The apple doesn’t rise far from the tree?

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword. Part 2 of a series of puzzles solved during breaks in “The Man Who Came To Dinner” and Part 1 of a three-part (at least) series of grids that lead to a lot of head-scratching at the end.

OKeydoke – Duck time! In 1978 Duck had four Listeners, but this is a return after a long break, in fact so long that the last one was on the old blog. Hi Duck if you’re looking in.

Despite the long absence, I’m a pretty regular solver (and blogger) of Duck’s puzzles, and may have even gotten a small snarky note in his recent book, which I own a copy of, so I was anticipating a smooth solve – there’s six rogue clues and extra letters in wordplay, so it looks like mostly real words in the grid except for possibly six down clues.  Let’s solve!

There is a 1 across, and it’s SPED,ANT so there’s an extra S so a big pass on the 1 across test and we are away. And well away – in goes PALP (extra R), DANGER (extra T), ARCHIVE (extra A), and SISTER (extra S).  Oh… except SISTER doesn’t play well.  Maybe jumbled?

In a few minutes more complications arise – the D in DANGER is good, but the rest of the letters are not, and there’s an I from YRIVD.  OK.

Let’s not think jumbles then. Continuing through the grid I spotted 8 down was not going to be a word, nor was 18.

Getting close to a full grid in the middle of the second act, two things leapt out at me… at 4 down I had TES?U? and, 8 down I had N?PS?RC and at 22 down I had ?I?DOC. One of my favorite US ciders is CRISPIN, which looks like it could fit there, reversed, and the clue for 8 across has IN SCRIPTURE – which has an anagram of CRISPIN in there. Could 22 down by CODLIN reversed and 8 down be RUSSET reversed and we are looking for types of apples?  The message in the across words has SEE A LETTER MIXTURE – and there are anagrams of RUSSET and CODLIN in the clues. That would make 31 BRAMLEY, 18 RIBSTON which leaves 2 as a reversal of IDA?ED and a quick google shows IDA RED is an apple. We have grid!

My working grid for Listener 4394, Against Expectations by Duck

SO reversed apples, eh?  But why?  The rest of the message from the down clues doesn’t seem to make much sense, and I haven’t even solved the original clues at 16, 18 or 22.  So maybe the theme is the apples bouncing back after they hit Newton on the head?

I’ll tentatively call this one a Victory to George, but I will not be surprised if I’m missing something.

2016 tally:  12-2-2

Feel free to tell me how I like them apples, and see you next week when Shackleton attepts to bury us three down, and six across.


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