Bong… bong… bong… (title guaranteed to get Google hits)

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword.  In the US this is Black Friday where there are crazy shoppers and motorists everywhere, and apart from a trip to the coffee shop (already done) and a bar later tonight (looking forward to it), it is safest to be a shut-in.  The crossword puzzle is the shut-in’s best friend, so let’s talk about one.

Ploy!  It’s been a while since the last Ploy puzzle, though here have been appearances as part of Harpy, so hi Ploy if you’re checking in.  I have enjoyed very much the previous Ploy puzzles so I was looking forward to this.

What have we here… is this even allowed in the Listener – ALL NORMAL CLUES AND ALL PROPER WORDS IN THE GRID!!!! How am I going to cope with normal clues?  Sounds like there’s a bunch of stuff to do afterwards, but at the beginning it’s settle in to a Mephisto-style crossword and wait for the endgame.  By the way, on another blog, I’ve just had my 8th anniversary of blogging solutions to the Mephisto puzzle.

Not only do we have normal clues and real words, there is a 1 across and it’s SWOO(n),SH for a sound of rushing water and an omnipresent sportsball logo.  So a big pass on the 1 across test and I’m feeling good.

Filling the grid was not too tricky, and I think it was a little over an hour when I had close to a full grid and an idea of what was going on – the across message gave us THUS, SWINDLE, CONCERNING, PLOY – which must be the musical notes SO, DO, RE, ME.  The down clues lead to all numbers between 1 and 4 so that must be an indication of which notes to play in which order.

I found an online keyboard and played the notes a bunch of times.  They rang a bell (sic) but I could not for the life of me place it at that time of night.

Sometime during the night I awoke bolt upright – I knew what that sequence is – it’s the chiming of Big Ben!  I’ve been to London twice, and must have heard it a ton of time on British comedies.

And there it is – take the letters of BIG BEN and you can draw a bell.  My first line messed up a little bit, but here’s what it looked like in the end.


My working grid for Listener 4371, Our Announcer by Ploy

Apologies to those using Jaws – wordpress has changed around the way media is added and the alt-text box seems to have disappeared.  P.S. WordPress – fix this!

In the end I think this is a Victory to George and a very fun puzzle from Ploy – also a chance to try my virtual piano keyboard skills.

2015 tally:  36-2-5

Feel free to tell me that I should have worked in far more bell puns, and see you next week when PIccadilly has a puzzle that references my stand-up career – seldom seen!


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