And the winner is – the one person on the planet who has an indigo highlighter

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword. And with this post we wrap up 10 years of utter mediocrity.  A time where I have gone from a 50% correct solver to a… well maybe 75%? I’ve never quite hit the lofty all-correct streaks that the immortals crow over, but I will admit it is more fun when you can get close (which may be what he said). OK, let’s put 2017 to bed.

Regular solvers will breathe a sigh of relief when they see the name Jago.  Jago typically serves up softballs, and the only time I’ve messed up on a Jago Listener is when there’s folding involved.  In this case there’s no folding, but there is diagonal lines.  Clues are normal, and there’s some unclued entries, so let’s get to solving.

I guess there’s not much to say about the solving process – Jago even goes as far to have a generous anagram at 1 across, so a big pass on the 1 across test.  It became clear early on that the diagonal lines were in the left hand side, focusing WHITE LIGHT onto a PRISM, and there’s the rainbow colours on the other side.   I think I was done in under 45 minutes, just about the quickest Listener solve for me.  It may have taken longer to hunt down the appropriate markers than it did to solve the puzzle,

My working grid for Listener 4483, a Little Ray of Sunshine by Jago

Thanks for the ego-boost, Jago!  Victory to George, and game over with 100% completion!  A rather sweet little puzzle to end out the year, while Jago’s puzzles are typically easy, they are in general elegant, and here we have multiple layers of symmetry as well as the colors hidden in order!

And so ends the first(?) ten years of George vs the Listener Crossword. I’ll be back next week, sorry about that.

Feel free to tell me that my brain was the original model for the prism, and see you next week when… oh, great, it’s Schadenfreude to start the year, Schadenfreude describes his ideal AirBnb.


A deficiency of vitamin beer leads to losing weight and gaining clarity… dreadful

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, and woohoo – next week I will be back in Asheville and boy will my printer be working overtime!

But for now since we are back in the world of words, and it’s Jago! As long as the puzzles don’t involve multiple steps of origami I usually find Jago pretty straightforward.

What have we here – for quadrants, answers too long for the entries, looks like some letter squishing and deleting is going on, well it says deficiency, so I guess that must be it.

Let’s get solving – since I can’t put anything in the grid yet I started a word document and started a two column spread for the answers.  I figured might as well go cold solve… there was a 1 across and it was BRID(g)E so we are away with a big pass on the 1 across test, woohoo!

I got a few of the first few acrosses and downs and it was obvious all the B’s had to be removed in the top left quadrant.  Everything I had solved in the bottom left had a D in it, so that looked like a good candidate for the bottom right.  Soon I had half a grid and the unclued answer looked like it could be RICKETS!

Funny how things work out – a long time ago a friend and I started writing a mock trailer for a serial killer who uses vitamin deficiency as a method of torture.  We blocked out a few of the scenes, and my favorite was a single shot where a woman screams RICKETS!!! I thought it would be a joke that almost nobody would get – I have the feeling Jago would like it.  So it’s vitamin deficiences – BERI BERI for no Vitamin B and RICKETS for no Vitamin D.  What’s the bet that SCURVY and Vitamin C are lacking somewhere… yep – bottom right.  Wait a moment, it’s not vitamins – it looks like I’s are missing in the top right.  Well without iodine you can get GOITRE and there it is.  I think it was all done in a bit over an hour.

Wow my notes are exceptionally neat when I’m not working with paper… here’s my grid.


And the notes from the Word document.




11.  WILCO








23.  LIVID


27.  DULSE



























NW quadrant – lose B? BERI BERI
SW quadrant – lose D? RICKETS
NE quadranr – lose I? GOITRE
SE quadrant – lose C?  SCURVY

Another fun, straightforward puzzle from Jago (probably what everyone needed if they actually seriously tackled last week’s Math Monster), and I think I have successfully completed a paperless Listener.  Victory to George!

2016 tally:  29-2-4

Feel free to tell me that I really should have finished filming that script (because we should have), and see you next week when… ummm… isn’t it Shark week? Anyway, more Word files and crossword compiler shenanigans.

After that length of time, wouldn’t she be Agatha Crusty?

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword.  Eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed there was no post last week…. well, about that.  Um, gee.  I read the preamble and didn’t do it.

I haven’t looked at a solution or read any of the other blogs, so if I get a chance I’ll have a go.  It’s just that the preamble made my head spin and I put it at the back of the pile.  Repeatedly.

So we’ll count Brimstone as a loss and sorry if you’re reading Brimstone.

It is that time of year when there is an annual event and usually an easier puzzle to go with it.  I found out at the end that if I’d just googled the answer then the entire mystery would have been gone.  Good thing I didn’t do that!

Jago has oft been gentle – and we have a pretty large grid (anyone do the Maltby puzzles in the Wall Street Journal?  It looks like one of his grids), an unclued entry and some modification of some answers.

There is no 1 across, its the unclued entry, so we have to go all the way to a 11 across test.  And it looks like it should be PERSIAN but there’s only three letters.  Sounds like something is being removed (brilliant deducation, George).  Next up is RE(STRAIN)T so we hae a grid beginning to form.

Working around RESTRAINT is appears that part of 1 across is VANISHES… THE LADY VANISHES?  That would explain how AIRCRAFT CARRIER could go in without CARRIE and PERSIAN without SIAN.

The rest of the gridfill was pretty quick, though as usual I got down to the point where three of my last four entries had to be thematic, with the last one in being GRADATORY without ADA.  I did enjoy entering SKATEBOARD without KATE and although all the letters were already in place by the time I got around to it, I liked GRENADINE without NADINE.

Goody, a full grid.   Aaaaand… now what?

Unfortunately this did involve Googling “The Old Swan” to find the answer.  Agatha Christie, who is hiding in a column, took a little sabbatical there.

Weird ending – I think there might have been room to hide something more thematic there rather than giving it away in the title.  But a quick victory is good after deliberately avoiding a puzzle for a while.

2015 tally:  8-0-1

Feel free to tell me I should have persevered with the cubey thing and see you next week when Kruger has a long liquid company

I solved this quickly, but I may have been doping

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, your source for all things possibly solvey.

And what have we this week?  It’s Jago!  What do we know about Jago – usually puzzles around a specific theme (we had the Diamond Jubilee, and Christmas wrens) and the solving has been pretty gentle in both cases, though I can’t fold a crane to save myself.

So… I printed this off, went for a coffee (wasn’t quite beer time yet), read the preamble, and wrote this.


Solved before even getting started!  Hot damn!

There was really only one catch while I was working through – I wasn’t familiar with the GRAND DEPART and had to look up a webpage about the Tour to confirm it. I also suspected HARROWGATE was the finishing point but wanted to confirm it in case there was somewhere named HAGROSADE that suddenly got a lot of cyclists.

Not much else to add, this was all over in about a half an hour and in the mail on Saturday morning.  Victory to George!

2014 tally:  24-0-3

Feel free to tell me about how awesome it was to watch them all ride by, if any of them put clackers in their bikes, and see you next week when Ottorino reminds us that all else fails.  And get excited, because in two weeks time comes the return of hatred towards playfair ciphers!

Lizzy in the sky with diamonds

Welcome back to George vs the Listener crossword, where week after week, I boldly think I’ve finished it and find I’ve made a silly mistake.  Though last week bucked the trend, usually my traffic goes way up when I’ve messed up but last week it was a little lower than usual.  Not that I deliberately fail to get people to look here and then make money off ad revenue.  Buy generic viagara cheep click here.

Well… I bet nobody saw that coming?  Jubilee weekend and it was highly odds-on that there’d be some queenly-themed puzzle.  And when I saw the setter was Jago I thought that was a dead cert.  Add that we have a celebration and a celebrant and I wonder why the title wasn’t just “Hey the Queen has lived for 60 years on the throne let’s do a Listener about ER!” (maybe Jago submitted that title and it was rejected?).  Now on the other hand, Jago has only made his way into George V Listener once, with Rentokil which really showed off my complete inability to fold pieces of paper.

OK, let’s see how this mystery celebration is being mystery celebrated?

There is a 1 across, and it looks like SMA,RM and we’re away… that one meets up with CP/SEEPY, MILLENIAL, AIDES and a unit that still occasionally creeps in to chemical measurement – the MHO (yes, it’s OHM reversed and it’s the inverse of OHM).  PLESH and YE,N,S put a few diagonal lines together.  Underneath that are CONVERSATIONAL and RAILWAY MUSEUM and with COARSEN it looks like our diagonal lines are going to make a diamond.  Now it could be diamond something else.  There’s an outside chance.

An hour or so later, everything is in place. I have to hand it to Jago for coming up with a grid like this that only contained very common words (is he saying something about HM?) and had BILE as part of JUBILEE.  Maybe expressing some distaste while celebrating?

The Queen herself took a little bit longer to find – with 4 characters left after finding DIAMOND JUBILEE, I was looking for QEII (yes, I know it’s a ship, not a monarch), and maybe QUEENLIZ in the diagonal letters, but there’s EIIR up in the top left.

My grid for Listener 4192 - symbolic by Jago

I believe this one was in the post on Saturday morning.

I’m rather addicted to “The Daily Show”, which had one of the funniest takes on the Jubilee celebrations.  Let’s see if I can do an embed.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
The Queen Who Stares at Boats
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

OK, embed not working so hot on WordPress, but if you click the link you’ll get a giggle!

I’ll check to see if that worked, but I’m going to call that one a gentle, but fun, Thanks Jago and Victory to George!

2012 tally:  18-0-4

Feel free to criticize my lack of enthusiasm for my nominal head of state, and see you next week when we decide if we fancy a taste of Radix.