So if he’s the viceroy, who is roy?

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword.

OK – confession time.  I’m late writing this up and there is no good excuse, but there is one particularly bad excuse.  I’ve been swept up in the plague that is Pokemon GO.  I blame it being released on the same day as a Listener crossword with TWO PLAYFAIRS!!!!!  But more about that in two weeks.

There were two pokemons I had not caught on my walk in today, which extended the walk considerably.  I used to take the most direct route anywhere, but now I have to carefully map out routes that take in the most pokestops.

So there was this Listener.  Tut – there was one Tut puzzle before and it invovled a quote I did not know (three quarks for muster Mark).  This time it’s a poem, bet I don’t know it!

Extra letters in wordplay and clashes… hmmm… OK.  Not too many clashes, so mostly real words in the grid.  Let’s get solving!

There is a 1 across, but I could not get it on a first pass, nor could I get the second one, so the start point was that Y(UR)ET giving YURT with an extra E. That crosses AURORAL with an extra F (don’t see a lot of F’s in messages) and finally a grid starts to take shape.

I thought I was doing pretty well with the clues and puzzle, after an hour or so I had most of the bottom of the grid filled in, and the extra wordplay letters were starting to make sense – we had SHADE AUTHOR’S JOB at the end (ummm, doesn’t he or she have a job, an author, duh), and with ??ETRY ?USIC and F?IENDS as things that are not vital, it sounds like the author is anti fun (maybe the author is a Listener Crossword Editor who allows two Playfairs in one puzzle to be published).

I also had found only one clash – between CROWN ROT (clever clue that one, with the A from CARROT being the extra letter) and BOOKS.  That seemed odd, with only a dozen or so unsolved clues to only have one clash when five are needed.  It looks like the rest are clustered up the top.

Anyhoo – POETRY, MUSIC, FRIENDS pointed me at the source – The Dinner Hour by Edward Robert Bulwer-Lytton.  LYTTON could be slotted in at 1 down, which could make 1 across LATENCY – TEN C for “dime” is a nifty bit of clueing – extra P that I already suspected was there.  But what does that make the unmodified 1 down.  PYTHON?  A trip to Chambers confirms – I was looking for a mythological character named PHYTON.  That leaves two clashes to find, and really only 42 across and 6 across with question marks – from definition 42 really looks like LAVEER, but I can’t see the wordplay.

The Wikipedia page for the author shows that there was a set of poems called LUCILE – ah, and so 6 across is LUPINE – LOU(t),PINE with an extra O I was already sure of.  It also says he was Viceroy in India, so there is the thing to be shaded across the middle.  We are done (if LAVEER is correct).

My working grid for Listener 4404, Earthquakes as Well by Tut

Pretty weird solving experience this one – it seems odd to me to have those five clashes so close together, though there is thematic material in the middle of the grid.  The clues were very good though, and I learned something in the poem.

I hope that we were meant to keep COOKS and not BOOKS in the final step – that’s what I sent in.  I guess I could go look at the solution since it’s been out for an hour.

Yep!  COOKS is what the Powers That Be (But Still Allow Two Playfairs In One Puzzle) were looking for and I believe I can call this one a Victory to George! Woohoo!

Yikes – look at that tally for 2016:  22-2-2!

Feel free to tell me that I should have gone for COOKS because I’m barely literate – if you are in the area come see me in Jesus Christ Superstar for the next three weeks, and see you next week when Tangram wants us to vision something again (and the week after that if you want to find out just exactly how much I detest Playfair).


One Response

  1. You’d have to be even more churlish than me to get pleasure from seeing George fail. This time, I’m delighted to tell you that the victory is with George. Well done and keep going with your lovely blog.


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