Come back later and don’t forget the dried water

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword.  Another week where I left the puzzle on the scanner and it has gone to whatever dark side is on the other side of my scanner.  Oh well… what can I remember?

Here’s what I remember the most about Strange Requests – it took a long time to get to the theme, and then a very short time once the penny dropped – it was clear which answers were candidates to have a thematic removal, since the answer lengths were in the clue, and it was looking up DIV as a removal from MALDIVES that got me to thinking that it was words for idiots that were removed from answers – are we in for a second helping of April Fools?

The second part of the theme took a lot longer – in a second run through of across clues I solved MAGNET, but the checking letters read ?OP?E? so that was a replacement.  I hadn’t found any other candidates for replacement, though there were a few listed answer lengths that differed by from the number of lights by one, which are probably replacements.

One of those was GREASE – and it looks like ELBOW would work.  Hmmm – ELBOW GREASE and COPPER MAGNET – where do those ring a bell – a bit of Googling later and it turns out these are both FOOL’S ERRANDS!

This page (despite all the comic sans) helped a lot in identifying the rest of them, including the final LONG WEIGHT.

I didn’t use the last part of the theme, the definitions of the components until right near the end in trying to add up the last few bits.

My working grid for Listener 4445, Strange Requests by eXternal

That was a fun theme – I wonder if the editors were torn between this one and the one from last week and decided to run both.

Game over – victory to George and I think 100% completion.

Feel free to tell me that the blog is as necessary as a bucket of steam, and see you next week when Dysart sends us a really old record player

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