Posted by Colin Blackburn on September 12th, 2008
Working away from home for the last couple of weeks meant doing most of this puzzle quickly last night. Some wordplay led to extra letters; some omitted letters (potentially more than one per clue). The omitted letters somehow help in highlighting three shapes in the grid; the extra letters provide further help.
It took a few cold solved clues to work out that the omitted letters were omitted in both directions if they fell in a checked square. As the letters appeared in the across clues, EGTRU…, they didn’t seem to spell out anything helpful at all. The extra letters, on the other hand, were starting to suggest words and I eventually guessed as CIRCUMFLEX as being a possible word in the sequence.
OVER AND UNDER…accents! Another look at the poitions of the omitted letters and there it is: the shapes of an acute and a grave accent. What’s more the letters spell out ACUTE and GRAVE, now obvious if I look at the order of omitted the letters in the down clues. Assuming the puzzle wasn’t going to address the full panoply of accents in world or European languages I guessed sticking to French might be best.
Since there has to be an UNDER I looked for CEDILLA near the bottom of the grid. One omitted letter I had fitted with the potential shape. A few clues later I had my cedilla drawn in. This in turn helps in identifying all the clues with extra letters and filling in the rest of the phrase. It turned out to be THE CIRCUMFLEX IS ANOTHER ONE giving the four standard French accents.
A fairly satisfying puzzle from Obtrox with a few tough clues amongst generally easier cluing. I have one or two unexplained answers that I’m sure commenters will help with.
Missing letters in red; extra letters in blue.
|12||PARTAKE||T||ARAK in PE||arak is a strong drink, sometimes spelt arrack.|
|13||FERRET||R||E in FRET||excellent misdirection with ‘search engine’.|
|15||CASCARA||A||ChAoS+iCyRoAd||not sure I like this one as there is an ‘on’ between the two parts from which the odd letters are taken. It doesn’t feel right for me.|
|20||RED-EYE||E||delaYED ERic<||a RED-EYE is an overnight flight so called because of the colour of one’s eyes after such a flight. Having done a double red-eye from Hawaii to London I fully understand.|
|23||TESTS||E||TESTES||excellent double definition!|
|25||WHELK||C||HEW* + LK|
|27||FISHY||I||IF+I+SHY||shy as in throw.|
|31||CLAMBAKE||C||A+MB in LAKE||I knew the word but didn’t know it was a traditionally outdoor meal.|
|33||TRIAGE||E||A in TRIG|
|41||ONE-TIME||C||CON + TIM in E+E||E = ecstacy.|
|43||SIMILE||U||US+I+MILE||I stalled for a while trying to use SI here.|
|45||SCANDAL||AL||CAN in SD||SD is not the most obvious IVR. Here AL forms the bottom line of the cedilla.|
|46||CEREAL||M||ERE in CALM|
|1||UP TO||F||PT in UFO|
|3||TRUANT||U||RA in TNT|
|6||RECCE||L||ECCE in RL|
|7||GESTE||G||ST in EE||middle of Leek.|
|8||ARCADES||R||A+C for H in HADES||C = canine in dental notation.|
|9||IRADES||A||R in IDES|
|10||NERVY||V||NERYS – S||Nerys is a Welsh name, cf Nerys Hughes.|
|11||STATESMEN||E||S for E in STATEMEN(t)||very tricky here to get the right omitted letter.|
|18||ALBATROSS||A||(BORSTAL’S)*||the first A of albatross is the missing one and forms the left hand side of acute in the grid.|
|22||EEL||I||lovE EILeen||I think this is right but I’m not fully sure. I read this as a hidden clue with ‘with’ joining the two parts of the container.|
|24||TYKE||S||?||a tyke is a Yorkshireman, as I am, but I don’t see the word play. “Yorkshireman teaches in East End (4)”|
|28||IMPINGE||O||IMP+IN+GEO||I think this is right with ‘of’ = IN|
|32||AEROBE||H||HERO in ABE||Abe Lincoln.|
|35||GUILD||R||GR(id) for B in BUILD|
|36||IDEAL||DL||I+EA||two missing letters here forming two parts of the cedilla, both being checked by across answers.|
|40||HEAL||E||HEALE(y)||this one only dawned on me as I typed. Denis Healey is the Ex-MP. For a while I was trying to fit Edward Heath in and wondering why it wasn’t the more specific Ex-PM.|