Posted by duncanshiell on August 29th, 2008
I am not at all sure that I have got this puzzle right, as my solution to the final step does not seem to meet all the criteria that I would expect it to meet. However, I can’t find an viable alternative, so I have submitted this answer.
This puzzle had a fairly complex preamble:
1. Six bars must be added to the perimeter of the grid in a symmetrical manner.
2. Seventeen blank squares must be filled with letters obtainable from seventeen unspecified clues which comprised a definition for one word and wordplay for another that differed from the defined word by one letter. In each case, the shorter word was to be entered in the grid. Sixteen of the seventeen blanks were in the perimeter, with the seventeeth being the central cell in the 13 * 13 grid.
3. The seventeen letters must be entered in a way that complete real words in the perimeter and the central column.
4. The ‘special clues’ help confirm the unique solution.
After one or two false starts when I had more than seventeen extra letters for a time, I settled on the seventeen extra letters shown below in clue order
BCDDEEHMNOPRSSTWY in alphabetical order
It seemed to me that in all seventeen cases, the longer word was the one defined with the wordplay leading to the shorter word. This struck me as fairly unlikely, but I couldn’t detect any possible clues where the inverse applied.
Before entering the seventeen letters, I had the top row, bottom row, left column, right column and eleven letters of the central coulmn as follows:
Trial and error led me to the conclusion that two bars went in the top row, two in the bottom row and one each in the left and right columns to give three words 4, 5 and 4 in rows 1 and 13, with two words of 7 and 6 in column 1, and two words of 6 and 7 in column 13.
It seemed to me that the E and Y had to go in the bottom row to form ESPY, the O had to form SWORE in the bottom row and the N had to form CANOE in the top row. I followed this with the P into DEPOSE, as the lower word in column 1.
Next I moved to the top word in column 1 and came up with BLESSED or BLESSES. I couldn’t find BLESSEE or BLESSER in any of my dictionaries (Chambers, Collins, SOED). This used the B and an S
At the bottom column 13 I deduced TRECKED or WRECKED, which meant the C and a D were now taken.
The eleven letter word in the central column now had to be DRILL–HARROW
This left DEMRSTW
Given the remaining letters, the top of column 13 had to be MASSES or TASSES, but the right hand word in row 1 could not be WRIT as one of T or W was needed for ?RECKED. Hence I went for TRIM, MASSES and WRECKED reading clockwise from row 1 into column 13. This used up TMSW leaving DER.
I put the R into REND, right hand word row 13. The D went into BLESSED (see above), leaving the E for BRAE, first word row 1.
The reason I don’t like the answer I have described is that it doesn’t seem to fit the fourth criteria of the preamble. I take this to mean that the newly formed words should be one letter less than another real word, given that the special clues lead to entries that are one letter less than another real word where the entry letters remain in the same order. My words don’t conform to this criteria, nor do they conform to the inverse that all entries are one letter longer than real words.
Looking at my newly formed entries and considering longer or shorter words I get
|Entry||Entry plus one letter||Entry minus one letter|
|BRAE||BRACE (and others)||BRA or BAe (British Aerospace)|
|CANOE||CANOES or CANOED||CANE|
|TRIM||STRIM||TRI or RIM|
|REND||TREND||REN or END|
|SWORE||?||WORE or SORE|
|ESPY||?||ESP or SPY|
|DEPOSE||DEPOSED or DEPOSER||?|
As can be seen I can’t find a consistent transformation for the words I have entered and I don’t think the longer words should be a conjugation of the shorter word.
I look forward to reading comments that tell me where I have gone wrong! It may well be that I have the wrong seventeen letters. I did toy with an extra T
in 36 down and an extra N in 5 down but dismissed them when I finally parsed the clues properly.
|No.||Long Word||Entry||Letter||Components of Entry|
|9||LATHE (turner)||LATH||E||L (left) + AT + H (entrance to [first letter of] HUT) = LATH|
|10||DECOY (lure)||DECO||Y||Hidden word in EVERGLADE COOMB = DECO|
|11||ETA||Anagram of (divers) EAT = ETA (a member of the lowest Japanese class, which did work considered menial or degrading = dogsbody)|
|12||REVOLVER (turner)||EVOLVER||R||Anagram of (throbs) LOVER and EV (STEVEN‘s heart [middle two letters]) = EVOLVER|
|14||DRAPES (drape suit)||RAPES||D||Anagram of (synthetic) odd letters of (not even) AS PARKEE SO = RAPES|
|15||EPEE||EP (electroplated) + EE (middle letters [essentially] of SHEETS) = EPEE (foil, as a weapon used in fencing)|
|16||TIE-UP||T (last letter [finally] of BOAT) + IE (that’s = that is) + UP (to windward) = TIE-UP (mooring)|
|17||SIDEREAL (like the stars)||SIDERAL||E||Anagram of (in a panic) LAD IS containing (encircling) ER (queen) = SIDERAL|
|19||BRIBE||BE (live) containing (without = outwith) RIB (wife) = BRIBE (dash)|
|21||SEVER (cut)||EVER||S||EVE (temptress) + R (first letter [tip of] RAZOR) = EVER|
|23||LAUNCHES (takes off)||LAUNCES||H||Anagram of (lunatic) UNCLE’S A = LAUNCES|
|24||WYCH||Sounds like (reportedly) WITCH (a fascinating person) = WYCH (tree with pliant branches, such as the rowan)|
|25||COMET (early jet plane)||COME||T||COE (Lord Sebastian COE, Olympic gold medalist and chairman&of the London Organising Committee for the summer Olympics 2012) containing (accepts) M (money) = COME|
|27||DRACHMA||D (daughter) with anagram of (ornate) CHARM first (before) A (advanced) = DRACHMA (Greek currency pre the introduction of the Euro)|
|30||NICER (more pleasant)||ICER||N||Anagram of (nasty) ERIC = ICER|
|31||EYRIE||RI (Indonesia) contained in (in) EYE (centre) = EYRIE (inacessible place)|
|32||RUMINATE (meditate on)||RUINATE||M||Anagram of (spasmodic) AIR TUNE = RUINATE|
|35||WEARS||OWE (have to thank) + CARS (vehicles), both without their first letters (failing to start) = WEARS (exhausts)|
|37||SWING (swerve)||SING||W||SI (IS reversing) + N (knight) + G (first letter [early] of GONER) = SING|
|40||BOTHER (worry)||OTHER||B||Anagram of (erratic) THE and OR (centre two letters [focus] of WORK) = OTHER|
|41||POSTMARK (frank)||OSTMARK||P||Angaram of (drunken) SOT + K (Kelvin) containing (holding) MAR (spoil) = OSTMARK|
|42||SAI||Odd letters (oddly) of STATIC = SAI (capuchin monkey)|
|43||SCROW (parchment roll)||CROW||S||C (first letter of [initially] CAUSES) + ROW (quarrel) = CROW|
|44||SPAE||&||SPA (spring) + E (middle letter of FIELD) = SPAE (a Scottish word meaning ‘to divine’)|
|No.||Long word||Entry||Letter||Components of Solution|
|1||RAVE||EVA (Eva Braun) + R (right,) all reversed (back) = RAVE (crazy)|
|2||ATOP||A (one) + TOP (POT [trophy] reversed [mounted]) = ATOP (on the highest part)|
|3||COVER||C (caught) + OVER (at the end) = COVER (a fielder at cover or cover point in cricket)|
|4||ACETAL||ACE (one) + TAL (TALC (type of powder without the final C [carbon]) = ACETAL (a liquid compound)|
|5||OEDEMA||OED (Dictionary, Oxford English Dictionary) + anagram of (collapsed) MEA (most of MEANS) = OEDEMA (dropsy)|
|6||ECRU||Hidden word in FASHIONABLE CRUSHED = ECRU (cloth)|
|7||REPRICE||REP (travelling commercial representative) + RICE (staple food in some places) = REPRICE (change the [price] ticket)|
|8||ITEM||Anagram of (do) TIME = ITEM (two people having a romantic relationship)|
|13||LEERY||L (lecturer) + EERY (wierd) = LEERY (cunning)|
|18||IVORY||OR (gold) contained in (covered by) IVY (green climber) = IVORY (creamy white colour)|
|19||BUOY||BY containing (securing) U (united) and O (middle letter of VICTORIES) = BUOY (raise the spirits)|
|20||BEREFT||BEREFT (deprived of) without (left) F (fellow) = BERET (headgear)|
|22||CACHE (hide)||ACHE||C||A (anterior) + C (first letter (front of) CAR) followed by (beneath) HE (high explosive) = ACHE|
|24||WARDSHIP (custody)||WARSHIP||D||WAR’S (contest is) + HIP (cool) = WARSHIP|
|26||MINIM||MINI (small) + M (mark) = MINIM (musical note)|
|28||MEADOW||Anagram of (out) MADE + O (old) + W (wife) = MEADOW (lee)|
|29||TUSSER||Anagram of (spread) RUSSET = TUSSER (colour of silk from wild Indian silkworms)|
|33||ISTLE||ISLE (inch) containing (including) T (tense) = ISTLE (fibre)|
|34||ITAS||Reverse of (turned up) SATI (Indian widow who burned herself on her husband’s funeral pyre) = ITAS (miriti palm)|
|36||ERRS||TERRIERS (dogs) without first letters of (leads) THE INDUSTRIAL ESTATE RESEMBLE) = ERRS (strays)|
|38||NAPE||NAP (card game) + E (first letter of EMILY) = NAPE (back of the neck)|
|39||GROAN (complaint)||GRAN||O||Reverse of (climb) first letters (heads off) NEW ALPINE RULES GOVERNING = GRAN|