Friday, December 4, 2009
Well that's an interesting way to remember it
Hi again, gentle reader... George vs Schadenfreude is heating up again. My theme with Schadenfreude appears to be "close but no cigar", with a few entries in the blog so far. There was "Overhead Reduction" this year in which I was one letter wrong (In George v Listener terms, that counts as a win), last year was "Terminal Suspension" where I got some of the thematic material, but didn't manage to figure out the true nature of the end game. So here's BAT. And a rather odd-looking preamble. There's a substitution cipher, a three word phrase (28 letters for a three word phrase???) and four little squares at the bottom, no idea what they are for, but probably have something to do with those decoded first letter of the missing words.
1 across is part of the three word phrase, so we can't test that out, but 11 across is going to be an anagram of either ALL VIDEO or THE VIDEO, and it's LIVE LOAD, so first extra letter is T (or more exactly, not T,G,J,K,Q,Y, or Z). So we're away! I started to make a royal mess of things almost immediately by seeing 6 down as PIPAS (A in PIPS), check of Chambers to see it's something lutey (yip), and thinking that the PIPS were a group, that PLUCKS was the extra word. I had a few incorrect extra words later on, but managed to figure them out in the end (I think).
Back to solving - the middle of the grid was to me a lot easier than those entries jutting up or down into the top and last row that I need. I had all sorts of issues with the top right hand corner (hippy corner) - I had VOLED and for the longest time I had the erroneous TAR-LINE at 13 across. This was looking like a goner! I was about to coneded to Schadenfreude that I was going to have a nearly full grid and nothing else.
Steady on, George, there's got to be something to hang on to, right? In the grid, my coded letters looked like
- - - V O - O P - H - T - - A
U - M O R - E - T - - L F - -
Not a lot to go on... BUT! That O has to become an A... A level to O level and ANNATTO to ANNATTA. And that R has to become a T - REHEAR to REHEAT was the only possibility I could find. Word Wizards says that P should become N. The extra letters I had a lot more of...
There's quite a few S's... wonder if S becomes E? Since R is now T that could be ENTER as a first word of the instruction? That would make sense since the instruction has to tell me something about those four little cells at the bottom. Oh, but that means P isn't N? Word Wizards isn't totally up to date, and a thumbing through the alphabet and there's LIPAS!!! OK, so now I know ENTERL - and right at the end there's EL-- and one of the possibilities for the as yet unsolved 36 down is PLEASING - so if the end is CELLS. Work backwards... C-NT - VACANT CELLS!!! Yes, yes, yes, I'm getting there! Putting some of my new-found letters into the grid, there's F-CAT-ON so that looks like IDENTIFICATION - PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION NUMBER!!!!
Finally I've settled on ENTER DECODED ROEFOUR AS NUMBERALS IN VACANT CELLS. OK, well I guess I have the wrong word as an extra word in 40 across... ROW FOUR? If I decode row 4 I'll get some numbers and they go in the boxes.
This is even better news, because I don't have all of row 4 yet! Here's what I had...
- (whatever I codes to) - O N E S I (whatever C codes to) T - R E E
Haven't used X yet, so C has to be code to X, that leaves W to be I so we have TWO ONE SIX THREE. In they go, and I have a few more letters in my unknown entries.
Wow - all the thematic stuff taken care of, but I am still missing a bit in that top right. BARREL works out to mean TUBE so we're good for 1 down, and 2 down must be NITE (T for C in NICE, and my final extra letter WOMAN). We have new words all around and I call this a done grid. The title is PIN encoded - it all comes together in the end!
I solved this all back-asswards, but solve it I did! I hope that this time I have 100% cracked a Schadenfreude Listener, and in anticipation I'm calling this a victory for George!!! Tough puzzle, but a lot of fun.
2009 tally: George 30, Listener 16. Current streak: George 8!!! This is my new record streak.
It's always a long shot, but I am going to be performing in Chicago in January at the Chicago Sketch Fest with the Feral Chihuahuas. So any crossword or bizarre comedy fans in Chicago, let me know and I'll get details as soon as I know them. I mostly know that there's going to be a lot of booze at this festival and that's fine by me. Also performing at the Sketch Fest is Three Dollar Bill, who posted this YouTube video that tickled me a while back - trust me, at about 1:25 in, it becomes hysterical.
Feel free to leave comments below and see you next week to see if the streak is broken by Phi's 50-50.