Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations 868: Excellent! I Cried by Jophu

Posted by Dave Hennings on July 3rd, 2009

Dave Hennings.

Nineteen normal clues, with the rest needing one or two added or subtracted letters; that sounded a bit tricky. It proved to be a tougher puzzle than most EVs recently. The NE corner was easier than the other three, and led to one of the two unclued entries being something like “unpredictable”, except beginning with a P. Yet again an initial thought got stuck in my head. But wait, it’s two words, so it’s PERIODIC TABLE and the other one must be ATOMIC NUMBERS with the missing and extra letters being the chemical elements. I’m sure many of you got it from the first few extra/missing letters; indeed there’s probably one lucky soul who got it after reading the preamble!

Solving time: about 3 hours I think. Too many extra and missing letters to enable it to be any quicker for me!

Unfinished business: I haven’t a clue about the title!!

ABC* = anagram
ABC< = reversal
abCDef = hidden
+red for letters which need to be added to the subsidiary indication and  -red for letters which need to be taken away.

1 -H STICK jam: SHTICK (familiar routine)
5 -B RAINLESS dry weather like this: BLESS (give approval to) around [RA (sun-god) + IN]
12 AHULL with sails furled: A + HULL (ship’s body)
14 +N ANNULLED abolished sin: (A DULL EN(D))*; even with a question mark, I can’t see the justification for sin
16 -S PREMIE one who arrives too soon (ie premature): PREMISE (mention by way of introduction)
17 MOLE 2 meanings: hot dressing (ie sauce) & underground worker
18 -Ar ELENCHI refutations: LEAR (literary king) in EN (space) + CHI (Greek letter)
20 TAWER producer of white leather: WATER*
21 -Sc RAPS censures: SCRAPS (newspaper cuttings)
22 -Ti SANE reasonable: TISANE (herbal tea)
23 -V SERE ecological series: regular letters in ShE’d ReViEw
24 T-BAR type of lift: TB (consumption) + AR (annual return)
28 SUDS American beer: SUS (loitering with intent) outside D (had)
31 +Ag SPAG Italian: PS<
34 +Se EASE peace and quiet: EA (running water)
36 -Kr DACE small fish: DACKER (word in clue)
37 CANAL panama for instance: AL (American state, Alabama) after CAN (American bum, buttocks)
38 GHARIAL crocodile: initial letters of Grab Hartebeest And Retreats Into A Lake
39 -Y ARDS ploughs, primitive: YARDS (enclosed areas)
41 -Nb SEABEE engineer in American navy: (SEEN BABE)*
44 SERENATE evening music, Milton: RE (note) in SENATE (chamber
45 -Rh ELMEN made of wood: REN (run, old word) around HELM (head armour); gives RHELMEN with the Rh being removed
46 WRANGLED acted like a cowboy on a horse (ie herded cattle): (LEG DRAWN)*
47 LEASE 2 meanings: contract to let & pasture
1 -H SAPPERS engineers: (SAPPHIRES – I)*
2 +He THEREAT at that point: TREAT (negotiate)
3 IURE by right: I URE (use, once)
4 CLIMES poetic regions: sounds like CLIMBS (mounts)
5 -B RADE went on horseback, Scots: BREAD*
6 -C ANIS black cuckoos: I (one) in CANS (headphones)
7 +N INCHING taking small steps: I CHING (Chinese means of looking into the future)
8 -O NUTATES droops: (STATUE ON)*
9 -F LLAMAS South American transport: FALLS* around AM (morning)
10 ELBOWED with a sharp bend: EL (railroad) + BOWED (inclined downwards)
11 SELLER winning horse to be auctioned: sounds like CELLAR (underground room)
13 -Al LOINS source of new life: (AlL COINS)* – C (top of crown)
19 -K HARSH jarring on the senses: HARK SH (words in clue)
25 BANDORA old instrument: DORA (WWI Defence of the Realm act) after BAN (prohibition)
26 -Fe RELYING depending: [REF (soccer official) + EYING (looking) around L (league)]
27 -Co MAGICAL wonderful: COMA (deep sleep) + GI (American soldier) + LAC< (large number in India and Pakistan)
29 SCLERES supporting elements: [CARELESS – A (article)]*
30 DEMESNE manor house: sounds like DEMEANS (is lower in dignity)
32 -Ge PARTER one who leaves: GREAT* in PER (for each one)
33 +As GASMEN meter-readers: G-MEN (who work for the FBI)
35 +Br BREME fierce, Spenser: EME (old uncle)
36 DIABLE casserole: DI (princess) + ABLE (has skill)
40 ANTE fixed stake: regular letters in AnNeTtE
41 -Nb SUED made a legal claim against: SUNBED (lounger for lying)
42 -Mo BEMA platform for speech: MOB + ME< + A

2 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations 868: Excellent! I Cried by Jophu”

  1. dr b says:

    “Excellent!” I cried. “Elementary,” said he. – Arthur Conan Doyle

  2. Dave Hennings says:

    Right … so what you are telling me is that there are lots of solvers out there who probably got the theme of this puzzle as soon as they’d seen the title, let alone read the preamble!! I am not worthy to blog these puzzles, but I’ll carry on anyway. At least it’s not indexed under ‘excellent’ in ODQ, so thanks for the help, dr b.

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