Saturday, June 7, 2008
Hooray for Captain Spaulding!
As promised, I'm a day late with this one, got back into town this morning, having racked up an hour or two of sleep over the last five days, but all (well, mostly) in good fun.
I started this one in a bar (Dirty Jacks, in Asheville, North Carolina) and didn't get very far on a first sitting. Grid entries forming four pairs, one half normally clued, one half unclued. 29 clues where the wordplay gives an extra letter, that looks like about two-thirds of the clues will do this.
Actually I got off to a terrible start, half the guesses I made in the pub turned out to be wrong, there's a fair bit more scribble on this than in others. I had ASIDES instead of BSIDES, DEANA instead of DEENA, and I can't even see what I had originally put in for DAPHNIA. The clues weren't too hard, not knowing if there was going to be an extra letter or not caused some struggles. This extra-letter wordplay led to some fun answers, I liked 35 - TOUR(X)IE, and 28 - MAHDI(M), and a major hats off to 25 - S(S)USS. Sibilance away!
The penny dropped when I got 19 - BUSINESS and with 37 being -ON-EY, and having MARX in the extra letters, I figured it had to be MONKEY, and it's a Marx Brothers theme. Strangely helpful that, it confirmed the rest of the SE corner knowing that the last 6 extra letters in the downs were GROUCHO, and I didn't have DUCK or SOUP, but seeing an empty four-letter space, that was where it had to be, and there was MARX BROTHERS up the SW-NE diagonal. I'll admit I never got the full quote until I read the solution on Friday.
This would be another good puzzle for people getting started on and into the Listener. I think a kinship to the theme helped me out more than anything.
Let's file this one where it belongs, between my Marx Brothers DVDs
After two Listener wins in a row, we have a victory for George! Current standings - George 12, Listener 8. Current streak, George 1.