re: nets I, Leno did one listener

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, the second-longest running Listener blog, now with 300% less criticism (than other short-lived ventures).  It’s tea at the cricket, coffee here, and Wiglaf time.  I thought Wiglaf was a new setter or newdonym, but according to the Listener website, there was a Hitchcock-themed puzzle in 1999, well before I started trying the Listener.  So hi Wiglaf if you are checking in.

OK – what have we here – some definition-only clues, some extra letters in wordplay – normal definitions all round and a grid of real words, wooohoo!

Yet again we are denied a 1 across!  It all begins at 6 across with a SATRAP losing an A to make STRAP and no extra wordplay letter, but a pass on the 6 across test, woohoo!  STRAP does not appear to be an ideal starting point as it crosses two of the definition-only clues, and two I couldn’t solve on a first pass through.

Back to ye old drawing-board!  There’s a homophone for OLIVE OIL that slots in nicely under SRAP and means we have a TE and a RO to start two of the unclued.  Hmmm… I wonder if the soil-tilling machine is a ROTAVATOR, which is also a palindrome?  It fits the grid entry, and is checked by REPAID (extra E) and RAI (extra I).  That would make the thing held a TENET, and the language (which had just popped up in a daily Times puzzle) MALAYALAM, and worshipped DEIFIED.

I popped them in the grid and checked to see if they fitted with crossing answers… all well and good.

That was the end of my first lunchtime solve, and I put it away for a few days.  The theme came so quickly, that I was faced with rather a lot of sursolving.

A few days later I was craving a burrito for lunch so I grabbed this one from the pile to polish it off – the rest of the clues slotted in pretty nicely, and I was left with the extra letters reading AS I PEE SIR I SEE Esomething or other… I didn’t quite work out what was going on in the last five or six down clues… but clearly PISA was needed to complete the palindrome and there it is, leaning over.

My working grid for Listener 4351, Failed Attempt by Wiglaf

Do you think the Pisa tourism board gets pissed off when people come and all they want to see is the tower?  I’m sure there’s other nice non-tower related stuff there.

Anyhoo – a fun finish, I ended up enjoying the finale more than I thought I was going to, so sorry Wiglaf for putting it down and going “oh, hum, palindromes”.  I believe I can call this one a Victory to George.

2015 tally:  19-0-4

Feel free to tell me that I cheated myself by not working out the last part of the failed attempt, and see you next week when Artix informs us that what has gone missing again.  Silly what.

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One Response

  1. No George, there really is very little else in Pisa.

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