Fifteensquared

Enigmatic Variations 874: Arthur by Oxymoron

Posted by Dave Hennings on August 14th, 2009

A nice short preamble: five answers have one letter added or removed and then arranged for entry. The lengths for these clues refer to the answer, rather than entry, lengths, so they are easily identified. The five letters can be arranged to form a word which explains how to resolve the clashes in every other entry.

This puzzle took a bit longer than the average for the last few weeks, just over two hours, but that is quite short for the average Oxymoron (Schadenfreude) puzzle. Eight clues solved after the first pass, and about the same again before the number of clashes of Bs and Ls started looking suspicious. Soon after, I had the five letters for the important word, LSBIS, leading to BLISS as the word to resolve the clashes. So all the BLs become S. The title refers to Sir Arthur Bliss, and 2 August is the 118th anniversary of his birth. I suppose that it’s not possible, even for Oxymoron to get the remarkable timing shown in Schadenfreude’s Inquisitor 135 with its 50th and 100th anniversaries for Cockerell and Bleriot respectively.

So, time for all the B/L clashes to be replaced, with ample opportunity for changing a B too many or an L too few!

Legend:
ABC* = anagram
ABC< = reversal
abCDef = hidden
B or L = clashing B or L
X or Y = extra or missing letters for five-letter word

ACROSS
1 LAPILLI pieces of lava: LAP (surround) ILL (distressed) I (island)
7 SLABS pieces of cake: SLAB (sticky) S (square)
12 INQILAB revolution: IN (popular) Q (queen) I (in) LAB (Labour)
13 OILCLOTH waterproof: SOIL (dirty, vt) – S (section) + CLOTH (sails)
14 AUTOPSIED having a pair of leafy parts (DIPETALOUS): (DOES A TULIP)*
15 POLSKA vessel (KOPAL): KA (spirit) in POL (half POLand)
16 DEBTS duties: D (director) + BEST*
18 OBAS more than one ruler: OB (died) AS (in year of salvation, anno salutis
19 BODES LAW astronomer’s rule: (E WAS BOLD)*; Johann Bode’s law relating to the relative distances of the planets; you’ll have to look under Law in Chambers to find it
22 SURREBUT lawyer’s reply: SURE (certain) including R (right) + BUT (objection)
25 TOLA weight: TO (of) LA (note)
27 TOLED used a decoy: TOD (sly chap) trapping LE (the French)
30 FALLAL knick-knack: LA (look) in FALL (ruin, vt)
32 BLETHERER gossip (person): LET (allowed) HE (tom, =male) in BRER (brother, southern US)
33 GLORIOLE gold ring (halo): GL (extremely GracefuL) ORIOLE (bird)
34 ABBASID descendant of Mohammed’s uncle: ABBA (father) S (succeeded) ID (the same)
35 BIBBY stateroom: BIB (drink) BY (in reserve)
36 GOOBERS nuts: GO (leave) + [B (bachelor) SORE]*
DOWN
1 BOOKPOST method of transmitting reading material: OB< (old boy) OK (with approval) POST (announce)
2 AMIDOL developer (photographic): A + M (master) IDOL (fantasy)
3 PABULAR of food: P (priest) + TABULAR (forming a table) – T (tons)
4 INCAS lives in a shack (CABINS): CAIN (murderer) guarding B (black) + S (son)
5 BUBUKLE red pimple: BUB (baby, Aus) LUKE*
6 INTOED famous (NOTED): [D (dutch) ETON (school)]<
8 BIASES influences: BASES (first principles) constraining I (current)
9 ABOIL in excited state: A + BOIL (cook)
10 LACET braiding: ACE (of highest quality) in LT (centre of boLTon)
11 SLED conveyance without wheels: LED (was in front) after S (seconds)
17 SWABBERS game of cards: WAS* + BB (two bishops) ER (Elizabeth) S (stokes); stokes as in the measure of kinematic viscosity
20 ETAERIO Greek trilogy (ORESTEIA): [TIRESOME – M (money)]*
21 BOB HOPE American entertainer: BO (a man) B (born) HOPE (confidence)
23 RETRAL towards the back: [R (rook) + LATER]*
24 LIEBIG beef extract: LIE (depend) BIG (very important)
26 BARBER strap (barber, slang): B (barrels) in BARE (empty) R (back of cellaR)
28 OBOLI pieces (coins): LOBO< (wolf) + I (in)
29 BE ALL everything that will be (Shak): LABEL*
31 BRILL 2 meanings: excellent & fish
32 LEAL faithful: in fickLE ALthough

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