It’s been much easier since John…

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, and the last paper scan for a few weeks, since I am back in New Jersey for the last stint of this secondment.

Ferret Time!  I made a complete mess of Ferret’s last one (though I didn’t recall that until I looked at my blog post on it since it was from a few years ago and I was more intent on having a little fun with Duck), so hopefully this will be better.  Two word phrase, something about quadrants, entries that cross quadrants are normal.  OK, let’s see where this goes.

There is a 1 across, and the wordplay looks like it is heading to H,I,R,AGE – which sounds like the Cost of renting and we have a big pass on the 1 across test and a piece of thematic material right off the bat, woohoo – somewhere in that unclued entry there is a C.

Even better – 1 down gives me the other unchecked letter – HOPED has a misprint of G in the clue.  I probably should have pressed on and tried to do the first quadrant in full right there, but I poked around the grid trying to get as many of the long answers – eventually DEAMINATE (that Chemistry degree wasn’t useless after all!) makes one thing clear – that first quadrant unclued entry is GARLIC and I think we could be in for a little CROP ROTATION.

CROP looked sound as I’d already found EARLY and DEMON which were both too long for their entries.  ROTATION – jumbles?  SODA and RIAS definitely needed jumbling, though it looked like both could go in just reversed, which fits with ROTATION more.

I think we may have cracked the code early on – time to sur-solve.

Fortunately the rest of this was pretty brisk, since I’m not a huge fan of botanical themes, at least the crops were easy to spot.  The last step was to rotate BARLEY, CARROT, FALLOW and GARLIC 90 degrees to produce all real words.

My working grid for Listener No. 4424, Fieldwork by Ferret

Nifty little puzzle, and completed in only two short sessions, so that’s a relief, particularly with the next challenge being maths.

Game Over – victory to George and I think 100% completion, got all the thematic material and needed to solve every clue to get there.

2016 tally:  38-2-6

Feel free to tell me that a vegetarian should care more about crops, and see you next week when gwizardry asks us to get a clue before 4.

 

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