A herring of little brain

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, hopefully the first in a new era of prompt posting which was promised last week.  Oh well…

Chalicea time!  Browsers of other blogs will know that Chalicea comments on puzzles elsewhere and peeks in on here occasionally, so hi Chalicea.  What have we here – extra letters in wordplay, indicating something hidden in the grid and unclued entries at the top.  So it looks like we have all real words in the grid and direct definitions in the clues, all good signs for me.

With the top row being unclued, the first clue is all the way at 11 across, so let’s put it to the 11 across test, shall we – CAR,TAP with an extra T and a big pass on the 11 across test!  It was a pretty steady solve from here – in previous Chalicea puzzles I’ve found the approach to clueing accessible, with a lot of containers and charades, and it wasn’t long before I had most of the top half finished, and the first part of the message in the extra letters as THE CORNER.

Aha!  Well that fits in just fine with the title – we’re in A.A. Milne territory, and there is POOH hiding diagonally in the New England corner of the grid.  This is going to be plain sailing!  Not sure why the unclued entry that would be 2 across looks like it should be FOREGN, maybe it’s referring to a particularly racist House at Pooh Corner, or another type of bear.

So what else is in this list of things to be highlighted… WHAT IS CONCEALED… Hunny?  The remains of Christopher Robinson?  Eeyore’s tail?  IN THIRTY SIX?  There’s only 30 cells to be shaded.  Huh?

Is there a possibility I’m barking up the wrong faraway tree?

So of course I go google FOREIGN FIELD which is clearly the top row and there it is… The Soldier by Rupert (wrong bear!) BROOKE who is hiding starting at 12.  That’s the corner that is forever England one… and there’s FOREVER ENGLAND, and what is hidden in RICH EARTH is A RICHER DUST running down the diagonal.

My working grid for Listener 4343: Bear, Bear, Bearing by Chalicea

Well that was a fun piece of delusion, but it didn’t hold me up for too too long…

Clues of note:

I admire Chalicea’s ability to keep reasonable surfaces given the constraints of the clues, though that did mean slipping into some more obscure wordplay elements.

21 across:  Humming Great Balls of Fire endlessly

BOLIDES without the exterior B and S, leaving OLID with an extra E.  Goodness, gracious!

28 across:  Scandanavian twin

OK – if you’re a regular Listener solver, then you see Scandinavian and think SAAME (and all its other spellings), so this isn’t the most difficult clue – but you have to like a two word clue that includes the answer plus an extra letter and makes sense.

I believe I can call this one a Victory to George!

2015 tally:  13-0-3

Feel free to tell me there really were Hundred Acre Wood denizens littered through the grid, and I’ll see you next week when Ifor somehow combines Lent and Lust.



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