares)… two pieces of thematic information, and BeRo is going to have the last laugh again, isn’t he?

Yep.

Victory to BeRo and the Listener Crossword – what on earth was that last part about?

2015 tally:  12-0-3

Feel free to tell me that my lack of sequence is inconsequential, and see you next week when Chalicea presents us with three bears, one of whom has a ring!

 

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