Friday, July 24, 2009
Ummm, well I printed it out. And scanned it. And. Umm....
Merlin is a kind of new to me setter, I looked up previous work by Merlin and saw "Olde Treasure Hunt" which I seem to recall being an empty-gridder. Clues are normal (whee), but everything gets modified. Some Letters Latent, the letters spelling out a name, and different modifications for the acrosses and downs.
Ye Olde Colde Solving time!
Ummmm... I was having a horrible time trying to cold solve these clues. It may have been the location, this was an "on the road" puzzle, so my first solving session was at a rather hysterical faux-British pub in a mall in Washington D.C. About the only thing I got on the crossword at that pub was Fullers. I could only solve six clues, most of them anagrams (N,I,TRAT,E, PENCIL CASES, LABRADOR RETRIEVER, HALICORES, LYDIAN STONE, IMPEL). Trapped without Chambers or Bradfords for five days, I stared and scratched my head. Has Merlin invented a new form of George-proof wordplay? It appears so.
Can anything help? Well it looks like a lot of the grid entries are three letters shorter than their numbers in parentheses. MOTLEY could be a set of two three-letter words. TOM and ELY? My few down answers look like they have three-letter boy's names in them (HAL)ICORES, LYD(IAN)STONE. ELY is a see, or a river or a town, do we take them out? What could be removed from RATTEEN and NITRATE - they both have RAT in them. Is it a Pied Piper thing? I actually scanned the grid before I came up with this, and tried entering in NITE, TEEN and the other modifications to see if they were getting me any closer. Maybe a bit longer with the acrosses trying to fit RAT into works and I may have come closer.
That's what I'm thinking this was meant to be, but it's just a guess... I am completely stumped. Very curious to see if I was on the right track. Victory to Merlin and the Listener Crossword!
2009 tally: Listener 9, George 18. Current streak: Listener 1.
Last night I got back from a sketch comedy festival that was a lot of fun (when it gets edited, I might be able to embed a little bit of me on stage with Saturday Night Live legend Garrett Morris). One group that really impressed me were called the Laughter League - the sound on this is a little wonky, but here's one of the bits that they did at the festival.
Feel free to comment, laugh at my ineptitude or just discuss the weather, and see you next week for some weight gain with Charybdis.