Friday, November 27, 2009
Third appearance for Dysart on this blog, though one of them, Mercury's Whereabouts got very short shrift before I'd really figured out a format. Then came Songspiel, where I got most of the way, found the theme, and made a few mistakes at the end. So no luck with Dysart as of yet. The grid looks daunting, no gridlines (that makes two in a row with no gridlines or few gridlines) and an explicit instruction to not include them. But there's some drawing to be done.
I started this one on a plane. without any aids and was finding the clues pretty difficult - the misprints weren't coming quickly - utter fail on the 1 across test (which ended up being one of the last entries I got). First one in was DIET(IS)T at 4 (if you look really closely, you can see where my pen died and I got a new one, a rather thick bluish one for the plane ride back). Anyway, after a few head-scratching on the clues, I had a look at the set 1 thematic clues... the first two looked pretty straightforward - VI(P)ER and NAGA(saki), I was thinking SNAKES AND LADDERS right away, and got excited and had a peek at Set 2... COMPANION (anagram of NINCOMPOOP - OP) and LAD,DER and we're away!
So it was a rather odd feeling being very early into the solving process and knowing you've cracked the theme and all that's left is to solve clues and put it all together. The last time I had that, I could not for the life of me finish!
And i thought that was how I was going here for a long time. The misprints were still hard to find, I eventually got the message through the SEVENTY-FIVE (I thought it was SEVENTY-SEVEN for a while) to get DELETE ALL BUT SEVENTY FIVE THEMATIC LETTERS, which makes sense - the grid at the end is going to look like a snakes and ladders board with just words and snakes and ladders drawn around them.
Bit by bit the grid began to come together - it helped that some of the snake or ladder letters went into blank spaces, but without grid lines I started to lose track of where I was looking for a snake or ladder word, or a regular clue word. I had entered RUN reversed on the right hand side (on the basis of the N at the end of TAKEN) without realizing that there was still a clue to be solved at 22! Similarly I was staring at what eventually became the O of ROOSE, sure that a ladder needed to go there. Fortunately once I saw that then I saw my last ladder, SCALE (SC still catches me in wordplay) and had a grid of completion and satisfaction.
There were a few things to sort out at the very end - COBRA could have merged with ADDER (isn't there a terrible movie about that), and ANACONDA could have curled back up a little bit - I was surprised to see that the snakes could go up in parts, but that was the only way RACER was going to work. Counting the letters leads to there being no overlap between ANACONDA and COMPANION or COBRA and ADDER
OK, I'm looking forwards to seeing better artwork at Listen With Others, but here's my final work of art. I gave the snakes eyes and tongues because snakes have eyes and tongues.
This one was an interesting solve - I got very excited about getting the theme so early, but then lost it a little when I got frustrated with the fitting things together near the end. But I'm calling it a victory to George, and I've finally cracked a Dysart Listener!
2009 tally: George 29, Listener 16. Current streak: George 7.
I just got finished watching (I was watching the last episode while I was writing this) the six-part documentary on Monty Python featuring a lot of interviews (mostly covering the topics in the book "Life Of Python"). OK, so I'm a huge fan, I once stalked Terry Jones in Melbourne dressed as a gumby. Here's Eric Idle ragging on YouTube people...
Feel free to leave comments and see you next week to take a BAT to Schadenfreude