Friday, June 5, 2009
Ni Michael Jackson this week, but there are the Bee Gees
Schadenfreude is back with another Listener puzzle that is going to require extra letters. Last year's offering, Terminal Suspension completely flummoxed me after I thought I had gotten the theme, so let's see how this one goes.
It's carte blankish - the clues are in order, and since the grid is 12x12, and since there's 20 across clues, each of length 5,6 or 7, then the rows have to be 7 and 5 (so no gaps), 6 and 6 (ditto), 6 and 6, 6, 7, 6 and 5, 5 and 6, 7, 6, 6 and 6, 6 and 6, 5 and 7. So I could immediately put in a few of the across clues.
Oh, I should say that my first solvins session (without aids) was at a pub, but not my regular Friday haunt, this was at the Clyde Hotel in Melbourne where I whiled away a misspent degree.
So in went PO(OR)I,S and EASIER, S,C(RIB)E and a knowledge of which row held RIFTED, EGEST, P,RATING and VANISH. A bit of guesswork on the down clues and I had the top left and bottom right corners out without needing Bradfords or Chambers.
Bradfords got me most of the rest of the grid in the next sitting, I was left then with the bottom right to get together (ROARING and INISLE heling me to get ENEMATA). Excellent, I've got a complete grid -really helped to know the symmetry beforehand.
Now what - the grid needs to be chopped up. Poor grid. But how? Looks like I'd disturb only a few words with a slice down the middle (eyeing that TAIN part at the end of DISTAIN), but if I cut from top to bottom along the middle I'd only disrupt AREOLAE (and keep it a real word), PRATING (ditto), TIERCES (yep) and ANICUTS (d'oh!). So I did what any good scissorbug would, and cut it into 4! Then spent ages trying to refit.
This was going nowhere slowly. Maybe I overestimated, maybe it's just two slices. Back to the vertical cut drawing board. I laid out my two slices and looked between.
OK - RIFTED could become GRIFTED or DRIFTED, which would mean (given the pattern) I need to add a letter to INISLE, which chould be D or S. PRATING could be PIRATING (arr harrr), which means TIERCE-S which could be TIERCELS or TIERCETS. This is getting somewhere. What about the top or the bottom? AREOLATE would be the only possibility, and ANNICUTS at the bottom.
SO there's an anwer and "the clue" there. The bottom part looks like it could be LEMON.
What if the top three letters are THE... that works, AREOLATE, POORISH, ESCRIBE. That means I need additions for MANTRA (could be P,M,S), and BREAST (A).
THE MAN!!!! OK, and MIDDLE fits there.
No down answers are disturbed (except for MIDDLE, in the middle, haha). Across modified answers are AREOLATE, POORISH, ESCRIBE, PIRTATING, INISLED, DRIFTED, MANTRAM, ABREAST and ANNICUTS. Woohooo! Schadenfreude, I think I've got ya! I was confident last week, but feeling better about it this week.
My cut up grid looks bad, this looks worse...
So I'm claiming victory for George!
2009 tally: George 14, Listener 6: Current streak: George 1.
Shameless self promotion today - Tommy Calloway (who is doing the intro) and I wrote this parody of certain styles of female vocalist. Here's Cherdonna - "Cougar"
Feel free to leave comments, and see you next week for Nibor!