Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations 871: Needs by Charybdis

Posted by Dave Hennings on July 24th, 2009

Dave Hennings.

A puzzle from one of my favourite setters (with another one from him in this week’s Listener as well).

A quick read of the preamble and ‘Oh my giddy aunt’!! What on earth is that all about? So another quick read, and then another. Basically, it seems that eight meanings of one word from a thematic phrase are represented in the grid by six clued entries (we’re even told the clue numbers) and two hidden ones. The last two, together with a cryptic interpretation of the phrase, need to be highlighted. The middle row contains three isolated squares, so that’s probably where the thematic phrase can be found.

Well, at least the clues seem to be normal: no extra letters or misprints to worry about, so let’s crack on. A first pass of the clues gets nearly half solved within twenty minutes, so it looks like it’s not going to be one of Charybdis’s trickier puzzles. The remaining clues get finished in another twenty.

The middle row reads AST?NY?OR?ORM, and ANY PORT IN A STORM doesn’t take long in coming. PORT is likely to be the word with most meanings, indeed it has eight in Chambers, and the six that are represented in the grid are GETAWAY, LABRADOR, SAUCIEST, ENAMOURED, LANCINATE and ROVED. A motley collection of words, but ‘in a storm’ implies anagrams, and for me it was LABRADOR/LARBOARD that started the ball rolling. The other five followed pretty quickly, and the two hidden ones, RUBY (example of meaning 4, wine) and BURY (example of meaning 6, market town) were found in the unchecked letters of the third and eleventh rows. Being anagrams of each other, this explains the cryptic part of the preamble that they ‘may appear to be unaffected but only because they are reciprocally related’.

A definition of the title, NEEDS, is ‘of necessity’, ie any port in a storm.

Solving time: a very easy one from Charybdis, about 45 minutes all told, but a nice little divertissement nonetheless. No Solving Strategies this week, probably due to space constraints, but it would have probably read ‘Solve the clues and then finish the puzzle!’

ABC* = anagram
ABC< = reversal
abCDef = hidden

1 GETAWAY I don’t believe it!: GE (Georgia) + TAW (ally, ie marble) + AY (for ever); PORT meaning 3, GATEWAY
6 SEDATE tediously slow: (SECOND-RATE – CORN*)
12 ARGUE reason: R (resistance) in (stops as in plugs) AGUE (malaria)
13 CARNIVAL a rioutous time: IV (four) in CARNAL (sexual)
14 LABRADOR part of Canada: RAD (excellent) in LABOR (work in the US); PORT meaning 2, LARBOARD
17 SMELLS stinks: LL (short form of will) in MESS*
18 SMALL unimposing: S (sqaure) + MALL (shopping complex)
20 ERRORS instances of wrong spelling: SOR(CE)RER*
21 HUSSAR soldier: US (American) in RASH*
22 TRUMEAU pillar: M (millions) in TRUE (genuine) AU (gold)
27 MANACLE cuff: MAN (bloke) + ALE (beer) about C (top of Cork)
30 VELVET winnings: VET (ex-serviceman) collects LV (55) E (euros)
32 AVIATE fly: A (acting) + VIA (through) + TE (wings of TsetsE)
33 DRAFT outline: D (deserted) + RAFT (dredger, perhaps); the definition of dredger has raft
36 EOCENE a period long ago: [EE (Early English) + ONCE)*
39 SAUCIEST most fresh: (CAUSES IT)*; PORT meaning 8, SUITCASE (short for PORTMANTEAU)
40 IDEATING imagining: ID (infectious diseases) + EATING (consumption)
41 UNIAT Christian (esp in E Eur. or Asia): A (Aasia, primarily) in UNIT (one); ie opposite of ‘one in Asia, primarily’
42 CESSER when debt’s paid, end of term: [RESCUES – U (Umbrage initially)]*
43 ELDERLY 2 meanings: rather old & like a tree (elder?)!
1 GALAS fĂȘtes: GAS (gossip) about LA (the, French)
2 ERASMUS Dutch theologian: MASSEUR*; Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam was a 14/15th century theologian and contemporary of Martin Luther
3 AURAL 2 meanings: related to auras & of the ear; Kirlian photography is a method of photographing directly onto film, thought by some to prove the existence of auras
4 WEAK in poor health: sounds like WEEK (a period of time)
5 YAOURT dairy product: (AT YOUR)*
7 ENAMOURED smitten: ENA (Irish girl’s name meaning fire) + M (married) + OUR + ED (little boy); PORT meaning 5, DEMEANOUR
8 DIRE dreadful: D (god) + IRE (wrath)
9 AVULSE tear off: AVE (hail) covering (ie put about) ULS(TER) (half of N Ireland)
10 TABLE committee: TALE (story) about B (bishop)
11 ELYSIUM delightful place: ELY (fenland city) + SIUM (skirrets, ie water-parsnip)
15 BEAST (stag) for example: in mayBE A STag’s
16 BERYL stone: [SUPERBLY – SUP (drink)]*
19 LANCINATE wound: (I CAN’T)* in LANE (way); example of PORT meaning 7, CANTILENA
23 ROVED &lit: DROVE*; example of PORT meaning 1, DOVER
24 AMOEBIC of the lowest animals: [METABOLIC – T (time) – L (left)]*
25 OVATE 2 meanings: Eisteddfodic graduate & generate applause
28 NACRES shellfish: ACRES (huge amount) after N (first of November)
29 ETHANE gas: ETHAN (Jewish boy’s name) + E (ecstacy)
31 COUDE sort of telescope: U (origin of Universe) in CODE (form for decryption)
34 RHINE 2 meanings +: ditch & river & (HER IN)*
35 TATTY 3 meanings: shabby & matted (see taut) & mat
37 EYAS young hawk: E (energy) + SAY< (for instance)
38 SCUD 3 meanings: missile & hit with a glancing blow & cross swiftly

6 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations 871: Needs by Charybdis”

  1. kenmac says:

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the explanation of the theme. I managed to finish the puzzle, I found RUBY an BURY OK but since there didn’t seem to be anything left to prove I sent it in without fully appreciating the STORMing of PORTs.

    I find this often happens with the EV, you can finish it without having proved you fully understood it.

  2. Colin Blackburn says:

    And, Dave, Charybdis was also in last week’s Inquisitor. You wait for ages then three come along at once!

  3. Dave Hennings says:

    I have just sorted all my Listener, Indy and EV crosswords into separate piles by setter and date (!) and can reveal that there have been 5 occasions where a setter has had two puzzles on the same day, a further 7 where they have had 2 puzzles on the same weekend, and 25 more where they have had puzzles on consecutive weekends. I believe this is the first time a setter has had a puzzle in all three publications over consecutive weekends (unless anyone knows differently). Loda leads the field for stats 2 and 3.

  4. Dave Hennings says:

    With Raich’s EV today and Listener yesterday, that now makes 8 with 2 puzzles on the same weekend!

  5. Colin Blackburn says:

    Thanks for the pointer, Dave. I’m not routinely looking at Listeners this year but as I’m down to blog Raich’s EV offering I may take a look at the Listener puzzle afterward if I enjoy the EV.

    After the Charybdis IQ I did this EV having deliberately not read your blog. Like kenmac I solved it without fully realising why. I must admit to stopping once the grid was filled rather than thinking much deeper—the benefits of neither blogging nor submitting. What comes across in both puzzles (the IQ having not yet closed) is the high quality of Charybdis’s cluing withe some very inventive clues. 6ac is a nice illustration of this here, but there were many other examples in this EV and the IQ. I now hope to tackle the Listener retrospectively.

  6. AndyW says:

    Damn, I’m thick. I completed all but the three isolated squares fairly quickly, but could make nothing of the phrase AST?NY?OR?ORM. I looked at it off and on for a few days, then gave up. I didn’t even consider that the phrase would have a cryptic element, though the sequence of letters didn’t look like it could accommodate a 5-word phrase.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

three − = 2