What if it was a playfair tree? Would it be OK to have a billboard then?

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, still reeling after last week’s debacle (which seems to have gotten a mixed reaction in the other forums).  Let’s see if Chalicea can wipe some of that nasty taste from the mouth, eh?  If you’re a regular here you know Chalicea as the one on the other blogs whose grids are much prettier than mine.

What have we here – normal clues, some clashes, and some modification to the grid at the end.  Hmmm… could be easy, could be sneakily sinister.

There is no 1 across, and I couldn’t figure out 3 across on a first read, so a big fail on the 3 across test (boo).  On the other hand 11 across looks like an anagram for URANITIC – I like telling people about the ways oxoanions and oxocations are assigned names, which could lead to a compound plausibly being called URANYL URANATE.  And we’re off!

Most of the grid fell in the first session of a little over an hours solving, including something suspicious about the theme – SCRAPYARD and BILLBOARD are hiding in plain sight, and if BILLBOARD was removed, BALDER could become ALDER.  Looks like I’ve seen a tree without finding a forest. I was also a little weirded out by having a mostly full grid and only three clashes.  M/N in IMP/NAAM (looks like it should be M for both being real words) and E/A in LIVERY COMPANY/SNACK (looks like an E for both being real words), then lower in the grid ORPHAN/SEDAN (looks like an R for both to be real words).

I had a bit of a blank area in the bottom right of the grid, and 27 looked like it should be LEACHINGS from the definition, but CHING’S doesn’t appear to be a potter – not even a racist one!

The only thing to do is follow red herrings… surely I’m looking for a famous razing of a BILLBOARD… maybe in London?  Is it the 50th anniversary of anything but that fucking soccerball world grand final matchgame?

Opening of a new park?

The National Billboard Association?

Think, George, think… there can’t be more than four or five clashes given the number of empty cells… NA?S? NAS??… NASH?

A quick google of NASH and BILLBOARDS and there it is… by the way, while I was hitting myself on the forehead for missing it, I went to the online ODQ and confirmed – if I’d put BILLBOARD in the search line it was the only entry that came up.

My guess is that OCH gives me the H for NASH turns out correct, as SUDAMEN becomes the last entry, and LEACHINGS goes in by default.  Removing BILLBOARD gives six new trees, some of them only two letters long.

My working grid for Listener 4407, Ad Nauseum by Chalicea

Should have been done with that in one session instead of needing to sleep on it, but it was a fun representation of a poem I should have found using the usual methods.

Clues of note (yes, I said I’d do this all the time and I’m doing it sporadically):

There was a lot of wordplay misdirection (and I still don’t know what is up with LEACHINGS, but since Chalicea sent me a note this week saying my entry wasn’t on the naughty list, it must be correct), but one that gave me particular trouble was this one

2 Down:  Native bass embraced by tenor evoking laughter.  TRIBAL:  B in TRIAL

Trial with a capital T is in Chambers for a comedic tenor, but that’s a pretty sneaky usage.  What I was really hoping for was T, then RIBALD with the D missing, but it was not to be.

Anyhoo, Victory to George, we’re back in the game!

2016 tally:  24-2-3

Feel free to tell me that I should really know my ribaldery from my leachings, and see you next week when Serpent has some play with a child in it – that silly Harry Potter one perhaps?


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