Donna’s on her mobile again

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, today coming to you from Charlotte, North Carolina, where I just witnessed one of the oddest acts I’ve ever seen – a large man in a home-made spacesuit singing a duet with a unicorn hand puppet with a moustache while next to him a man standing in broken glass invites people by the stage to staple-gun playing cards to his chest.

You’re welcome!

OKeydoke – what do we have this week?  Raffles – a new setter or a newdonym, so hi Raffles if you are looking in!

What have we here?  Something missing in some clues, extra letters in wordplay, and thirteen thematic entries with something to be resolved by finding names.  Ugh – sounds like jumblies are coming up!

There is a 1 across and it looks like the wordplay is heading towards LEONE something or ELEON something so there’s a big fail on the 1 across test, booo.  Better luck with 10 across where MUS(StIES)T gives a T as part of the quote.

This was not a particularly helpful starting spot – 2 down was SUNNAH (extra O) and 3 down looked like it was heading towards SIGNORA with no definition.(and jumblies were looking on).

Poking further through the grid… these thematic entries are long – CONTADINA, URSULINE, MONTESSORI – anyway, they appear to be mostly Italian females… the quote is looking like THE LADY IS NOT… which a little Googling gets to THE LADY IS NOT FOR TURNING, a Thatcher quote (and helps me get the last of the non-thematic answers – DIARRHEA with an extra T.

OK… now I have all the answers except 5 down and 21 across which appears to be an anagram of GREAT,HARM,I which has to get rejumbled anyway.  A large amount of the grid is empty, hmmm.  I know I have to find MARGARET THATCHER in there somewhere – and a decent start on it is made in the left side of the grid on a diagonal.  Well that fills in a bit more of the grid.

What is the rest?  Italian women turning?  Are we in Rigoletto territory, La Done E Mobile or the like?  There’s the starting of MANTUA in the main diagonal near the bottom.

And that’s about as far as it got… I had all the entries bar one, but interlocking long jumbles with other long jumblies was getting painful.  Sorry, Raffles – you’ve got me here.

Victory to Raffles and the Listener Crossword – I got most of the theme, but just couldn’t make it to the end.

2015 tally:  22-1-5

Feel free to tell me that I need to brush up on my jumbling because there’s a lot more coming, and see you next week when Nutmeg gives us a foot.

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