Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations 844 (4th Jan): A Bit on the Side by Glow-worm

Posted by Dave Hennings on January 16th, 2009

Dave Hennings. No EV last week, it got bumped by a £500 Cryptic (I bet that had a few entries). However, the number still got used, so it’s onwards to 844 this week.

The EV puzzles have a convention that the title is repeated in the preamble in capital letters. Sometimes this works to make the preamble more amusing or pleasing, sometimes it just starts “In THIS PUZZLE, you need to do something”. Here we are told that eight clues need A BIT ON THE SIDE before entry, but the title is just “On the Side”. I think this is a bit of printer’s devilry and the title is incomplete.

So, fairly straightforward instructions, in fact more information than we’ve been used to recently. The subsidiary indication in each of eight across clues needs a pair of letters added to either the front or the back to give the defined answer. We’re even told where to find these two letters, although that won’t help until the two longest (8-letter) unclued entries are derived. Finally, the remaining unclued entries are described by “a bit on the side”.

PARAPHERNALIA was an easy 1A, although only the RAPHERNALIA was given by the subsidiary indication, so PA appears somewhere in the two 8-letter words. For me, I got enough acrosses after about twenty minutes that PARAMOUR was a fairly obvious candidate for one of the unclued 8-letter words. MISTRESS came soon after, thus giving two “bits on the side”, nudge, nudge, wink, wink! Quite quick progress after this given the fair, and not too difficult, clues.

Finally, the four remaining unclued entries had to be deduced, and they all turned out to be synonyms of, or types of, “bit”. They were all to be found in the first or last columns … ie, on the side.

All in all, nothing too difficult with the clues. 19A was the one that took me longest to work out.

Solving time: about 90 minutes. Are EVs getting easier?

ABC* = anagram
ABC< = reversal
abCDef = hidden
blue for the letters added from PARAMOUR and MISTRESS
purple for the unclued BITs

1 PARAPHERNALIA all sorts of things: (A HARP I LEARN)*
7 OPERA HAT formal wear: HARE< (hurry back) after OP (work) + AT (outskirts of Ascot)
10 RASURE obliteration: RA (gunners) + SUB (U-boat) – B (first of broadsides)
11 STAGING raised platform: ST (holy man) + AGING (getting on)
12 TITI 2 meanings: small tree & monkey
14 STEDDE condition (Spenser): S (second) + TE (note) + DD (theologian + E (earl)
15 EMYDES terrapins: in hatE MY DESign; the strange plural of emys
18 LOUR threatening one (referring to look): LO (look)
19 OTTO oil: BLOTTO (smashed) – BL (barrel)
20 MISMATCH failure to agree exactly: S (son) + MATCH (inflammable material)
21 PUMPKIN choice for excavation on October 31st: PUMP (question) + KIN (family); refers to scooping out a pumpkin on Hallowe’en
24 MOSS-ROSE flower: S (southern) + S (Sweden) + ROSE (came up)
26 RAIN shower: IN (during)
27 DIEU almighty: DI(N) (row not concluded) + EU (group of states, ie European Union)
28 STOATS animals: OATS (grass)
30 ITALIC type: ALI (girl) kept in check by ITC (Independent Television Commission, the forerunner of Ofcom, but that’s only mentioned in Chambers (2008))
33 TREF can’t be eaten, ie not kosher: in ouTRE Food
34 GUNLESS unarmed: LUNGE*; fails for the anagram indicator
35 BEG OFF excuse oneself: E (opening of exhibition) in BG (Bulgaria) + OFF (poorly)
36 SEASONAL only sometimes available: (AS ON SALE)*
37 TRANSGRESSIVE sinful: (SISTER + RN (Registered Nurse) + GAVE + S (services initially))*
  PORTION unclued: a BIT on the side, ie a small amount
2 RESTATE repeat: RES (research) + TATE (gallery)
  PARAMOUR unclued: a BIT on the side, ie lover
3 EASE relaxation: EASE (initial letters of Earnest After School Ends)
4 NEATS cattle: NEAT (well-groomed) + S (southern)
5 ANGELA she (ie girl’s name): AN (one) GEL (posh word for girl) + A (academician)
6 LAID placed: DIAL< (face up)
  AUGER unclued: a BIT on the side, here the bit for a carpenter’s brace
8 HERY praise (Spenser): in thatcHER Years
9 INDUCTIVE type of logic: (CU (copper) INVITED)*
13 INTROITUS private (as in anatomical) entrance (cavity): (TOURIST IN)*
16 DIPSO drinker: DIPS (pawns, vt) + O (bit of ormolu)
17 ESK flower: ESKIMO (inuit, perhaps) – I (one) – MO (more)
  MISTRESS unclued: a BIT on the side, ie lover
22 MOT 2 meanings: call of the hunter & clump of trees
23 PADRONI innkeepers: (APRON I’D)*
  SNAFFLE unclued: a BIT on the side, here the piece held in a horse’s mouth
25 SULLEN dull: (NELL (girl) + S (Scotland’s top) + U (university))<
  DIGIT unclued: a BIT on the side, as in binary digit
28 SIENS descendants (Shakespeare): (suburbS NE ISlington)<
29 ABBA father: AB (sailor) + BA (degree)
31 ANNA 2 meanings: girl & coin
32 USER addict: (RASURE (10 across) – RA (Royal Academy))*

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