Posted by Colin Blackburn on October 31st, 2009
I printed this puzzle off on the day of its publication but set it aside due to work pressures. I intended to take it on holiday with me to Netherlands and Belgium. An overnight ferry from Newcastle to IJmuiden would give plenty of opportunity to tackle this and other puzzles. In the event I forgot to take this puzzle or any puzzle. It was a very dull journey!
So, returning yesterday I knew I had to solve the puzzle quickly if I was going to provide a blog in time. I was very relieved to see Salamanca, he’s fair and usually not too difficult. Luckily this turned out to be a relatively simple puzzle for me, though it helped that the penny dropped very quickly. The clues were straight, not misprints or extra words. The style was a classic themes and variations with the theme words to be deduced. It was noticeable that 14ac was unclued. A mistake? Maybe.
I started at the beginning. 1ac and 11ac went in quickly; 1dn, 3dn and 4dn followed with one slight error. I put in CONT instead of CONS after misreading the apostrophe and assuming T = trick. That error, corrected later, didn’t affect the quick deduction that 14ac was NARNIA. So, the theme words must be LION, WITCH and WARDROBE.
The rest of the puzzle was pretty straightforward after that, with just one query outstanding. The double definition at 13ac only works in Chambers if the answer is ALMA, but NEMEAN only fits if ALME is entered. It is possible that ALME is validated elsewhere in both meanings. Preceding NARNIA, the rest of the collective title, CHRONICLES OF, appears in the main NW-SE diagonal.
Many of the clues were straightforward and so my comments below are kept to a minimum but as ever if you have any queries just leave a comment and I’ll try to answer it.
dd double definition
(XY Z)* anagram
>YZX shifted letter
uvwXY Zabc hidden answer
X.Y.Z. initial letter or letters
|7||OINT||[j]OINT[s]||joints = elbows, knees etc.|
|22||ENNEA-||A[E]NNE<||given that 20 has the hyphen indicated I’m not sure if this prefix should have its hyphen indicated.|
|30||SIMBA||lion||Simba is the name of the lion in Disney’s the Lion King. It’s the Swahili for lion.|
|31||TIDEMILL||LIMITED* L||a mill with a waterwheel operated by the tide rather than a mill race.|
|35||AREADS||ARE AD S||a = are|
|38||ASPERS||[g]ASPERS||gaspers is slang for cigarettes.|
|39||PENSEE||P[ENS]EE||pee = water.|
|44||APPROOF||A P PROOF|
|1||CONS||CON S||see above.|
|3||KEN||dd||ref. Ken Clarke, one-time Tory Chancellor.|
|8||IMAM||I’M A M.|
|9||NEMEAN||lion||the lion killed by Hercules.|
|12||RADII||RAD II||eleven used to clue II, never too sure about that one.|
|21||TRIO||>RIOT||sort of a reverse cryptic: the answer would produce RIOT if changed as described.|
|28||AIRSEA||A[I]R[S]EA||IS going in to AREA as two separated letters.|
|34||APOD||ADOP[t]*||an animal with no foot or feet.|
|37||SERF||“surf”||I needed the checking letter to confirm which way round this homophone clue should be read.|