Posted by duncanshiell on September 11th, 2009
Viking is a new Inquisitor setter for me, but a bit of research indicates that there is a Viking who plays a major part in crosswords in another place, so the pedigree looked strong. I wasn’t disappointed
The preamble stated that all but four clues contained misprints in their definition part. The correct letters would spell out a quotation. The first part of the quotation would imply the nature of the four unclued (and symmetrically placed) entries. The second part would explain how the four normally clued answers were to be treated before entry. The numbers in brackets referred to grid length, not answer length, for these four normally clued words.
I knew I had to solve this fairly quickly because of other commitments, so I was in a bit of a panic when the first run through only generated two answers. Fortunately, things got better after that and I completed the puzzle in about 2.5 hours.
The quotation was taken from ‘Inebriety, a poem by George Crabbe and is
SEES BLISS IN ALE, AND CAN WITH WINE DISPENSE
Accordingly, the unclued entries comprised four words meaning ALE, each containing a word meaning BLISS. This yielded
I am not sure if I have got the first one right, as I suspect the purists would debate vigorously whether whether LAGER is an ALE, but I can’t think of a viable alternative. You can have PALE Ale but there is an extra R, and I have not heard reference to PALER Ale. WATER is Adam’s Ale but I think that would be an indirect reference. I also felt that the contained words, particularly CHEER and GLEE, were more akin to JOY than to my understanding of BLISS, but I accept that BLISS and JOY are synonyms.
The normal entries had WINE removed, as follows:
TENT was a new WINE to me. It is a deep-red Spanish wine. My relationship with Spanish Reds has generally been with Rioja.
I deduced the quotation halfway through solving and that helped with locating the misprints in the remaining clues. The four normally clued entries were placed symmetrically and that also was an aid to solving.
While I struggled on a few clues initially, the clueing was precise with excellent surface reading often camouflaging highly complex wordplay [e.g. ATTENTATS). I think I have parsed everything successfully.
Once the quotation fell out, the meaning of the title Alevin became obvious as ALE and VIN
When you read this, I shall be in South West France preparing for the Marathon du Medoc, one of the more interesting marathons of the world. Most of the very many (21) drinks stations are sited in the Chateaux and Vineyards with appropriate liquid being available in addition to water. Oysters and steak appear at the later feed stations as well. It is the 25th running of the Marathon with all competitors expected to be in fancy dress. I have done it once before and thoroughly enjoyed it. The race attracts a wordwide entry of all abilities. I shall be near the back.
|1||dwindle – swindle||S||S (special) + KIN (relationship)||SKIN (swindle)|
|4||plant – plane||E||CESS (tax) + NA (not applicable)||CESSNA (small plane)|
|11||frets – frees||E||C (about) + LEARS (lessons)||CLEARS (frees)|
|12||coil’s – soils||S||OR (a logic circuit) + DURE (last)||ORDURE (soil)|
|14||limo – limb||B||HE (His Excellency, ambassador) + NOBLE (generous) reversed (returning) + E (drug)||HEELBONE (bone, found at the bottom of a limb)|
|15||PORT||S (society) + PORTING (turning to the left) = SPORTING (willing to take a chance)||SING|
|16||mink – milk||L||DEYS (sounds like [reportedly] DAZE [stun])||DEYS (dairymaids, milkmaids)|
|17||soul – soil||I||Anagram of (liberally) TREAT SIN||NITRATES (soil improvers)|
|20||bend – send||S||RD (road, street) containing (into) NAME (celebrity) reversed (backing)||REMAND (send away)|
|22||babe – base||S||VIE (struggle) containing (over) L (latin)||VILE (base)|
|25||star – stir||I||REF (reference) + RESH (twentieth letter of the Hebrew [Tel Aviv] alphabet)||REFRESH (stir)|
|26||skulk – skunk||N||A (one) + COT (bed) reversed (getting back)||ATOC (skunk)|
|28||fumed – famed||A||SINNED (offended) reversed (on return)||DENNIS (reference Dennis the Menace, Beano comic character)|
|29||jet – let||L||(S [second] + TRY [attempt]) contained in (in) MIST (fog)||MISTRYST (disappoint, let down)|
|30||last – east||E||AJAR (open) reversed (on way back)||RAJA (Indian prince or king, Malayan or Javanese chief)|
|32||ASTI||(CA [cases] + ON [in progress]) containing (to involve) STIR (prison)= CAST-IRON (irrefutable)||CRON|
|34||depth – death||A||TESTA (hard shell) + TOR (hill, height)||TESTATOR (a person who leaves a valid will at death)|
|36||sub – sun||N||LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) contained in (blocking) AIR (appearance)||ALTAIR (first-magnitude star, sun)|
|37||feel – feed||D||PIA (dutiful) containing RAY (an obsolete [old] word for dress)||PIRAYA (ferocious [fiercely feeding], South American fish)|
|39||rate – race||C||PE (exercise) contained in (cutting) SURGE (increase excluding [short] the final E)||SUPER G ski slalom race)|
|40||wires – wares||A||ADA (computer programming language) containing (input) S (first letter [initially] of Symbols)||ASDA (Supermarket containing many wares)|
|1||tax – tan||N||SEARCH (look for) excluding the middle letters (heartlessly) AR||SECH (hyperbolic mathematical function, counterpart to TAN)|
|3||HOCK||E (English) contained in (influx of) ICH (Shakesperean [Will] word for augment) +OCKER (Australian, excluding the final [most of] R) + Y (year) = ICE HOCKEY (sport)||ICEEY|
|4||car – war||W||BIN (obsolete (once) word for been) contained in (having) CAREER (rush)||CARBINEER (cavalryman who rode in war)|
|5||distract – district||I||Anagram of (performing) SINCERE VERSE and C (contralto)||SCENIC RESERVE (district for recreation,)|
|6||spring – string||T||(SHOT [projectile] + IE [that is]) containing (storing) E (energy)||SHOE TIE (shoelace, string)|
|7||backer – hacker||H||NED (hooligan) containing (accepting) R (republican)||NERD (computer geek, who may also be a hacker, hence ‘?’)|
|8||regarding – rewarding||W||
FR (French) + U (university) IT (sex appeal) + (NO+ I [one]) reversed (turning up)
|FRUITION (rewarding result)|
|9||gust – gist||I||KEEL (capsize) containing RN (Royal Navy)||KERNEL (gist)|
|10||dudes – dunes||N||Anagram of (fancy) GEAR||AREG (Saharan area of shifting sand dunes)|
|16||must – muse||E||RE (Royal Engineers) contained in (blocking) DAM (embankment)||DREAM (muse)|
|18||reclining – declining||D||RESENTING (grudging) with T (time) replacing (for) N (noon, midday)||RESETTING (declining again)|
|19||sand – said||I||Reversed hidden word (holds back) in …grASS EStuary…||SESSA (enough said)|
|21||dignifies – signifies||S||Anagram of (otherwise) TOO MESSY||MYOSOTES (flowers of the forget-me-not genus, signifying loving remembrance)|
|24||caper – paper||P||F (female) + (PARTY [reception] + L [line] all reversed [shown up])||FLY-TRAP (sticky [tacky] paper)|
|27||real – reel||E||TIED (united) containing (has) RL (right and left, both directions)||TIRLED (Scots word for whirled or reeled)|
|31||TENT||TA (Territorial Army, volunteers) reversed (backing) + TENT (camp) + (AS [so far] containing T [first letter of Terrorist's]) = ATTENTATS (attempts at political crimes of violence, assasinations)||ATTATS|
|32||crates – cranes||N||CASH (money) excluding the final (mostly) H containing (to conceal) B (barrels)||CABS (operator’s compartment in a crane)|
|33||cub – sub||S||LIE (depend) + U (uniform, n internation radio communication)||LIEU (substitute)|
|35||true – tree||E||RATAN (palm) excluding N (new)||RATA (New Zealand [down under] tree)|