Posted by Colin Blackburn on July 24th, 2008
A fairly light puzzle from Quixote this week, though I don’t mean that in a bad way. I worked through the puzzle very quickly, for me, getting stuck on just one of the cryptic clues. This in turn meant not being able to fully resolve two of the unclued rows.
The across clues were all definition and letter mixtures, DLMs. These are not cryptic clues but, like Printer’s Devilry, make reasonably regular appearances in thematic puzzles. The extra twist here was that the letter mixture contained an extra letter, this made things a little harder. Luckily the standard constraint of the mixture starting at the start or ending at the end of a word helped. A DLM clue can have several superfluous words that lend to the surface but can create ambiguities giving more than one potential mixture. Often it isn’t worth looking at a DLM clue until you have a checking letter (20ac may have been an exception for some). One letter isn’t usually enough to pin down the exact letter mixture but the more checking letters the more you can zero in on the answer.
So, my strategy here was to first cold solve as many down answers as possible. Then, using the checking letters, identify as many letter mixtures as possible. Solve a few of these and then iterate. All the time keeping an eye on the extra letters and what they might spell. I ignored the unclued rows until I haad the theme.
The extra letters spelled out HOW MANY BOB DYLAN the response to this is, of course, that the answer is blowing in the wind. The unclued across rows were thus resolved as anagrams of synonyms of ANSWER inside names of WINDS.
In the analysis below I have not examined the DLM clues, there is no point, but simply stated the answers and extra letters. It would be interesting to know from the setter how much superfluous material can be added? Is it just to create a good surface or to deliberately create ambiguities.
|18||Y||EILD||Jock’s producing nothing|
|20||B||SINGING MASTER||music teacher|
|29||B||ORRA||odd in Motherwell|
|Unclued across rows|
|1||ALARMIST||A+RM in A+LIST||RM = Royal MArine = Jolly|
|4||SPEARY||EAR in SPY|
|9||TERRAN||ERR in TAN|
|17||INERRANT||IN + RANTER*|
|21||INSTATE||(A TENT IS)*|
|22||SUN CULT||L in S+UNCUT|
|23||BURGOS||BURG+OS||OS = out size = large|
|27||NAIRNE||((g)RANNIE)*||Lady Nairne was a Scottish song writer, I found after some time.|
|28||BONZE||NOB< + ZE(al)|