Posted by petebiddlecombe on October 3rd, 2008
I forgot to solve this puzzle when I should have done, but when I recieved a “where’s that blog?” e-mail, decided I ought to be able to solve the puzzle, given that I (a) work for a dental software company and (b) have also been to the dentist lately.
I did so with a little help, mainly from the ‘ho’ in hihoba, and a bit more use of reference books than usual. Total time was maybe 4 hours.
The preamble told us that Nutmeg had been to the dentist recently, that Down clues had extra words whose first letters were three things used in treatment, and that we had to shade 14 letters in the grid to replace “that which is lost”.
13D was the clue that started me off on the thematic material, fairly obviously leading to LEXICOGRAPHER, three letters too long for the slot. The COG therein is of course a tooth on a wheel, so it looked very likely that some number of answers would lose teeth before entry. (The GAM in ADVENTUREGAME came out fairly easily too). This suggested some kind of DENTURE, though my initial guess of PERMANENT DENTURE was obviously too long. I had a P and E in the only two white squares in the grid (pink elsewhere), which seemed likely to be the start and end of the shading, so next guessed ‘PLASTIC DENTURE’. I wrongly tried first to fit the phrase as a ‘smile’ shape, but when receiving my biggest chunk of help, mentioned my ? DENTURE idea, to which the response was “yes, now I can see it – PARTIAL DENTURE” (in a ‘tooth arch’ shape with start and end points as expected, going up to the ALDE in ALDERMEN). After more work to find the other teeth, we end up with:
Teeth (89 of them - one quadrant):
26 SABRE(TOOTH) – thanks to Duncan for the reminder – I found this but didn’t record it properly.
36 (CANINE) DISTEMPER
Three treatment items: ELEVATOR, FORCEPS, GAUZE – all of which can be used when extracting a tooth.
I haven’t analysed many clues below – ask if I’ve missed one that puzzles you
|7||GAS – only mentioned as a slight grumble about ambiguous reversals – I went for SAG initially.|
|10||EMUNGE – GUN* in EME = uncle|
|16||J=Juliet,NANA – one of those words you can’t believe until you see it in print|
|25||LAUD = dual reversed – simple, but well-hidden|
|33||DEREK = man – last letters of ‘and wife shelter while attack’ – simple but well-hidden again|
|35||CUSPIDORE = a spittoon – (O, DIPS) rev. in CURE|
|36||CANINE DISTEMPER = (pitmen increased)*|
|3||(r)ENEW – a term in falconry|
|18||TABRERE – brer in east rev. – a player of the tabor|
|24||CUTEST – set rev. in cut = slight (as in ‘he cut me dead’) I guess|