Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations 859: Hidden Hints by Piccadilly

Posted by Dave Hennings on May 1st, 2009

Dave Hennings.

Four 6×6 squares had to be filled with answers from unnumbered clues. The four mini grids could then be positioned according to four hints hidden in the completed grid.

According to the Solving Strategies (which I avoid looking at until I’ve finished the puzzle), the clues were easier than the previous week. They certainly were. After the first pass through I had 30 out of 48. A few educated guesses as to what could go where soon had the four small grids filled. I suppose I was lucky in that the top two grids had TURBOT and TOMTOM adjacent to each other, and BOTTOM jumped off the page. The four grids could then be positioned so that TOP LEFT RIGHT and BOTTOM appeared in their correct place in the complete 12×12 diagram.

Solving time: just over the hour. Solving Strategies gives the general level of difficulty as Daily Telegraph Cryptic. EV always used to be a fairly tricky solve, easier than the Listener and roughly on a par with Inquisitor. However, there do seem to be a hell of a lot of anagrams and initial letters in this week’s puzzle. It seems that EV is being made much easier, hopefully to encourage a higher interest, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

I am looking forward to “This week’s clues will have you tearing your hair out!!” in a future Solving Strategy.

I have listed the clues in the order given in the puzzle, together with the grid they appear in (TL, TR, BL, BR) and clue number within that grid (1A – 9D).

ABC* = anagram
ABC< = reversal
abCDef = hidden

1 BR-3D ALARUM warning mechanism: AL (Capone, gangster) + A + RUM (strange)
2 TL-1A ALECTO Fury (as in Greek legend): ALEC (little man, ie diminutive of Alexander) + TO (tax office)
3 TR-8A ANTS social creatures: WANTS (needs) – W (wife)
4 BL-3D ARMOUR protective clothing: in hARM OURselves; ‘on the contrary’ refers to switching the two halves of the first sentence
5 TR-10A ASTI drink: (IT’S A)*
6 BR-7A BLITE goosefoot (a plant): BITE (snack) containing L (bit of lettuce)
7 TL-4D CARUSO former singer: CAR (vehicle) + US (not working, as in unserviceable) + O (drop of oil)
8 BL-11A CHURL surly fellow: LURCH*
9 BR-9D DADO wooden wall border: DAD (father) + O (on)
10 TR-5D DERIG initial letters of Dismantle Equipment Required In Garrick &lit
11 BR-2D EBON wood: ONE* outside B (barrel)
12 BR-6D EGEST discharge: GETS* after E (end of sentence)
13 TL-3D ENAMOR charm (American spelling): ENA (girl) + MO (Missouri) + R (river)
14 TL-12A ERRORS mistakes: TERRORS (mischievous children) – T (time)
15 BL-7A ERUCA herbs: [CURATE – T (pinch of thyme)]*
16 TR-12A EXARCH bishop’s representative: REACH* embracing X (Christ)
17 BL-1A FLASHY gaudy: (FLY HAS)*
18 BR-8A GOAL aim: GOA (part of India) + L (liberal)
19 BL-8A IAMB foot: in guccI AMBience
20 TL-7A INAPT unqualified: (IN TAP)*
21 BL-2D LEAD guide: LAD (boy) around E (Spain)
22 TR-4D LESSOR one letting property: LOSES* + R (first instalment of rent)
23 TL-2D LIST catlogue of items: L (left) + I (in) + ST (street)
24 TL-11A LOOSE unattached: LOO (toilet) + SE (half of seat)
25 TL-10A MUSE contemplation: SUM< + E (dunce finally)
26 TR-11A NOMOI Greek departments (plural of nomos): NOMOI with US gives OMINOUS*
27 BL-9D OSLO overseas capital: regularly in lOanS to LabOur; I personally prefer regular letters to be symmetrical in the whole phrase, here there’s one unused letter at the beginning and two at the end
28 TR-9D OTIC of the ear: O (oscar, radio comms word) + TIC (involuntary twitch)
29 TL-5D OTTER mammal: (R)OTTER (cad beheaded)
30 BL-10A OUSE river: MOUSE (rodent) – M (motorway)
31 TR-6D PANNE velvety fabric: P (prince) + Anne (Princess Royal)
32 TR-1A PURLED fell heavily: PURL (spiced ale) + ED (editor)
33 BR-10A REAR 2 meanings: build up & back
34 TR-7A REEVE steward: RE (second note) + EVE (first lady)
35 TR-3D RETAMA Spanish broom (plant): [AMATEUR (non-professional) – U (university)]<
36 BR-4D SILENT cryptic def: LISTEN*; up is anagram indicator
37 BR-11A SOUND 2 meanings: measure the depth & strait
38 TL-6D STALE no longer fresh: ST (half of best) + ALE (beer)
39 BL-4D SUBURB district adjoining town: [RUB (polish) in BUS (double-decker)]<
40 BR-5D TEARS drops: [S (society) + RATE]*; building is anagram indicator
41 BR-1A TEA SET equipment for serving drinks: E (earl) in TASTE*
42 BL-6D TINCT alchemist’s elixir (Shak): TIN (can) + C(hange) + T(hings)
43 BR-12A TOM-TOM drum: TOM (boy) + TOM (big bell)
44 TL-8A TSAR despot: S (succeeded) in RAT<
45 BL-12A TURBOT fish: [TROUT + B (bass)]*
46 TR-2D URNS vases: TURNS (uses lathe) – T (piece of teak)
47 TL-9D USER drug addict: SURE*
48 BL-5D YAMEN house for mandarin: [YEOMAN – O (nothing)]*

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