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Lactose intolerable

It has been a while, hasn’t it? I hope to make up for the complete and utter lack of posts with uninteresting stories and unfunny jokes, as we work our way through a months worth of puzzles, some of which I solved, and some of which I did not. You all love failures, don’t you? Oh you will get failures!

So what happened – well my trip to Japan ended with me going straight into rehearsals for Robin Hood, and then some minor crises at home that ate into my time. So I have been behind on solving, behind on writing and just behind on life in general. C’est la lack of vie!

On the plus side, Robin Hood is doing gangbusters business, and we’ve had nearly 2500 people see the show over the first two weeks.

So let’s set the clock back two months and see what was going on.  Malva’s puzzle was the first that I printed out on my trip, the second place I stayed in Las Vegas had a printer, so I was able to get at the Listener just a few days late.

What did Milky present us with? Thematic wordplay-only clues that need replacements, and the rest of the cues in order. Interesting…

I did peek at the thematic clues before everything else, and saw one of them was definitely HUMMING,BIRD and another PETREL so birds sounded promising. Certainly then for FALCON and RINGDOVE.  Usually thematic wordplay only clues are the last for me to solve, but I was definitely on Malva’s wavelength.

Same went for the regular clues – the first one was CONACRE, which most likely went in the top right, and I after one run through all the clues, getting close to half of them, I wenr to piecing together the grid. The first thematic breakthrough came with PRION down the bottom which is both a PETREL and a PATHOGEN, so we are looking for words that connect the birds in the thematic clues with the extra words in normal clues. This came in very handy when you have an entry like C?LIN, and look up COLIN in Chambers to find it is a VIRGINIAN QUAIL which fits one of the unsolved thematic clues.

Only took a little over an hour to have a full grid, and an unmatched FALCON plus MILKY leading to GENTLE.

My working grid for Listener 4504, Milky by Malva

Exactly what I needed for a holiday grid! Smooth, solve I could do while I was re”hydrating” after a session in the pool.  Fun, tight theme and best of all a Victory to George.

Game over, 100% completion!

The day I left Las Vegas (on to LA, and then Japan) was the day the next puzzle appeared, and I just had time to print it out before I left (literally just – I had to check out at 10am and the puzzle appeared at 8am local time). All excited about having a nice simple puzzle for the airport and plane… oh shit it’s Sabre!

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