Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations No. 835 – Mobile Watch by Hypnos

Posted by Gaufrid on November 7th, 2008


I thought this was the hardest EV for quite a while. It took me over twice as long as usual to complete and I needed my full arsenal of ‘aids’.

The extra letters in ten across clues gave ‘tachograph’ which needed to be interpreted as ‘spy in the cab’ in order to determine the six unclued entries which were all names of, or terms for, ‘spy’ inserted into a type of cab or vehicle. Enigmatically, all the vehicles were horse-drawn (with the exception of the more modern type of ‘coach’) and so wouldn’t have been susceptible to the provision of a ‘tachograph’.

The letters removed from the down answers gave ‘transport cafe’ in the bottom row, somewhere where a driver might enjoy ‘a welcome break’, though I think the drivers of the original thematic vehicles might have had difficulty in finding one!

{x} = extra letter (across clues) and letter(s) removed (down answers)
[x] = letter(s) removed
*(XXX) = anagram


1 HANFUCHSSOM  FUCHS in HANSOM – Klaus Fuchs, German born British physicist and Soviet spy who passed on information about the US development of the atom bomb. A ‘hansom’ is a light two-wheeled horse-drawn cab with the driver’s seat raised behind.
10 ASMODAY  MOD in A S{t}AY – ‘Mod’, a Highland  Gaelic literary and musical festival, held annually. ‘Asmoday’, an evil spirit of Semitic mythology.
11 HEGIRA  HE A RIG reversed – the flight of Mohammed from Mecca, or any flight.
12 PLECTRA  L in PEC T{a}RA – originally quills or other devices used for plucking the strings of the ancient Greek lyre or other musical instruments, now pointed devices used by guitarists etc.
14 WOWSER  {c}OW in W SER – Perth in Australia rather than Scotland.
16 LANSEEDAU  SEE in LANDAU – a ‘landau’ is a horse-drawn carriage with a folding top.
19 LEES  LE[r]ES – Fettes College is a Scottish public school and ‘leres’ is a Scottish word for ‘lessons’.
20 RACE  RAC{h}E  – a dog that hunts by scent.
21 TRSPOOKAP  SPOOK in TRAP – a ‘trap’ is a light carriage
23 ACTS  C in ATS
25 TOKEN  TO KEN{o} – keno, an Australian and North American gambling game similar to bingo.
27 ECRU  E CRU[ise]
28 NODHALEDY  HALE in NODDY – Nathan Hale, an officer during the American Revolution who was hanged as a spy by the British. A ‘noddy’ is an old form of cab with a door at the back.
32 TSAR  hidden in ‘subjecTS A{g}Reed’
34 SERE  ER{r} in S[trif]E – alternative spelling of ‘sear’
39 COAMOLECH  MOLE in COACH – a ‘coach’ is a large four-wheeled carriage for the conveyance of passengers.
40 SANDAL  N{a}DA in SAL – a long narrow North African boat.
41 ESTORIL  *(SORT) in LIE reversed – a motor racing circuit in Portugal, GP being Grand Prix rather than the more usual General Practitioner.
44 TOPHILBYNGA  PHILBY in TONGA – Harold Adrian Russell (Kim) Philby, a British double agent who defected to the USSR in 1963. A ‘tonga’ is a light two-wheeled Indian vehicle.


2 ASLAN  ASLAN[t] – the name of the lion in ‘The Narnia Chronicles’ written by C S Lewis.
3 FO’C’SLES  *(CLOSE) in F S
4 CAREER  CARTER with T changed to E
5 HYADES  [entr]Y in HADES – a cluster of five stars in the constellation of the Bull, supposed by the ancients to bring rain when they rose with the sun.
6 SE{t}OU{t}S  SE[r]OUS
7 MI{a}SM{a}  MISM[atch]
8 {f}OREBEAR  [foliag]E in OR BEAR – an ancestor.
13 ENI{a}C  CINE reversed – an early American electronic computer (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Calculator).
15 WIL{c}O  IL in WO[e]
17 {r}APPE{r}  A P[o]PE – is a ‘rapper’ a musician?
18 {s}ITTA  ATTI[c] reversed – the nuthatch genus.
20 {t}RANSIS{t}OR  RAN I in ROSS reversed
22 ONYX  NY in OX
26 {p}OLIO  OLIO
27 {c}ETOLOGY  ETO[n] LOGY – the study of (schools of) whales.
29 HE{nn}ED  HEED – ‘hen’, a Scottish word for ‘lose courage or determination’.
30 ETAERI{o}  [grov]E in IRATE reversed – an aggregated fruit or a group of achenes or druples.
33 {a}STER  STE[e]R
35 E{s}CARP  C in EARP – Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp, a law enforcer in several American towns including Dodge City.
36 {f}ACING  AC[t]ING
37 SH{e}LTA  L in SH TA – a secret jargon used by vagrants in Britain and Ireland.
38 UNH{a}T  H in U NT (Northern Territories) – what a delightful definition!

6 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations No. 835 – Mobile Watch by Hypnos”

  1. Colin Blackburn says:

    17d In the broadest sense if you consider a singer a musician then a rapper is too.

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Colin, I agree. The question was rhetorical and merely an indication of what I think about modern ‘so called’ music. My father probably held a similar view when I was in my teens back in the early ’60s (and his father before him).

  3. Colin Blackburn says:

    Ah, much the same as I view my dad’s music. Perhaps the interrobang should be adopted for rhetorical questions?

  4. Colin Blackburn says:

    …I tried to post this once. It mustn’t like urls…

    Ah, much like the way I view my dad’s taste in music. Perhaps the interrobang should be adopted for rhetorical questions!?

  5. Gaufrid says:

    The site’s spam filter intercepted both your comments but I have retrieved them from the appropriate folder.

    I have had similar problems in the past with comments not appearing and the same thing happened yesterday to Mhl. It seems that the filter doesn’t like URLs or links in a comment, or anything that might resemble a table.

  6. Colin Blackburn says:

    Strange! Just above this box as I type it says that I can use the ‘a’ tag and yet when I did there is no effective link despite it looking like a link. I’ll check the spam bins in future.

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