It must suck to be a Greek gift shop owner

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, where last week saw a spectacular return to mediocrity!  Let’s see if we can right the ship with KevGar.  Last time we saw KevGar it was a rather fun but not too difficult puzzle with Haydn’s symphonies in mathematical form.  Now we have a spooky ghost story,ooooowooooooo.

Misprints in definitions spelling out something to find… and change at the end.  Hmmm, so real words in the grid and a mix of normal and definitions misprints clues, sounds deceptively straightforward (didn’t I say that last week?).  And for the first time in a while, we have a 1 across!

I couldn’t solve it right away (later on I kicked myself for not seeing it), but I did think “dining” stood out as a word that could be a misprint.

A few clues in and I was getting nowhere, so I resorted to my other sneaky tactic – try the last few clues.  We now have the 35 down second chance test!  L,EP and a quick peek in Chambers to confirm no misprint and we are away!  Not only that, but that P looks like 39 could be heading towards STOREKEEPERS from the definition and it is, woohoo!

This puzzle was worked from the bottom up – and fortunately the grid fill was not too difficult.  I had a few questions marks as I went along, and completely messed up 13 across by putting NAB and looking for definitions.  I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the misprints until I had a full grid.


Really?  Isn’t that like seven bajillion pages and in Latin?  It had better be the bit about the Trojan horse or I’ll be done.  Where on earth do you get started on finding a 25-letter phrase in the Aeneid?

Yay for my library having access to Oxford Dictionary of Quotations… Virgil gets a pretty long entry, though the bits I’m hoping for appear about half way through – the beware of Greeks thing goes TIMEO DANAOS ET DONA FERENTES.  There’s not many F’s in the grid, let’s start there – FERENTES can be made by starting near the bottom right and going across the second last line.  Bingo!

Fortunately it was not too bad from there to trace the quotation.  I worked backwards since it helped me get started with FERENTES.  Inside my rather chess-piece looking horse (if there is a B that needs to be changed to a German B or a Greek B I’m going to scream) there is a mixture of the letters of GHOSTS.  OK, I have to replace them with TROJANS… too many letters.  Duh, it’s not the TROJANS that were in the horse, it was full of GREEKS, all brandishing baklavas and souvlakis or something like that.

OK – GRUNTS could become GRUNGE and that makes AMENDS AMENDE (thanks for the French tip), ONDING obviously becomes ENDING… oh for fuck’s sake read the preamble , George – it’s just entered as GREEKS row by row.  All done!

My working grid for Listener 4353, A Ghost Story by KevGarDespite a little trepidation on having to find the quote, this was overall a nice bit of fun, symmetrical grid, and a rather neat looking endgame, so thanks KevGar, I’m back in town!  At least until next week…

2015 tally:  20-0-5

Feel free to tell me that my scribbled out lines don’t look that scribbled out, and I’ll see you next week when Ilver has clearly dropped a glass at a bar.


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