When one clashes with an angel, doesn’t that usually not go so well?

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossoword – well gentle readers, the worst has been realized – I am in a bit of a printerless scannerless void.  I haven’t even started the most recent two Listeners, and another one has just come out.  Hopefully in the next week or so I’ll get some quality calculator and laptop time but this new city, new office, new people to talk to really cuts into ones antisocial activities!

So before I disappear presumably into the void, let’s talk about Raffles.  The debut puzzle was last year and I found it pretty tricky.  This one had an extra degree of difficulty – I was going to leave town the Monday after it came out, so I had to get it finished and in the mail by the end of the weekend, while cleaning up my apartment.  Tick, tick, tick.

Extra letters, remark, speaker, clashes.  Got it.

The is a 1 across and it looks like an anagram with an extra letter – MISHAPT plus N and we are away!  Woohoo for a pass on the 1 across test.  That crosses MESARCH (extra E), INTRO, STAY OUT and things are looking good – except for that unclued entry which quickly becomes ROOIN?? which doesn’t seem to mean anything.  ROOINGS?

Next sticky point is over in the next quadrant, where I have and all checked BRERUB.  Looks kind of like CHERUB, but isn’t there only meant to be two clashes?  Surely they’re not next to each other?

Working around the grid, 30 down is looking like AZR?I? – close to AZRAEL.  Hmmm…

Getting the last few down entries and it looks like GORYI… wasn’t there a POPE GREGORY somewhere?

Look at me, gentle readers, learning from the errors of past mistakes – straight to ODQ where there is only one one entry for Gregory I – NON ANGLI SED ANGELI… You can teach an old solver new tricks!

So from there it was pretty smooth sailing – the four angels RAPHAEL, CHERUB, AZRAEL and ARIEL make real words in the clashes and unclued entries – a little odd that it wasn’t really necessary to solve 7 down or 30 down, but a fun puzzle, and a single session solve right when I needed it.  Woohoo!

2016 tally:  28-2-3

Feel free to tell me (as I now know having looked at the answers) that I missed a chance of having a scan of POMMIE in the blog, and see you next week when who knows what will happen!





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