Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Beelzebub 1,000 (19/04/2009)

Posted by Simon Harris on April 25th, 2009

Simon Harris.

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, cd=cryptic definition, dd=double definition.

What with last week‘s excitement, and a further auspicious puzzle number, one wondered what to expect this week. What we got was an understated theme, and some special instructions which added interest without dominating the puzzle, as can happen in other advanced cryptics.

We were told that we should “replace all the 13 letters not indicated in wordplay with a single different letter”. This was a little ambiguous as there was nothing to replace, and therefore no “different” letter. In fact this merely meant that the wordplay for about half of the clues left us with gaps to fill.

It transpired that those gaps were to be filled by the letter M (this being Beelzebub 1,000). As an extra bonus, the Ms in the completed grid were formed into the shape of a K, thus rounding out the “1,000” theme. I’ve marked up the missing Ms in BLUE.

Across
1 PSSTPS + ST.
4 GRUFFISH – RUFF “carried by” GISH. Lillian Gish, actress, 1893-1993.
10 ECRU – CRUE “bringing forward” its last letter.
11 NAUSEA – (A USE) “in” NA.
12 ERASING – ERAS IN G.
13 STATE – TASTE “putting S first”.
15 ODEUM – [-rev]UE DO[-ubtless].
16 MUTON – (NOT U)<.
18 IMPRINT – I + (R “tucking into” PINT).
19 ABRAM-MAN – A BRA + [-f]AN. A contraction of “Abraham-man”, an “unruly beggar”, thought to be a reference to Abraham Ward at Bedlam.
23 MERISTIC – ERISTIC.
26 TOC EMMA – CO< “drawn back in” by TEA. Signallers’ code for TM, or trench mortar.
29 ENORM – RONE<.
30 URBAN – [-t]URBAN.
31 SCRIM – SCRI[-p].
32 VAMPINGV “before” A PING.
33 THEAVE – THE AVE.
34 ILEA – I LEA[-d].
35 PERNANCY – NANCY “behind” PER?
36 PLAY – PAY “penning” L.
Down
1 PLEONASTES – (LEAP STONES)*.
2 SERDAB – SERB “imprisoning” DA.
3 SEA EAR – SEAR “securing” EA.
4 GRIMM – GR + I?.
5 RUN TIME – RUNT + IE.
6 UNGUM – [-f]UNGU[-s].
7 FUTURIST – FIST “about” (U + RUT<). “Fist” is an informal term for handwriting.
8 ISATIN – I SAT IN.
9 SETONS – ON “in” SETS.
14 ENTICINGLY – ELY “about” (N’T + ICING).
17 VALERIAN – (IN LARVAE)*.
20 ARAMAIC – ARA[-b] + CIA<.
21 CONCHE – CH[-ocolate] “into” CONE.
22 SCORER – CORE “enthralled by” SR.
24 TIBIAL – (I BIT)< + A + L.
25 INANGA – I + N + [-p]ANGA.
27 MAVEN – A + VEN.
28 RUMLY – RULY.

3 Responses to “Beelzebub 1,000 (19/04/2009)”

  1. Quixote says:

    This came a week after the Quixote 1000 because Beelzebub was missed one week. Both series along with Mass’s Concise began on Sun 28 Jan 1990. Allowing for the fact that the Sindy doesn’t publish on Christmas Day, someone might like to verify that the crossword numbering is correct and that the paper numbering is wrong (they are celebrating their issue 1000 tomorrow). If anyone agrees with the crossword numbering they might like to write a witty letter to the Sindy pointing out the discrepancy! Oh, and yes, nice puzzle! (PS Quixote and Beelzebub coincidentally both used the 999 theme a week apart.)

  2. Phi says:

    A small point, but one I worked to incorporate, and was part of the concept of the Ms becoming a K: there are no other Ms in the puzzle. So replacing the Ms – perhaps by a straight line through the cells – removes one symbol of 1000, and installs another.

    I know Don has had a smallish run-in with the paper’s enumerators, but I have to say that he is probably the one contributor who has produced something for every single issue. If he’s done and seen a thousand puzzles in print, then that’s the number. If he’s as meticulous (who said obsessive?) as me in retaining a record of published puzzles, he can probably produce 1000 puzzles on Independent on Sunday newsprint.

  3. Simon Harris says:

    Aha, thanks once again, Phi. That does explain things a lot more clearly than my clumsy interpretation!

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