So in 1971, everyone dropped PD and started taking LSD?

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword.  Oh happy day!  I made it back into the Azed Slip after a nearly four-year absence (July 2012 was a long time ago).  I wasn’t a regular competitor for a while after getting mad that he used FAG = homosexual in wordplay, but I decided to bury the hatchet and enter the competition again… I mean I didn’t stop doing his puzzles, and once suggested DAGO as a wordplay element to the shock and horror of another setter.

Serendipity here as Dragon appears to be of the two-headed sort, Dilwitch and VHC winner in the current Azed competition R.J. Whale, and the puzzle has Printer’s Devilry clues, which I really learned to solve via Azed, and my first appearance in the Azed slip was a Printer’s Devilry clue for EASTER in 2011.

OK, so we have Prineter’s Devilry in across clues, thematic treatment in down clues, and four parts appear as digits.  There is a 1 across, and there’s a word with a slash in it… betcha that’s the deviled bit… and it is … to welcoME REST ON Easter day… writing it in this fashion next to the clue didn’t stop daft me from writing MEROSOTONE above the grid… that ONE looks suspicious, bet it becomes a numerical 1 with 6 down.

Checking that in down clues was MADDER  EAVESDROP, and STEDD missing the D’s in wordplay… hmmm, but not the P in EAVESDROP.  So it looks like D’s are gone.  I started scanning the PD clues for another starting point… NOONERS stuck out in 14 across, and sure enough – noNE ARE SToners and hello to the right hand side of the grid, where DIAPASE makes it looks like P’s are gone but D’s stay.

Knowing that I went through the down clues to sort out as many as I could to make the PD clues easier – I’ll admit there were a number of PD clues solved by finding the likely candidates on Word Wizards and looking for places they could go in the clues – retrosolving!

Ps and Ds disappearing makes it seem like the changeover to decimal currency is what was going on.  I know it happened in Australia in 1967, so I was surprised to learn it happened in England later, in February 1971, so we have a 45th anniversary puzzle (nobody did anything for my 45th, but I don’t blame them).

So in the middle column we have PENNY DROPPING losing all the P’s and D’s, and at the end there was just a little sursolving of PD clues – my last two being 7 and 12, where in 7 I was pretty sure I knew where the break would go, but couldn’t figure out what would go there, and 12 was very cunning – to wIN DEEDs are needed.  They’re harder to spot when hidden in a short word!

My working grid for Listener 4385, PD by Dragon

I have a feeling I was rather curt to Dragon in the note I sent with my solution, but now I look back on it, this has grown on me.  The method in the across and down solutions makes perfect use of the theme (another wonderful example is coming up in a few weeks), and PD clues tend to be on the more amusing side of things – at least when you can solve them.  Apart from the ones already mentioned, there are some absolute gems of PD clues…

A diva that beltS OUT HER LINES Sings like Ethel Merman

After Guangzhou’s English Festival, can tONESE ATE Roast for dinner last Sunday as well?

Surfboard friction gets the bLISTER I SEe aching terribly

Victory to George and thanks to Dragon!

2016 tally:  6-1-0

Feel free to tell me that I should solve PD clues on an Enigma device, and see you next week when Elap hails us with a storm!



2 Responses

  1. When this one came off the printer, I almost wondered if the setter had named themselves in honour of this blog, so that for one week at least the battle could be George vs the Dragon…

  2. I don’t think I’m that influential, and I’m about as far from being a saint as you could get.

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