What did Calais do to deserve Hitler?

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, your occasionally timely dose of weekly Listener nittering and nattering.  To make up for the last few weeks, this may even appear an hour early… oh dear, will I get letters?

The Tall’n!   What have we here – a ten-word message, wartime achievements, and codes.  OK… well it might be Turing and Enigma, or it might not.  Let’s find out…

1 across is part of the message, so we begin with a 4 across test… which I can’t figure out at all. Hmmm…

None of these clues seem to be making much sense… aaah, the wordplay has the encoded form.  Might help to know which letters are encoded.  I was stuck at a bar without a highlighter (now that’s a wonderful phrase) so I put circles around the letters that were part of the message.  OK – looks like most of them are across, so let’s start with the clues (mainly downs) that don’t have any coded letters.

Now we’re cooking!  Particularly in the bottom half of the grid, where 32 down seems to confirm we are in Turing territory, and that long entry at 5 down is likely to be an encoded form of BLETCHLEY PARK.

Now I had almost all of the normal clues it was time to look at these coded ones – again working from the bottom up, it became pretty clear a few letters in (although I wrote an alphabet to the side to code) that it was just a ROT-3.  So I penciled in what BLETCHLEY PARK would be in the circles and I was off.

I knew TURING was jumbled at the top – it looked likely ENIGMA was going to be jumbled at the bottom right, but I needed to use googlepedia to find out about HUT EIGHT and BOMBE to complete the grid, and a little bit of staring before spotting CALAIS and getting the last bit of thematic material.  How much of that is generalized enough knowledge?  I didn’t look it up in Brewers, and that use of BOMBE isn’t in Chambers.

In any case, after a very slow start, this was a pretty quick finish, and rather fun finding out the bits I didn’t know!

My working grid for Listener 4359, Coded Message by The Tall'n

The solution won’t be out for an hour, but I think I can call this one a Victory to George and move on!

2015 tally:  24-2-5

Feel free to let me know that there’s a bomb in the bombe, and see you next week when IOA will turn it up!


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