Check out the ass on Buridan!

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword.  Posting out of turn since I still haven’t quite gotten around to writing notes on Colleague’s puzzle which seems to have attracted a bit of attention as to whether the endgame was easy to spot or not.  Anyhoo – it’s Schadenfrude time!  Which means taut clues (and look at ’em – 9 down is an outlier but there’s a lot of four- and five- word clues), and usually a tricky theme.  Omitted letters in wordplay, and some erasing in the grid at the end.  Hmmm, OK – well at least it looks like all real words in the grid!

There is a 1 across, but it wasn’t one I got on the first go so a big fail on the 1 across test… better luck with 5 down where T(ALL)IER gets us going.  Shortly after that comes the first missing letter – the D in LENDS not being indicated, and a nice big circle goes around the D.  12×12 grid this week means it’s going to be easier to put extra things in cells, we seem to have had some big grids lately (and many of you know the Big Grids will return next week)

The top right started to pose a problem shortly after that – I saw that 12 across was a definition for BLUE-EYE with the B unindicated, so a big circle went around the B.  9 down looked like EYING – EGG for MINE seems to be popping up regularly, but it really looks like 14 is NAIF with the I unindicated… so can it be that when an unindicated letter is in a checked cell it appears in one answer but not the other?

That might explain 7 down being LUMA with the U appearing in BLUEEYE but not in LUMA.

Why is this bugging me?

Even though it was bugging me, I think Schadenfreude went a little easier on us clues-wise this time (or after doing so many I’m wise to the tricks), and the grid was completed in a little over an hour.  Woohoo!  Now to the rest of it – I don’t see anything obvious in the grid, and my unindicated letters read BUIDAN SSS.

A poke through Chambers and there is BURIDAN’S ASS…  that looks more promising – where does the R come from?  Oh – 13 isn’t SHARDS, it’s SHERDS and then the R isn’t indicated.  Where’s the other A?  Oh – I thought I’d already circled the A in SARDAR, but it was unindicated in OSAGE, so it’s the other one.  OK…

What’s on the diagonals – there is a DONKEY in the middle.  So there’s food somewhere?  There’s a SATAY in the bottom right corner, I used to love SATAY! Don’t see any other food… would a donkey like a nice plate of BLUE-EYE?  They’re not equal distances, though.  Aaaaah – also diagonal there are two CARROTS.  So the donkey isn’t going to starve, he is going to pick a carrot, any carrot…

One of the CARROT’s (the one on the top left) makes real words when you write over the letters with the DONKEY, the one on the bottom doesn’t… so we erase the DONKEY and put him on the CARROT on the top left.  Here’s the working grid (the highlighting I had for the donkey and carrot, although in the appropriate color) didn’t scan well.

My working grid for Listener 4363, Demolition by Schadenfreude

I certainly learned something there, I wasn’t aware of the story of the ass, and it was a nice puzzle but I was a little annoyed about the omitted letters not being consistent in across and down answers.  I’m sure that’s a minor nitpick for a puzzle I think I can call a Victory to George!

2015 tally:  28-2-5

Feel free to tell me that I should have finished Colleague’s blog first since Schadenfreude doesn’t read blogs, and see you next week when Ottorino finds that his first 18 plans have failed, and it’s on to Plan T.

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