Friday, September 11, 2009
This backache is giving me an endemism
I just realised I've scanned the grid and left it on my laptop, so it won't be up until later tonight, but it's going to be a pretty funny read for those who like looking at my messed-up grids.
Poat last year brought "Reappearance" where I barely solved a single clue. So the only way is up, right? There's rules of construction, all clues are normal but ten of them have extra words, and an extra word means the answer goes in backwards. There's ten more jumbles, but nothing to indicate them, and some form of symmetry to the whole thing.
Do we pass the 1 across test? Robin's band are the MERRY MEN... so lose an M and contrive the wordplay, and we could have MERRY ENGLAND. Nothing to indicate it goes in backwards, so let's hope it is entered normally and bang it in. Looks like a good choice, because there's RE(d)BACK, R(HAP)HE (thanks Chambers... after last time with Poat I decided that every time I sat down with this one there was going to be a laptop, Chambers and Bradfords close at hand!). And looky there- 5 down is L,ARN so ABSENTEE is an extra word and we enter it backwards.
More fun with Chambers and I find KHEDA - also going in backwards, extra word WE'VE, AB,ED (another reversed... FISH-EATING as an extra word???), and KACHERI (anagram of THICK EAR - T). Which means that 4 is a jumble of EKE. Found a jumble!
And another one, since 15 is ELAPHINE (PH in ELAINE - well done George for remembering to check that back section which says ELAINE can come from FAWN). This doesn't match with me P and L, so jumble away. 18 across is ESCHAR (another hit and hope in Chambers) and the top half of the grid is starting to look pretty good.
Not so much the rest... MAI,NOR (which gets reversed, extra word UPWARD), and A,GO,G (looks like it could go in normally) are about the only things I have in the bottom.
Great... looks like I'm going to have another nearly-empty grid POAT experience.
And what am I meant to define with WE'VE FISH-EATING BIRD (OK, maybe FISH-EATING BIRD go together), UPWARD, ABSDENTEE, ORGAN?
In an extremely rare big brain moment, I see BA-KACHE and BACK... could both of those be BACKACHE??? If so, then 24 could be ACHENE. Ooooooh - symmetry!!!!! I had ENDE.... and some extra letters - ENDEMISM looks like a possible word. A square of BACKACHE and ENDEMISM? Well it got me a few more entries - MISMUT, SNASTE and LEMONED, which helped me get CUNEATE and CREPE SUZETTE across the bottom.
But I can't see any more patterns like this. What am I missing? And what's going on at 38 across?
I was thinking that flash of inspriation was going to get me there, but at that point I'm irrevocably stuck. Got a lot further than last time with Poat, and I think I may have had the moment where the penny tried very hard to drop, but got stuck somewhere in the machinery.
So Victory to Poat, yet again!!! 2009 tally: Listener 14, George 20. Current streak: Listener 2.
I'm having a rough second half of the year here! So let's get some advice from the experts... here's Peter Biddecombe solving the Times Crossword 24328.
Feel free to teach me the ways of the Poat, and see you next week for some dominoation of a nation.