Out of line, out of sight, out of luck

Welcome back to George vs the Listener – your source with the least!

Sabre time – let’s get to it.  I have a rough record with Sabre, so when this appeared on the day I was leaving town (yep, next week there isn’t even a printout involved), so I was concerned as to what was going to happen here.  I only printed one copy of the grid.  All answers entered thematically (oh dear… it’s going to be jumbles, isn’t it?), then something to do with the diagonal and a theme word that is to be discovered.

At least there is a 1 across, right?  And Sabre stuns me with (C/w)ORK,ED to give a big pass on the 1 across test!  Woohoo!  It is the same number of letters as the grid entry (please don’t be jumbles).

Well, since it crosses IBADAT, it could well be.  Bugger.

At that point I went on a cold-solve junket, and had a pretty sparse set of solutions.  Down at the bottom I had REIKI, DOG, SACQUE and T-SHIRT crossing CLOCHE, IRUKANDJIS and JIGGER, so jumbles were looking more likely.  Hmmm… if we add PINAS to that set, and I and R are accounted for near the bottom, then SHIR could be intact.  Is only one letter moving?  CLOCHE could go in as ECLOCH, the KANDJI at the end could stick together.  Aaaah – one letter is moving to the first position?

Let’s apply that to the top of the grid, then – CORKED would go in as DCORKE and IBADAT would go in as DIBAAT… which makes SOKAS ASOKS… yes!

At this point there was some major abuse of quinapalus to get SPADASSIN, MANYATA, PIDGIN and BUTE (though I came up with SLAPSHOT on my own… “what happened?  We happened!”).  There appears to be three clashes in the grid – K/I, J/E and whatever is going on at 24 where the J clashes with either the Q or U.  Eventually I’m two cells away from a full grid.

My working grid for Listener 4418, Out Of Line by Sabre

Hey Sabre, there was something about discovering a theme word.  The diagonal right now reads DIR(I/K)O(J/E)ETPO(J/Q/U)R… DIRKO JET POUR?  The moved letters don’t seem to make a word. There’s nothing in a row or a column or the other diagonal.  Is it hidden in knight’s moves?

I stared at this for ages…

Still staring.

What was waiting to be discovered?

I know what was waiting to be discovered, a victory to Sabre and the Listener crossword… grrrr!  Nearly full grid and no clue whatsoever happens next.  As soon as I submit this I’ll look at the solution, you will probably be able to hear the sound of my hand slapping my head from wherever you are reading.

So as a companion piece to last week where I didn’t solve everything but got the solution, here we have me solving everything but the solution!

2016 tally:  32-2-6

Feel free to tell me that if I was a dog, I would have bitten it, and see you next week when Stan has a commoner acid test than “turn on, tune in, drop out”.

OK – I’ve read it now and I made even more of a bish of this than I thought – I had SOKAS/TRAITORS instead of SOCAS/TRACTORS – just read 4 down backwards, and couldn’t get past KA=soul for 14 across.  Still not sure I would have gotten that last step even after reading about it in the solutions notes.

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