Isn’t this the game where if you draw the wrong card, you get married?

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, Harribobs time!  A new setter (or newdonym) who appears familiar (maybe from EV?), so hi Harribobs if you’re looking in!

What have we here?  Extra letters in wordplay, extra information and something about a game that feels oddly familiar – isn’t this one of those mathematics generated propagating thingys?  I saved the temptation to Google it and give away the ending at the beginning and got to solving some clues, after all it’s all real words in the grid and there is a 1 across, so we don’t have that very often!

Gentle start as E+POSTS reversed gives ESTOP and a big pass on the 1 across test, woohoo! That intersected with every barred-grid-solver’s favorite French soldiers, (s)POIL,US and the grid is off to a flying start.

I managed pretty well through the grid fill, though I will admit Harribob’s definitions were in general clearer than the wordplay, so I did a fair bit of what is known on another blog as “biffing” in clues – TRAVELLER and IN TOTO were prime examples, though later on in decoding the message I found TINTOT in Chambers as a coloring book.

A bit over an hour later, there’s a grid – a message, START LETTERS HAVE ELEMENTS OF LIFE SHADE SECOND GENERATION, and the mathematician CONWAY in the grid.  Time for the endgame…

OK… I was AWFUL at this.  I knew I was going to make a disaster of it on my original grid so I printed out another one and tried to do it… and ended up with an unholy mess.  So I made an excel spreadsheet and put X’s in the squares.  It looked like I was making an I near the middle but that was it.  At that point I started looking at Conway’s game of life online and found someone had made a flash version!

I used an app to get the shading solution

Phew!  Of course in transcribing it back to my grid I managed to shade one more cell than I should have on the first L

My working grid for Listener 4368, The Name of the Game by Harribobs

A pleasant debut from Harribobs, nice clues and a fun theme, even though I needed to stretch the limits of fairness to get that last part to fall into place.  In the end I think I can call it a Victory to George, woohoo!

2015 tally:  33-2-5

Feel free to tell me that I’m really losing at this game, and see you next week when Xanthippe has a puzzle that has to go with golf and ellipses

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