Another slight delay – well I’ll B

Been a pretty crazy week here, and I don’t think I’ll be able to add my post on Wan’s puzzle until tomorrow (not to mention I was going to say more nice things about Nutmeg’s Listener, which appears to be damned with faint praise.

Check in on Saturday and have a fun weekend!

Hope you came back for Wan time!  I rather liked the last Wan Listener, so I was curious to see what we were up against here.  Hmmm… part of the preamble makes sense, part of it doesn’t… we’ve got extra wordplay letters in across clues, misprints in down clues, and something thematic.  And then we have…

Solvers must create a representation of the other letter in the grid by highlighting six hidden members of the first group, arranged as overlapping pairs (43 cells in total)

What in the name of the flying spaghetti monster is an overlapping pair?

Hopefully we’ll get there eventually…

With Oklahoma out of the way, I started this one on a plane, on the way to meetings in Boston. There was a 1 across but I couldn’t figure it out on a first look.  6 across looked more promising… NC,RESTED gives me CRESTED and an extra N.  Woohoo!  Problem was the only answer I could get that crossed CRESTED was EVIL.  Hmmm…

A read through the rest of the clues and there was only one other I got on a first try – IDOL down in the bottom left.

I was beginning to get very frustrated with this crossword – how to get through these impenetrable clues.  Fortunately, when there’s room in my bag (and this time there was) I carry my copy of Bradford’s.  I wouldn’t have gotten far on most of these clues if it weren’t for looking up one word at a time in Bradfords – MASTIC for cement, ACARUS for mite, JAGGER for pedlar.

Near the end of the grid-fill things still were not looking too clear – the extra across letters led to ?NATCATCHER which seems to be GNATCATCHER (I now see it was TIG at the end that had the extra G) and then GOSLET, so they are types of birds, and in the down clues I had MINING and DRUMBLEDOR which are types of BEEs so it’s the Birds and the Bees as a theme – probably the letter B that needs to be highlighted in the final grid.

Finally – with HECTIC the last entry in, I have a full grid.  Now to find something to highlight.

Now to find something to highlight.

I see CKET near the left hand side… but a CRICKET isn’t a bird or a bee, and I don’t see an I handy

ARA is in the very middle… birds that have ARA in the name?  I now see that I should have been more failthful to Bradford’s as I might have gotten closer with ARAPONGA

The highlighting utterly eluded me.  I had an idea what I was looking for, and I could not find it.  Victory to Wan and the Listener Crossword!

My working grid for Lisener 4358, The Other Letter by Wan

Congratulations to Shirley on her win, but in this case for me it’s a “found the theme, didn’t make it to the end” situation.

2015 tally:  23-2-5

Feel free to tell me I should have known what overlapping hidden birds meant implicitly, and see you next week when The Tall’n has a message we have to pay for on delivery.


One Response

  1. I am sorry that you had trouble with the end, George. It isn’t easy to second-guess how solvers will approach things. I imagined that they would initially search for a B shape before soon clicking that it should be a BEE and then look for that rather than search for birds. It seems though that several didn’t click for quite a while and of those some kicked themselves whilst others would much prefer to kick me!

    A number of solvers particularly liked the overlapping pairs, though one did say it perhaps should have been overlapwing pairs.

    Keep up the good work.

    All the best.

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