To think, just eight years ago several of my grids looked like this

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword.  I’ve come down with some sort of death plague, so sorry about the late post.  On the good side everyone who has seen me today says I look like death warmed over and should stay inside and alone, so I should be able to tackle today’s puzzle by Atlas uninterrupted.

But for now it is Pilcrow!  What have we here – jigsaw grid, clues in alphabetical order of answers and extra words, with a few entries missing, then some major grid modification.  OK.

For jigasw grids I’ve taken to jotting down the number of letters in each entry around the outside of the grid, where I learn there are only two 3-letter entries (both are clued) and two 10-letter entries (but only one is clued), so I’ve got a 50/50 chance of getting where one of the unclued entries lies!  To the clues…

There is an… well let’s call it A across since it probably starts with an A, and it is AC(t),E with an extra word URDU and we are away – it’s even one of those three letter ones!

I’ve done a few puzzles by Pilcrow and sometimes I’ve gotten the clues easily, sometimes I’ve struggled, but this seemed to be one of the easier sets of clues (of course there’s no wordplay trickery or the like, just the extra words to find).  I made two passes through the clues and found that I had both 3-letter entries, all bar one of the 4-letter entries and all bar three of the 5-letter entries.  So it’s a bit of the opposite from the usual jigsaw fill – I started with the constraints of all six 5-letter entries having to lock together in two sets of three, and worked around the grid from there.  THE SOUND OF SILENCE appeared after a while, which meant that G&S was Garfunkel and Simon which was a nice touch.

It didn’t take that long to have a full grid, and it was time to work on the messages – JOHN CAGE FOUR MINUTES THIRTY THREE SECONDS and ERASE EVERYTHING BUT THE NOTES IN CAGE’S PIECE.

Let’s admire that grid before everything disappears, shall we?

My working grid for Listener Crossword 4430, G&S by Pilcrow

And we wipe clean.

I wonder how many entries Mr. Green got that had letters in them?  I wonder if you were penalised for including your name, address, town, postcode and phone number, since most of those could be obtained from the envelope?

Cute idea and fun, puzzle, something light for the Christmas week!  I believe we can call this one a Victory to George.  Game over, 100% complete.

With one remaining, the 2016 tally looks like 43-2-7.

Feel free to tell me that I should have video recorded this entry with a ton of silence, and see you next week when Lavatch has a puzzle that describes my figure.

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