In a fit of bravado/madness that may or may not have been alcohol-influenced (but definitely hatched in a sleep-deprived stupor, though), I decided to start solving the Listener crossword. That's the variety cryptic that runs in the London Times. It's also recognized as probably the hardest crossword out there. Those that know me, know that I pretty much only solve vareity cryptic puzzles nowadays for fun. Now, I'm not going to pretend that I'm some Dan Feyer of the variety solving world, but I'm pretty good at them. For intstance, I crushed the latest WSJ cryptic in a sitting. That said, the Listener has completely killed my confidence. Now, I realize I'm in for a, uh, challenge with them. British crpytics have their own cluing idiosyncrasies, use completely different abreviations and spellings, and employ an overemphasis on some dictionary called Chambers that appears to have every word used in a nightmare starring Dr. Eugene T. Maleska. But do you think think that's going to stop me? Well, here's your answer. Attempt #1 at solving the Listener can be seen above.
Undeterred, I gave it a go the next week and saw a bit of progress, a single solitary answer (second one from the bottom):
You'll also notice that I got a bit of assistance from Tabitha in the grid department. Though I'm not sure she got those right either. No matter, I haven't quite given up this quixotic attempt, but inital results aren't looking too good. So look forward to more progress reports in the future.
Share the puzzle. New one on Monday.