Posted by petebiddlecombe on September 19th, 2009
As indicated by the need to post a placeholder, I found this puzzle tough.
We were told that:
- seven down answers needed processing in accordance with instructions from a Letters Latent quotation providing the “formula”, and their definitions had a word similarly processed
- the formula described the grid as a whole, after completion of the unclued entries
If only I’d read that second part more carefully. The toughness arose because I misunderstood it. The quote was “A beginning, a muddle and an end” – Philip Larkin’s description of novel structure. I saw this fairly early on and processed the seven downs appropriately, anagramming them apart from the first and last letters, but somehow thought that the unclued answers had their middles anagrammed too, so I got catastrophically stuck at the point shown below.
My conclusion that this made the unclued answers nearly unsolvable should have told me that something else was going on, but I barked up the wrong tree all the way to the end. Thanks to Holy Ghost for helping me out with the stuff I didn’t get. I felt very stupid indeed for not seeing the unclued “Once upon a time … and they lived happily ever after” which is the beginning and end of the grid, with the pink “muddle” between.
Now that the frustrations are behind me, I can see lots of good things about this puzzle. It’s a shame I treated it like the parents in his best-known line.
|11||ENG(A)RRISONING = E(N.G.)RR,IS,ON,ING=meadow|
|13||S(E)NNITS = braids of rope – (ST.,INNS) reversed|
|15||SELE(G)ILINE = a drug., SELE=parochial (i.e. dialect) season,I=independent,LINE=policy|
|16||TR(I)AD(I)STS = Celtic composers – DS=document signed, in rev. of START|
|19||PARAPE(N)TE = glider’s canopy – not quite in Chambers, but guessable from parapenting. PARE=trim, around A PET|
|22||OSC(I)TAT(I)ON = sleepiness – A TON next to OSCT=cots*|
|24||(N)A(N)DI(N)E = Afreican palm civet – A=about,DIE=perish|
|1*||OWLET – hidden word – defined by “one flies at night” rather than ” … files …” (starred downs are the thematic ones. Where there are unchecked letters in the jumble part, these are duplicated except in the case of 3D which explains the role for LARKIN in the grid)|
|2||(U)NNAT(U)RAL – (ART.,AN) = two forms of article, in NL = non-licet = 7|
|3*||CRACKLINGS – RACK in CLINGS, “partly suet …”, not “paltry suet”|
|5*||POL(IT)E – “lower animal” is in the Chambers def for “it”. “deference” rather than “deer-fence”|
|7||NON(L)ICET – ON ICE in NT|
|8||ANN(E)LIDAN – LID=cover in Lord ANNAN|
|10*||MAG(SM)E,N – swindles on streets, not on setters|
|14*||IN,FINI,T(A)NT – fini = finished = ruined. “negative denotation” not detonation|
|19*||PAHLAVI – reverse hidden – eastern dynasties not desyatins|
|21*||IMP=graft,LODE=old vein – “increase density” not density|
|23||CR(A)BBER – reversal of (R=rule,EBB,R.C.=NZ “tyke”)|
|26||OUTPEER = “better (vb.) for Shakespeare” – TP=township, in OUR=”my country’s” – as in “Out footballers are better than Croatia’s”|
|28||LY(N)DA – anag. of ladt, & see Linda/Lynda in C’s first names section|
|30||EEL(D) – the eel is the sinuous swimmer, but I can’t see EELD (or a word with the D anywhere else) = “Perhaps Ireland’s darling” –|