A with effort

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, your home for complaining about lack of printers and obscure directions in preambles.

And what happens on the day that I don’t have access to a printer – we get a grid that doesn’t even have gridlines!  Ack!

It’s Stan – been a while since we’ve seen a Stan puzzle, so hi if you’re checking in –  unfortunately there won’t be much of a write-up today, but hopefully the terrible artwork at the end makes up for it.

So we have a grid with diagonal symmetry and not all squares the same size – this could be a challenge for Crossword Compiler!  I know we don’t have to put in gridlines, but I started working with them.

So it was stone cold solving time, and I got lucky pretty quickly – I didn’t do too bad on the clues and even without trying to start the grid, I saw that ILLUMINATED was a possibility for the first word in the message, and with M??U – ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT sounded like a good bet.  I remember these more from kiddies books than from religious texts – the good news is that unless we have to decorate the outside as well, there just has to be one big square in the top left corner.  This was good, because it looked liked AUREUS and APERCUS should go right under each other, but no, they share the A in the big square, which lets BREED fit snugly underneath.

Knowing what the first part of the message was let me fathom what the grid looked like, which was good, because I had a harder time with a lot of the down entries, particularly where to put the list of four letter entries near the end.  The generous checking really helped here.

Eventually I have a grid – BOOK was lurking near the top right, and BOOK OF KELLS is an illuminated manuscript so we are very close – the rest of the message says that the big letter has to be done up all fancy, which is impossible to do in Crossword Compiler (if there is, please let me kn0w), but pasting the grid into IrfanView and doodling around with brushes, and you have my pretty terrible looking masterpiece.

My grid for Listener 4419, Common Acid Test by Stan

Very fun idea for a puzzle that started off looking extremely difficult, but ended up a pretty breezy solve in the end! I wonder how decorated the A had to be in order to pass muster?

2016 tally:  33-2-6

Advance warning – I’m going to be in New York City next week, so either things are going to be a little delayed or if I’m a good boy (and when is that), I’ll write next week’s entry over the weekend and have it ready for the mercies of the scheduler at WordPress (which means it may never see the light of day!).

So feel free to tell me that illumination isn’t my strong point and I’ll see you next week when Stick Insect makes us listen to Elvis (a wey hey).

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