Friday, September 4, 2009
Shut out by Lato... again
George vs Lato is sitting at 1 and 1 so far, with success on the Prime-minster themed "Yes" and a close but no cigar on the fat men surrounding "Explanation". Cut Out looks pretty innocent at the beginning, 15 thematic words, linked by anagram(!) or association to suggest a 32. Most clues are normal, seven have extra words to guide us to the 15.
We can't have the 1 across test, since the word that would go at 1 across is one of the 15! Oh, and 32 is tucked away there and is checked by two normal clues and three of the 15. Yikes...
We do pass the 9 across test, with A in SIM for SIAM. And then the dilemmas begin. 2 down is CELL in AIM reversed for MICELLA, 12 across is RE, GO UP around R for REGROUP, 3 down is M in AIR for AMIR. So what of 1 down and 4 down? The only two-word anagram of PROFOUND minus DON I can think of is UP FOR... which kind of fits the clue. The only wordplay I can see for 1 down is USHER - the middle for USER - if that's so then CONSERVATIVE is one of the extra words.
This makes the entry at 1 across UM-AU-... UMLAUT? What would that suggest?
My experience from here on in was pretty frustrating. In the last two Lato Listeners I got through the clues pretty well, but this one had me butting my head at a lot of them, and there's two that seem to be surely right to my tiny mind but maybe I'm missing something?
Take 24 across for instance... Presenter read out letters would be EMCEE, but then there's "and" and "card" extra. That wouldn't be on, would it? That didn't stop me writing EMCEE in there and trying to reconcile it with the down answers. I did finally get that one taken care of with FA|S|T and (c)OOPS. Never did find an adequate replacement for 24 across.
7 down is another one... surely it is STINK... S, KNIT reversed. But I can't find an answer for 10, 13 or 16 that works with it. 10 may be PINNACLE, but I can't see the wordplay that leads to that.
I'm probably also wrong at 33...
So after several sessions of bashing away, I think I have a half a grid, five extra words (sure of DAY, SCHOOL, BISCUIT), none of which seem to justify my probable thematic entries of UMLAUT and FLOOR (or FLUOR).
And I am stuck with several capitals Sssss
Well done Lato - victory to the Listener Crossword, and I'm going to have to pick up the pace to make significant improvements on last year!
2009 tally: Listener 13, George 20. Current streak: Listener 1.
This weekend is the LAAFF festival in Asheville, and I'm looking forward to it. I'm doing a show at 7, but hopefully before that I can catch the Mad Tea Party set. Aimee will love me for putting this up, here's their video for "Found a Reason", and the CD they signed for me
Feel free to comment, and see you next week for some Rules of Construction