Fifteensquared

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Enigmatic Variations No. 878 – Spot the Connection by Lato

Posted by Gaufrid on September 12th, 2009

Gaufrid.

A rather tough offering from Lato this week with several steps needed before the grid could be completed. At the end of the initial session I had all the normal answers entered, along with the entries defined by the extra words in seven clues, but could not see the next step. After a couple of hours break I came back to the puzzle and the last stage fell into place fairly quickly once I had realised that ‘black spot’ and ‘spotlight’ answered two of the thematic definitions.

Fourteen initially unclued answers can make solving the remaining ones more difficult due to the reduction in checked letters but I was helped in this respect by having completed many Spectator puzzles which invariably have a number of unclued lights.

The extra words in seven clues defined further grid entries which in turn could be split and then each part either preceded by or followed by another unclued grid entry to provide the answers to the thematic clue definitions. The analysis of these follows (with grid entries capitalised) and the thematic answers, in clue order, can be found after the normal across and down answers:

12a ‘inactive substances’ = PLACEBOS (1d) – placeMAN & bosMAN (r3)
17a ‘angler’s equipment’ = TROTLINE (c13) – trotSKY & SKYline (c5)
19a ‘links’ = MUIRFIELD (r3) – FRANK muir & FRANK field (r7)
25a ‘invisible radiation’ = BLACK LIGHT (r9) – black SPOT & SPOTlight (written beneath the grid)
2d ‘easy victory’ = WALKOVER (r1) – BOARDwalk & overBOARD (c1)
16d ‘hothead’ = MADCAP (25d) – madRID & capRID (c10)
21d ‘construction material’ = BROWNSTONE (r5) – WALL brown & stoneWALL (c7)

*(XXX) – anagram
[x] – letter(s) unused
{xxx} – extra word(s) in clue

Across
1 PATH  PA (settlement in Otago) TH (the)
  WALKOVER
10 LURDAN  *(LAD RUN)
11 MILD ALE  *(LIL MADE)
  MUIRFIELD
  MAN

12 CITED  homophone of ‘sited’ (located) – {inactive substances}
  BROWNSTONE
17 BAY  A (one) in BY (near) – {angler’s equipment}
19 SOMERSET  SOME (rather) R (Republican) SET (established) – {links}
  FRANK
21 LOINS  O (love) in S (has) NIL (nothing) reversed
23 SPOUSAGE  SP (without children) OU (Afrikaner man) SAGE (wise)
25 MOO  MO (moment) O (over) – {invisible radiation}
  BLACK LIGHT
29 INDOL  IN (home) *(OLD)
30 AGE  [c]AGE (prison without convict’s first)
31 ROMANTICS  MOR (clumsy girl) reversed ANTICS (capers)
32 RUSA OIL  *(LOUIS R[e]A[d])
33 SIXAIN  AXIS (fixed line) reversed IN
34 DECENTLY  D (departed) [r]ECENTLY (not long ago without queen)
35 EPEE  hidden reversal in ‘peacekEEPErs’

Down
  PLACEBOS
2 AUMIL  U (posh) in LIMA (capital) reversed – {easy victory}
3 TRUTHY  RUT (fixed course) in THY (your)
4 HARD-RUN  RAH (cheer) reversed DR (doctor) UN (one)
5 AMIR  AMI (friend) R (king)
6 LIE IN  I in NEIL (boy) reversed
7 ODDS  DO (cook) reversed DS (Detective Sergeant)
8 ELAINE  E (English) [m]ENIAL (servant losing head) reversed
9 RENTE  ENTER (put in) with R moved to the beginning
13 BOSK  S[een] in BOK (antelope)
14 USE  [o]USE (missing Ohio river)
15 BOS’N  SOB (weep) reversed N (new)
16 WONGI  *(OWING) – {hothead}
18 TAU  hidden reversal in ‘gUATemala’
  RID
  TROTLINE
20 ROAD  A (American) in ROD (Hull possibly)
21 LEGO  L (left) EGO (I) – {construction material}
22 OPHITIC  OP (work) HIT (success) IC (in charge)
24 PLAGUE  PL (Poland) [h]AGUE (old party leader not hard)
  SKY
  MADCAP

  BOARD
26 LIMIT  MI (Michigan) in LIT (settled)
27 ROSIE  I (independence) in ROSE (got excited)
28 BRAE  BRA[c]E (couple’s cheque initially lost)
  WALL

Thematic
BLACK SPOT
BOARDWALK
BOSMAN
CAPRID
FRANK FIELD
FRANK MUIR
MADRID
OVERBOARD
PLACEMAN
SKYLINE
SPOTLIGHT
STONEWALL
TROTSKY
WALL BROWN

2 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations No. 878 – Spot the Connection by Lato”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Excellent puzzle, with a really amusing final touch with SPOT being the answer to be written below the grid referring back to the title.

    Quite an achievement by Lato to find seven thematic items, essentially with three linked items in each.

    Have failed at the last step of a few Lato puzzles in the past, but this one was a little easier, I thought.

    The breakthrough was seeing FRANK from Muirfield.

  2. Hypnos says:

    Cleverly constructed puzzle with a combination of subtly linked word associations. Liked the way in which the extra words like “links” were concealed in clues. Very enjoyable to solve with my PDM being BOSMAN. Had not heard of BLACK LIGHT, BROWN STONE or WALL BROWN so learnt something new as well.

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