Posted by jetdoc on August 2nd, 2009
A Genius of average difficulty from Pasquale. Once I had spotted how it worked, I solved it without problems. Having mislaid my solved copy, I had to do it again, and got through it pretty rapidly second time around.
I see that the preamble has been clarified since it first appeared, at which point it did not specify that the initial letters of the extra words in 20 clues spell out the quotation, “In my end is my beginning” (“En ma fin git mon commencement”), a motto embroidered on the emblem of Mary of Guise, mother of Mary Queen of Scots, quoted in a letter from William Drummond to Ben Jonson in 1619. I think that this quotation was used as the theme of a Listener puzzle a while ago.
The definition-only clues give two words, one of which can be transformed into the other by moving its first letter to a later position. As Richard points out, to the penultimate position.
|6||DERANGED||RANG = phone; ‘interrupting’ DEED||Irene|
|10||MANSUETUDE||MAN = guy; SUE = girl; *(duet). An archaic word.||nostalgic|
|11||DIVE||V in DIE||much|
|12||DESPATCH||DE = ‘ed[itor]’ backwards; PAT = boy or girl; in SCH (short for ‘school’, the answer to 18d). Definition: Post||Yorkshire|
|15||LOCUST||C = Conservative; US; in LOT. Locust beans are also known as ‘St. John’s bread’ because, according to tradition of some Christians, St. John the Baptist subsisted on them in the wilderness.||Evangelist|
|17||STYMIE||STY = den; IE = that is; M = male. Definition: Snooker||nerds|
|20||CATARACT||CAT = water-averse pet; RAT = animal; with C = caught, in it.||disturbed|
|23||JOSS||JO, a character in Little Women; S = son. A Chinese idol.||influenced|
|24||ICOSAHEDRA||*(I had a score)||silly|
|27||LATINIST||S = first letter of ‘school’, the answer to 18d; in *(lit ain’t).||modern|
|2||LAOS||LAS[s]; ‘accepting’ O||yokel’s|
|3||SOMERSET||SET = determined; SOMER = sounds like ‘summer’.||bowler|
|5||CHIVAREE||C = around; HIVE = busy centre; ARE being ‘drunk’ (= contained). Alternative N American spelling of charivari.||glasses|
|8||DOUCHE||D = last letter of ‘descended’; OUCH = ‘that hurt!’; E = first letter of ‘ears’.||intolerant|
|15||LAPBOARD||LAP = drink; BOD = fellow; AR = a right. A flat wide board resting on the lap, used by tailors and seamstresses.||nice|
|16||SPECIATE||SPEC = ‘ceps’ backwards; I ATE||indigestion|
|18||SCHOOL||S = second; CH = child; OOL = ‘loo’ backwards||naughty|
|25||ERNE||Hidden in ‘coarser nesting’||grass|