Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations — 836 Tribute by Loda

Posted by Colin Blackburn on November 14th, 2008

Colin Blackburn.

Solving Lest We Forget in the Independent’s Inquisitor series I mistakenly guessed that it might be about the Armistice, I was fooled. On this occasion, Remembrance Sunday, it seemed that there might be an Armistice theme, I wasn’t wrong. I solved three of the first four clue and had A?ES from the missing characters. It had to be AGE SHALL NOT WEARY THEM, NOR THE YEARS CONDEMN. At 38 characters it was the right length. This line is taken from For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon, from part of the poem read at the Remembrance Day services.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

I then rattled through many of the clues slotting in the missing letters where possible. This left the odd clue without an extra letter to be tackled. Solving a couple suggested that a man’s name had to be left out before entry. In fact the names were all diminutives suggesting the youth of the men who had fallen. Once much of the grid was completed I spotted REMEMBER THE FALLEN in the rows of 28 and 32 across. Once all the answers were in I then struggled to wonder how to “numerically substitute six words”, though 11 11 11 had occurred to me as important. I had noticed much earlier the double Es on the row of 20 across. Looking again I noticed double Ns and double Os in the two rows above. So, there they were, three vertical ONEs. I didn’t submit the puzzle but I assume each of these sets of three squares needed a single numeral 1 written in place of ONE.

I enjoyed the puzzle but I was left with two clues unexplained despite completing the grid fully. Hopefully a commenter can help fill in the gaps.

(XYZ)* anagram
[XYZ] insertion
[xyz] deletion
ZYX< reversal
vwXYZab hidden
X.Y.Z. initial letters
“xyz” homophone
The third column is either the corrected word in the clue or the name omitted from the entry.

1 PSOAS SOAPS* soaps
10 AMEER EE in ARM* Keen
12 OAHU OA[r]+HU[g] Ends one of the Hawaiian islands permanently ingrained in my memory having had to pass through Honolulu airport four times in the last year. That’s the only part of Oahu I’ve seen!
13 GARB GARB[o] Perth garbo is Australian for bin-man. The use of Pert here was very well done in the surface.
14 OINTS (IS NOT)* amiss
15 SHOO SAM’S HOO[ch] Sam this tricked me for a while as SAMSHOO is also a drink but I was convinced it was a missing letter clue rather than a name.
16 ROO TE in DOOR< Ted door = house as in “third door down”.
17 FOOLS (MOST OF LO[g])* Tom
18 FINNS “fins” flounders
19 NON-NET N[s]ONNET lines tricky word which I discounted without checking on a first pass. A non-net book is one outside of the Net Book Agreement.
20 ALEE emALEElk no the ALEE is sheltered, ie there is “No blow in this place”.
21 PEER PEE+R rook
22 EELY (L+EYE)* beat
24 LIPS HIP* + SPILL< Phil Phillips is one of the types of cross-headed screws.
25 OGAM AGO< + M wheeling
27 RAIL R+A+I+L beaked
28 CAREME CA+RE+M+E about French for the period lent. REM is a currency unit. Corrected thanks to Deejay below.
31 BERNE BE+R+NE rule NE is an old word for ‘no’ rather than an old French word. BERNE is the French spelling of the capital of the Canton of Berne in Switzerland.
32 OTHER OT+HER lady
34 FAL FAL[l] at not certain about this one. If it is L from FALL (trail down) then the correction of “cut a length from” to “cut at length from” seems very weak. See Geoff’s comment below.
35 LEND LE+ND the
37 GIGOT GIG + TO< spear
38 OGEE O+GEE my
39 RANA RAN+A prince
40 SORNS S[RON*]S board on board = in SS.
41 TELSON STOLEN* crab a TELSON is a bit of a crustacean
42 EGEST EG+E.S.T. trough
2 SWAHILI WASH* + IL + I wash
3 AMBONES A+MB+ON+[d]ES[k] one MB = mark of the beast.
6 UNIFORM (IF NO RUM[p])* code
8 BATON TAB< + ON bat
9 SUBSTYLE (BUSTS LEY)* crash the straight line on which the style of a dial is erected
11 ROON PATRO[l]+ON Pat I’m lost on this one. The clue is to a word including a male diminutive name. The clue is, “Cox cut short perambulation in progress (4)” The definition is ‘cox’ and the wordplay is PATRO[l] (cut short perambulation) ON (in progress). Thanks Geoff.

21 POMROYS POM[ROY]S chic a roy is a fashion-conscious young Australian male. A pomroy is an old variety of apple.
23 LINNETS N in SILENT* finches
26 AMAZON A+MA+ZON[e] band
29 RHINE R[H]INE hearts
30 EFTS F in SET* mangle eft = ask = newt.
31 BLARE [no]BL[es]+[we]ARE[rs] wings
36 DEFT DEF* + ANTI* Ian

7 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations — 836 Tribute by Loda”

  1. Geoff Moss says:


    11d is ‘patroon’ with ‘Pat’ removed. The definition is ‘cox’ and the wordplay is PATRO[l] (cut short perambulation) ON (in progress).

    34a I have ‘faulty clue’ written against this one as I am not happy with ‘cut at length’. I think the clue was possibly meant to read ‘rail down’ to which the ‘t’ must be added to define ‘fall’.

    41a To suit the clue I think you should have said that a ‘telson’ is a bit of a crustacean (even though it is also a bit of an arachnid).

    PS You’ve lost some formatting in 17a.

  2. Colin Blackburn says:

    Thanks for the corrections and clarifications, Geoff.

    You are probably right about 34a. 11d is easy when explained! I think I gave up trying once I knew the grid entry was correct and I’d not come across PATROON before. I thought I had typed crustacean at 41a, it seems not. And, 17a gave away a bit of my light-weight mark-up, now corrected.

  3. beermagnet says:

    Mind if I point out that the line is
    “They shall grow not old”
    rather than “They shall not grow old”
    I read a piece recently (either in the G or the Indie) on why it is important to correct this common error and it struck a chord with me. The gist is that “They shall grow” implies growing remembrance despite the fact that they will remain “not old” whereas “They shall not” is too negative.

  4. deejay says:

    I agree with 34a being a faulty clue; I also thought it should have read “rail down”.

    Also, I think the wordplay for 28a should be CA+RE+M+E: M after CA+RE(=on) + E.

  5. Colin Blackburn says:

    Beermangent, thanks for the comment. I have corrected the quotation (including ‘that’ for ‘who’ and punctuation.) My ODQ, where I first identified the line, is correct. Then, to save time, I cut and pasted from some Internet source. Big mistake to trust the Internet!

  6. Colin Blackburn says:

    Deejay, thanks. I have no idea why I decided to invent a currency unit. I think I should type these things up as soon as I solve them rather than leaving them on the side for several days.

  7. rightback says:

    One of my favourite puzzles this year. Many thanks to Loda, and thanks for the blog, Colin.

    I agree with Geoff that 34ac should probably have read “rail down”.

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