Fifteensquared

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Enigmatic Variations 855 — The Rule by Salamanca

Posted by Colin Blackburn on April 3rd, 2009

Colin Blackburn.

A lovely simple puzzle from Salamanca. Clear, straightforward cluing with no misprints or extra words made solving this fairly easy; certainly easier than some of Salamanca’s Listener puzzles. The only devices to throw small spanners in the works were a handful of clues without definition and some answers being entered jumbled (marked with an asterisk here). The undefined clues turned out to be examples of I BEFORE E EXCEPT AFTER C. Some proved the rule, some disproved it. The rule appeared in the two main diagonals allowing X and R to fill the two unchecked boxes. Lots of animals put in appearances.

(XY Z)* anagram
X[Y]Z insertion
X[y]Z deletion
ZYX< reversal
>[x]YZ[X] letter movement
X…Z extremes
vwXYZab hidden word
“xyz” homophone

Across
1 KITCHEN-KNAVE (TAKEN CHIVE KN)* KN = “cayenne”. I slipped up here by entering -SLAVE from a couple of checking letters without seeing where the SL came from.
11 PLAN PLAN[t]
12 EMIR E MIR a mir is a peasant farming commune in pre-Revolutionary Russia
13 SCIENCES IE in SC[o]NCES I knew of a sconce being part of a candlestick but not of it also being a fortification.
14 PROBE PRO BE BE = Beryllium.
15 CEILI CEIL I 37 is ceil.
16 TOGO TO GO
18* PINE dd
20 TERN waTER No
21* FELONY LON[g] in FEY long = pine
22 TRANIO RATION* Tranio is a servant to Lucentio in The Taming of the Shrew
23 COAITA AI in ATOC< coaita is the red-faced spider monkey. An atoc or atok is a skunk, a musteline.
25 OUTTOP POTT[U]O< a potto is a lemur.
27 ROCS [a]CROS[s]*
29 FAIR F AIR
30* SHOO “shoe” I’m 99% sure of this but it has to be entered jumbled and so OSEH is vaguely arguable. The clue is “Brogue, we hear, in telling one to clear off (4)” I much prefer homophone indicators at either end of the clue when there is scope for confusion.
31 AMITY A “Mitty” ref. Walter Mitty, a dreamer from a James Thurber short story.
33 LENTI LENT I plural of lento.
36 THEROPOD >[o]THER[O] POD a dinosaur. Other = alternate.
37 CEIL laCE I Lik
38* HARM H ARM
39 COSMOGRAPHIC (GRIM CHAOS COP)*
Down
1 KLEPTOCRATIC T in (POLICE TRACK)* klepto- applies to thieves.
2* MIRY M[I R]Y M.Y. = motor yacht.
3 TRIO TIRO*
4 CARBOY CAR-BOY a bottle encased is a basket for carrying dangerous liquids.
5* FICKLE (LIKE F C)
6 NAIANT IAN< ANT emmet = ant.
7* NECK NE[C]K not wild about this one since nek is essentially Dutch for neck, both meaning col.
8 NONET NONE T
9 ANCIENTS CANNIEST*
10 EOSINOPHILIC I in (PHONE COIL IS)* eosin is a red dye.
17 GLACIERS LACIER in G…S
18* FETE >F[e]ET[E] feet as in bits of verse.
19* PURR “pur” quite an obscure word here. Pur is a jack in the old card game of post and pair.
24* GRAPPA GR PAPA*
25* MORION dd it continues to amaze me that words as uncommon, to me, as this have two distinct and apparently unrelated meanings.
26 TOECAP (OAP ETC)*
28 STRIM ST RIM
32 YO-HO (O HOY)< a hoy is a boat which brings up the idea of a watch shouting “A HOY AHOY!”
34 NESH H[S]EN< nesh is a word for soft in various meanings including cowardly, it’s certainly used in the NE of England where I live.
35 TITI dd a tree and a monkey, ending on yet another animal.

2 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations 855 — The Rule by Salamanca”

  1. deejay says:

    My only slight quibble with this puzzle was that there were only 5 thematic entries (plus the diagonals). Having one or two of the perimeter entries being part of the rule would have made it stronger, I think.
    Dave.

  2. Colin Blackburn says:

    I’d agree with the low number of thematic entries though I didn’t comment in the blog. I’d have hoped for at least the same number of each type.

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