I was looking for a very long one-act play where Horatio Nelson and Horatio Hornblower meet and discuss painful deaths.

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, for those of you who are taking a break from catching wild Pokemon.  Time to reminisce over a puzzle we all had a bash at three weeks ago and are eagerly awaiting the decision on if we have submitted an entry of correctness or not.  All will be revealed in about 10 minutes according to my watch so let’s get cracking.

Artix!  Most Artix puzzles I find bloody difficult, often with tricky endgames.  So what have we here – remove a letter and treat thematically… clues in groups.  This does sound tricky.

Fortunately there is a 1 across, and even more fortunately it looks like an easy one – M,OTHER with “one choosing” as extra, becoming a definition somewhere.  Woohoo!

SOPHERIM was my lead in to the deletions and treatments – with HORN, EMPALE and OCTUOR (which stupid me wrote in the grid as OCTOUR and so got stuck beyond belief on KAURI later on) in place, delete a letter and jumble to a real word looked like a good prospect, and ORPHISM took its place.

I made a much better fist of the across clues than the down clues, and saw what looked like it was going to be REARRANGE from the extra clues.

I had a P in the extra letters from down clues – was REARRANGE PERIMETER a possibility?

Next dawning was ACT and whatever the extra letter in 29 across was… ADMIRAL NELSON ACT ONE?  I don’t know a play about Admiral Nelson?  Wasn’t there a SCENE in the downs – yep, SCENE and 19 across has FIVE (which I thought was part of the clue).  HORN BLOWER.  SCENE FIVE.  Is there a play about Horatio Hornblower?

Oh… Admiral Nelson is also a HORATIO – it’s bloody Hamlet.

Earlier this year I saw a show that was called a “Radical Hamlet Remix” which was kind of Hamlet told in flashbacks.  It was interesting, but not my favorite thing I’ve seen.

OK – Hamlet Act 1, Scene 5.  Mid way through there is I’M SORRY THEY OFFEND YOU HEARTILY, YES FAITH HEARTILY – there’s our title.  So now we just have to work out the rest of these extra letters (it was around here that I figured out what I’d done wrong with OCTUOR), and there was a grid.

Huh, but what did the perimeter have to do with it?  There’s ghosts and spooky things, and references to Hamlet, but aren’t we meant to rearrange it?

Right next to it is a line from Horatio – THESE ARE BUT WILD AND WHIRLING WORDS MY LORD.  Aaaah, aren’t all of those letters in the perimeter?  Got out the highlighter… Dammit, I’ve still got leftover letters!

Oooooh, I do, but they are the letters of HORATIO, so everything that needed to be written in the bottom really did come from the perimeter.

My working grid for Listener 4403, No Offence by Artix

OK – this was a kind of a perfect storm of a crossword.  Just as I was getting frustrated at having found the theme, and using the theme to sursolve what was mostly my own stupid mistake, it then fell together rather beautifully, and that perimeter is something to behold!  Lots of Hamlet references, the letters of Horatio, and the quote, and with only one iffy (I rescind “iffy” – Artix popped in to show me that it is part of the text, making it very much a part of the thematic material) spiffy entry in I WILL. Masterful construction, Artix – I think I may have damned you with faint praise in the letter that accompanies my entry.

I believe we can call this one a Victory to George, woohoo!

Feel free to tell me I should really brush up on my Shakespeare (though this year I’ve been to productions of Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet, so I may have hit the annual Shakey quota), and see you next week when Tut wants to shake us up.

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2 Responses

  1. Congrats on your victory, George! And many thanks for the excellent and entertaining blog. Vis-a-vis the “iffy” I WILL, it is actually the second line Hamlet says (replying to the Ghost) at the start of Act 1, Scene 5 … I was hoping solvers might spot this and then keep reading on until they came to “No Offence” and just before that notice the “thematic” line spoken by Horatio …

  2. Aaaah – I rescind the claims to iffyness and change it to spiffy

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