Is Schadenfreude trying to say that the current president is not prime?

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, entering an 11th year of mediocrity and jokes in poor taste.

This may be a brief post, because I scanned my grid and tossed it in the recycling before writing the column, so I have to go from memory.  I do remember thinking – hey, don’t we get let into the new year gently and not hit with Schadenfreude until like March or so, but that was not the case, instant Schadenfreudification!

What have we – checked cells that need more than one, words removed from clues, a code and numbers going in.  Interesting…

There was a 1 across, but I couldn’t work it out at the start, so a demoralizing fail on the 1 across test! In fact it wasn’t until ENCALMS that I solved an across clue, and then I couldn’t put in the grid because I couldn’t figure out which cell needed two letters.  Bugger!

The penny didn’t take a particularly long time to drop thankfully, and it was a big rush on the left hand side of the grid.  I had JOHN BULL, and with IMAUMS, POLYGLOTT and ESILE that meand that the POL had to go in a single cell, and JOHN in another.  I couldn’t figure out an answer for 1 across that worked with POL, but 1 down really looked like it should be some version of PERSONsomething. PERSONALTY worked… so JOHN and SON with the title of the crossword makes it sound like it is P + RESIDENTS.  Which means POL must become POLK and the crush of letters in one cell doesn’t have to be multiple letters from each word.  ADAMS and BUSH appeared in the top row – there’s been two of each, so there has to be a way to separate which one is the double duty clue.

So now I knew I was looking for presidents the clues started to fall in droves, and with them the message – at first I thought it was SEQUENCE OF SIXTEEN NUMBERS, but I had done some calculations in the middle and it was SEQUENCE OF PRIME NUMBERS!  I knew both BUSH’s were prime number presidents.  At this point I wrote the rest of the prime number ones beside the grid to finish it off.

my working grid for Listener 4484, Quiet Guests by Schadenfreude

This was all finished in one pretty long solving session (three hours or so) and my last in was right near where I started – I was sure that there was a president lurking in the first cell of 5 across, but it was not to be – MONROE was a cell to the left.

I have to hand it to Schadenfreude, his grids are always packed with thematic material and usually lead to pleasing real-word grids, and this was very well constructed. I might have been more frustrated if the subject wasn’t at the forefront of my mind.  Trust me, if you live in Trumpydoodleland, you are reminded of presidenty things every day.

Best of all, the year appears to begin with a Victory for George, and all is understood!

Game over:  100% completion.

Fell free to tell me that I’m able to make Trump look smart, sane and competent, and see you next week when Miss Terry offers us an emotional salad.


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