Or in my case you lose a few, you give up on the rest

Welcome to the official start of the 2016 edition of George vs the Listener Crossword, and another attempt to get back on track by submitting grids!  It seems my opinion on the last few was in conflict with the general consensus in internetcommentingland, but something good may come of it – watch this space!

I’m not sure if it is a time-honored tradition, but it appears that the year usually starts off with a more gentle puzzle than usual, though seeing that it was Kruger I thought we could be in for a bit of a battle.  Kruger appears to have had a bumper year in 2015, with a few appearances in Enigmatic Variations and maybe one or two in the Inquisitor (both puzzles I tackle semi-regularly).  Preamble kind of sums it up, Letters Latent in both across and down, with the same set of letters bar one in a rotationally-symmetric 12×13 grid – wordplay leading to Letters Latent entry.  Haven’t seen a 12×13 in a while.

It’s a 12×13 with a 1 across as well, though I couldn’t work out what was going on with it so a big fail on the 1 across test (though it is apparently in Collins).

Much better luck with one of my grandmother’s favorite actors, Dirk BOGARDE appearing without an O in the next clue, so we are away!  The right hand side of the grid filled up pretty quickly, though there were a few trips to Chambers to find out what sort of alcohol could be AMORAL without the edges, which turned out to be MOWRA

I was doing pretty well with the across clues and had ?OUWINA?EW?OULOSE which was when I figured we were heading for YOU WIN A FEW, YOU LOSE A FEW and explained why I’d found two latent Y’s in the down answers.  Not the typical letter to be latent.

About an hour later it was all cleared up – I had all the across answers and just a few niggling down answers and I was left with both W’s,  L, an F and E unaccounted for (the tricky GRAYLAG had appeared by now).  Finally a complete grid and it was the L that was the one left over.  Be dump ching!

my working grid for Listener 4379, The One Left Behind by Kruger

Nice puzzly-puzzle this one.  No weird chess moves, playunfairs, knight’s moves or anything and a tight puzzle that persisted right to the end.  Very enjoyable, and not only that but I believe we start of the year with a Victory to George!

2016 tally:  1-0-0

Feel free to tell me that I need to stop lauding praise on easier puzzles and see you next week when MynoT pokes around our insides

P.S. In case anyone cares – I am right in ground zero of the winter storm sweeping the US.  I am likely to be snowed in for a few days, but I have snacks, booze, power and internet, so everything is hunky-dory!

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