Shouldn’t we have had to text the solution of this to 07734?

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword.

Hey, UK, what the?

So let’s see – England collapsed overnight, the US election is a similar farce, Australia is about to run out of well-dressed lunatics to be Prime Minister (maybe I should move back), and I haven’t even managed a HC in the last two Azed competitions (I was rather fond of my last two clues, and it’s the first time I’ve struck out in a PD competition).

Is there any reason for hope?

Oh yes indeedy there is, for in a bit over an hour I am driving to Atlanta and going to see The Cure!

MEGA STOKED! When they came to Australia in 1992 I was living in Hobart and couldn’t afford to make it back to Melbourne for a show.  They haven’t done a show in any city I’ve been near since, but they played in Charlotte last night (I had a rehearsal) and tonight in Atlanta – so I am loading up a car with 40-something ex goth kids and we are going to partly like we still had hair to dye black!

I am wearing black sandals.  Goth yeah!

“The Head On The Door” was compulsory listening in High School, and those of us with the first VCRs would stay up late at night watching “Rage” in the hope they’d play a Cure video.  At the caravan park in Lorne, my friend Tanya would steal day-glo lipstick and we’d put string in each other’s hair.

And tonight I’m going to see them live for the first time.

Oh, did you come here to read about Literal Spling?

I guess.

My wish list for tonight…

– Fascination Street.  There used to be a public access TV channel in Melbourne and when they didn’t have any programming they would play “Fascination Street” on a loop and have a camera at a fish tank.  I must have watched hours of it

– Close To Me.  The video was the band drowning in a closet. The 12″ version with the crazy sampled tumpet bits was the best, it ended up on the compilation “Mixed Up”.

– Lovesong. I guess that’s always on the list. It’s simple and awesome.

– Lullaby.  I would be surprised if they do it live, but it’s such a great song.

– Boys Don’t Cry. They’ll probably do this.  If I’m forced to do a semi-serious song at karaoke I bust out my Robert Smith impression and wail.

OK, OK – Waterloo.  You know what you’re getting – some sort of word manipulation, and I have a pretty terrible track record because of all the fiddly substitutions and non-words.  The title hints that we’re going to drop some letters somewhere, so let’s see how that works…

There is a 1 across and it’s a fairly simple PENNYFARTHING which is three letters too long for the grid entry.  It intersects PRESENTIMENT which is only one letter too long.

Solving 3 down gave the true direction – WIGHT (I think it was WIGHT – I don’t have the clues with me anymore, it may have been WHITE).  So we are entering in answers kind of phonetically, but not consistently, it seems, since only one EN in PRESENTIMENT was modified.

My friend Holly is also a huge fan of The Cure, and she lives just two blocks from the venue.  This means parking and a place to party before and after is settled.  It’s going to be an outstanding day!  I’m bringing her a few six packs of local beer.

So anyway, some of it was frustrating, but there were a few fun entries – I liked MISCUE going in as MISQ and SEAWAY(I think it was SEAWAY). going in a CWA.

My working grid for Listener 4401, Literal Spling by Waterloo

I’m going to see The Cure!  So no matter what happens here, today is a Victory to George!

2016 tally:  19-2-2

Feel free to tell me I shouldn’t get excited about bands that are 25 years past their prime (I won’t listen, nya nya nya), and see you next week for a full show report.  And whatever puzzle comes next.

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