Posted by Hihoba on April 3rd, 2009
Most of the clues were reasonably straightforward, which was particularly necessary where there were clashes (sometimes multiple ones). Many were really inventive and entertaining.
The puzzle element was considerably less straightforward! We were looking for a choice of “journeys from top left to bottom right”, so it seemed reasonable to expect 1D to be followed by 48A and 1A by 18D. This turned out to be true in the end, but misleading at the start!
1A 1D gave THE ONE LESS TRAVELED BY and 48A 18D gave MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE. These were quotes from the beautiful and thought-provoking Robert Frost poem “The Road Not Taken”, the first line and last stanza of which is below.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, . . .
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
The clashing letters had to be “resolved in a numerical way” suggested by the final word of the poem – DIFFERENCE. I eventually worked out that this meant that they should be converted into their numeric equivalents (A=1, B=2 etc.) and then the lower subtracted from the higher and the result converted back into a letter. The results are shown below:
So R. FROST was the journeyer and GOPHER (if you look in Chambers) is “yellow-wood (Cladrastis lutea) (US)” – the reminder of the location. The solver is to replace the clashes by the relevant letters of GOPHER and RFROST respectively when entering them in the grid.
Now the journeys appear. Joining TRAVELED BY to RFROST to MADE ALL THE gives one road from top left to bottom right, THE ONE LESS + GOPHER + DIFFERENCE is the other. The instructions say that we should highlight the journeyer’s “entire route”. We remain uncertain which of the two routes should be highlighted (or indeed should it be both?). Or should we highlight just “THE ONE LESS TRAVELED BY” – the one he actually took? You pays your money and takes your choice, but the rubric is a unclear and hence not entirely fair!
The other clues were normal. I have only commented on the less obvious ones, the ones with clashes and some particularly good ones.
|11||ENCASE||In the business for 20 years and never heard of nc as “network connection”. A criticism of Chambers, not Charybdis!|
|12||RANKLE||N/U clash. Liked the definition as “Get your goat”!|
|13||ASARUM||Root of wild ginger|
|16||MUTE||UTE is a pick-up truck in Australia|
|17||HITCHED||T/D and E/W clash|
|19||EROSIVE||I liked “plastic” as an anagram indicator.|
|20||AMALFI||A/I and L/G clash. IF LAMA reversed|
|22||SAWED OFF||Brilliant clue! WE in SAD (joyless) OFF (seedy) meaning squat.|
|23||ETESIAN||Isn’t this one of the words NOT to be used in “plain English” now? Means periodical.|
|27||DHOTI||(Woul)D + HOT (tropical) + I(ndia) – Indian clothing. Good &lit-ish clue!|
|30||SEASIDE||Sounds like CEASE + IDE|
|31||BATSMAN||S/A clash. Excellent definition – “he’ll be in”!|
|34||YARDARMS||A/S, R/L and A/P clash. Another excellent clue.|
|38||TIRO||First letters of “Train in routines + observe”|
|39||REDON||Never heard of him, but easy enough to get from [(m)ODERN]*|
|40||FLEA||A/U clash. I expected this to be FLEE, and only found that it was FLEA when I did the calculations to get R. FROST!|
|41||IN VAIN||Entertaining wordplay – sounds like “in vEin”!|
|3||NAUTILI||Lovely clue – sounds like “naughty lie”|
|4||LETHEAN||The waters of Lethe caused forgetfulness|
|5||ERBIA||A rare oxide – (S)ERBIA|
|7||SUICIDES||U/N, I/X and I/A clash, [ISSUE]* round CID – liked “they do for themselves” as a definition!|
|10||UEY||Is Charybdis Australian? UEY is a U turn in Sydney – another good clue.|
|21||GOBI||GI round O(ut of) B(ounds)|
|22||SALARIED||ALAS reversed + [DIRE]*|
|24||STADIUM||A/S and U/E clash. Good anagram.|
|25||PERSONA||Speaker in poem – PER (in manner of) + S(peculativeness originally) + ON + (p)A(thways)|
|26||ODDS-ON||Excellent clue again. O(ver)D(ose) + DSO (the ZHO – a regular in the Inquisitor for a “cross”) + N|
|28||HASSLE||S/A clash. [(c)LASHES]* – liked “frantic” as an anagram indicator.|
|29||IMPALA||P/A and A/T clash. IMPAL(e) + A|
|32||DERV||Diesel fuel, hidden|
|35||LIEN||L/A clash. Triple clue! Lien is the right to confiscate, and an old word for the spleen, and NEIL reversed!|