Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations 853: Deepest Affections by Kruger

Posted by Dave Hennings on March 20th, 2009

Dave Hennings.

Clues were given in alphabetical order and had to be entered where they would fit in the grid. When arranged in convetional order the initial letters would give instructions, and you then had to show complete understanding of the theme and express DEEPEST AFFECTIONS in three words to be entered below the grid. I immediately felt a bit apprehensive about this last step, and I was almost proved right to feel so.

Completing the grid was straightforward given the good clues. Reading the initial letters of the clues in coventional order (1A, 7A, 11A, etc) gave: SHADE TWENTY-FOUR CELLS TO INDICATE THE TITLE CRYPTICALLY. Nothing jumped to mind, except LOVE, and a search of the diagonals proved fruitless. It’s difficult to say how it happens, but just letting the eyes wander over the grid suddenly revealed lots of Hs, and when they are all shaded, they form a large heart. Now for the three words under the grid. Several phrases came to mind: heart-to-heart, in the heart of it, have a heart, bottom of the heart … but none really worked. And then, again letting the mind wander (this time in the kitchen), the fact that all the aitches in each cell were themselves hearts … bingo, HEART OF HEARTS. A check of Chambers reveals the definition DEEPEST AFFECTIONS.

For each clue I have shown its sequential number as printed followed by the number where it fitted in the grid. I haven’t given the initial letter of each clue since, once the answer has been positioned, it’s there on a plate.

Solving time: just over 1½ hours for the puzzle, plus 10 minutes to spot the heart shape, and 20 minutes cooking (I can’t remember what) to get the phrase. Solid clues, with some good surface readings, eg “Evasive lawyer’s of doubtful repute and mostly inflexible”; aren’t they all?

ABC* = anagram
ABC< = reversal
abCDef = hidden

1 2D ARISH corn has been harvested from this (ie a stubble field): PARISH (Louisiana county) – P (ie penniless)
2 16A ASH CAN bin: ASH (timber) + CAN(E) (rattan cut)
3 7A BIRD hobby, say (hobby = falcon): BD (bound) outside IR (Ireland)
4 34A CACHET case: CT (court) accepts ACHE (long)
5 34D CATHY young girl: CAT (Australian word for coward) + H(elp) Y(oung)
6 44A DEARY one who is kind and lovable: DRY (thirsty) holding EA (running water)
7 47A DYER’S WEED plant used for woad: (DEWY REEDS)*
8 10D DYNAMO energetic person: Monday*
9 46A ERSE national language: in convERSEd
10 41D FARE you eat this: (nigER AFrica)<
11 40A HEATHY like moorland: HEALTHY (in good condition) – L (left)
12 13A HONEY nectar: ONE (drink, as in a quick one) in HY (ie environs of HungarY)
13 12D HOTEL inn: (THE OL(D) (ie unfinished))*
14 5D ICHORS spirit-like juices: (CORNISH – N (last letter of grain))*
15 42A IMPISH causing annoyance: IMPI (African warriors) + S (succeeded) + H (last letter of ambush)
16 8D INCH island: (F)INCH (bird losing first letter)
17 17A KETONE compound: KET (wool) + ON (close to) + E (middle of sheep)
18 27D MAKE HAY cause confusion: (SHAKE – S (first letter of surprising) + MAY)*
19 25D MOHAIR cloth: MO (Missouri) + H (hard) + AIR (wear openly)
20 3D NIGH nearly: NIGH(T) (almost dark)
21 14D OH DEAR tut-tut: (A HORDE)*
22 36D ORMER mollusc: (F)ORMER (first mentioned without inital letter)
23 37A PACHISI ludo-like game: CHAP* + I (in) + SI (South Island)
24 1A PANTSUITS ladies cloths: (SATINS PUT)*
25 1D PURISTS individuals highly discriminatory: P (first letter of proclaim) + UR (old city) + IS + T(EDIOU)S (extremely tedious)
26 20A QESHM city and island in the Gulf: SHE* in Q (Qatar) + M (Oman’s second letter)
27 29A RAHS exclamations of joy: RASH*
28 9D REACH 2 meanings: extend & strain
29 15A RIGHT-OH I can believe that: (E)IGHT in ROH (Royal Opera House)
30 28D SACHETS envelopes: ACHE (yearn) in ST (street) + S (last letter of letters)
31 23A SERAPH angel: PHRASE*
32 38D SETAE hairs: SEE (learn) concealing TA(N) (most of light brown)
33 24A SHAM false: SHAM(E) (modesty, not quite)
34 4D SHTETLS Jewish communities: LETTS* holding up (ie under) SH (quiet)
35 18A SHYSTER evasive lawyer: SHY (of doubtful repute) + STER(N) (mostly inflexible)
36 26A SMEES ornithologists may be interested in these: S (special) + (EMEUS – U (for all to see))*
37 21D SPAHI cavalryman: (SOPHIA – O (love))*
38 33D SPATHE sheathing bract: H (top of hellebore) in SPATE (inundation)
39 30D STIPEND pay: SEND (Scottish messenger) outside TIP (gratuity)
40 31D STRIDE take a big step: TR (trustee) in SIDE (bank)
41 6D THANKEE I’m grateful: THE outside (ANKLE – L (third letter of culluses))
42 43A THECATE with a case: TEACHER – R (end of year) + T (time); for = in place of
43 22A THEY’LL some people will: T (tour’s leader) + Y (last of money) in HELL (gambling den)
44 32A THOMAS man: (M (requiem’s last letter) + HAS TO)*; purists would argue that “move”, a verb, should not be used to indicate an anagram
45 45A TORAN Indian’s hanging (such as flowers): gibbeT OR A Nail
46 35A TOSHY nonsensical: T (end of argument) + O (start of object) + SHY (unproductive)
47 39D UPAS poison: UP (revolting) + AS (arsenic)
48 11A URIAH Dickensian: U (socially acceptable) + HAIR*
49 19D YEAHS responses: (EASY + H (hard))*

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