Posted by loonapick on May 25th, 2007
For reasons I still don’t quite know, this puzzle took me ages to solve. When I look back on it now, it appears to be fairly straightforward as far as themed puzzles go. Admittedly, there are still a few clues where I am not sure about the wordplay, but the “extra letters” device made it obvious in most cases which letter was missing, and, once you had worked out the additional instruction, the rest of the puzzle was fine.
The first thing I did was have a read through, where I picked up maybe 10-12 answers straight away. Having place these, I was left with a collection of letters that didn’t make sense, so I had to plug away at some of the less obvious clues (many of which became blindingly obvious once I had solved them of course!). Eventually I had enough letters to work out what the additional instruction was.
ENTER ALL LETTERS IN LOWER CASE EXCEPT ONES IN CAPITALS…
Now what was that supposed to mean, I thought, glancing down at the grid, and in a Eureka moment, Quito (in MOSQUITO HAWK) and RIGA (in Rigatoni) jumped out at me. A quick scan through the grid, and I discovered the other seven capitals fairly quickly.
The clues which have capitals in them were as follows:-
1 ANTICLIMAX – Lima, Peru – I know that the missing letter from the wordplay is E, but I don’t follow the rest of the wordplay – any takers?
18 MOSQUITO HAWK – Quito, Ecuador – M-OS(QUIT)LO-HA(s)WK – with the L removed
37 RABATTEMENTS – Rabat, Morocco – RA-BAT(TE-OMEN-T(error))S – with the O removed – rabattements are rotations coinciding with another plane in geometry.
45 TIMBER LINE – Berlin, Germany – TIM(BERLINE)S – with the S omitted – a berline being a type of carriage
3 TELOMERE – Lome, Togo – (eel remote)* – with an E omitted – a telomere is the end bit of a chromosome
11 COCKABULLY – Kabul, Afghanistan – COCK-(s)EA-BULL-(da)Y – with the E omitted – a cockabully must be a New Zealand fish?
17 VIVIPARISM – Paris, France – VI-VI(PAR-I)S-MS – with the last S omitted – a form of reproduction where the embryo develops within the mother
25 CHROMENE – Rome, Italy – CHROME-N(i)CE – with the second C omitted – an insecticide
26 RIGATONI – Riga, Latvia – RIG + (Antonia)* without NO – with an A omitted
So in order to correctly submit the puzzle, you would have all bar the letters making up these capital cities entered into the grid in lower case.
The title has me beat though – why CIRCUMSTANCES?