Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations 886: Toss Up by Warbler

Posted by Dave Hennings on November 7th, 2009

Dave Hennings.

A relatively simple preamble: eight answers require modification based on a quotation and author running round the perimeter.

Although some parts of the puzzle were a bit tricky, it helped seeing ?IRS?????LB? in the top line, which led me to “FIRST …”, and pretty soon “… SHALL BE LAST …” and the biblical quotation from Matthew ch 19 which finishes “… AND [the] LAST SHALL BE FIRST” plus “ST MATTHEW”, the author. This is the passage that also has the camel, needle, rich man and kingdom of heaven bit.

The eight answers which needed transforming before entry therefore had their first letter moved to the end, or the last letter moved to the front. It was a TOSS-UP as to what happened to each answer, although there were four HEADS AND four TAILS moving. A similar theme to EV882: Two Extremes by Oxymoron with its movement of beginning and end letters, and exactly the same theme as Magpie Issue 82, October 2009: In the Final Accounting by Chalicea, where ten answers had first and last letters swapped.

Solving time: about 90 minutes, so a quick completion to hopefully beat the postal stike.

ABC* = anagram
ABC< = reversal
abCDef = hidden
X = the letters moved to the front or end before entry

8 WREATHS snowdrifts: (WATER + H [drop of Hail])* + S (top of Snowdon)
9 DUEL contest: first letters of Dubrovnik Underestimated Electorate’s Leanings
10 EARTH courage (= HEART): HEAR (try) + T (initially To)
12 LARVA unploughed land (= ARVAL): AVAL (grandparent’s) retaining R (right)
14 KLEE artist: K (knight) LEE (sheltered); Klee was an early 20th century Swiss painter
15 TINGE slight colouring: TINGLE (ring) – L (left)
16 METRIST versifier: ME (note) TRIST (sorrowful, old)
17 TAWPIES heedless girls (Scottish): (IT + W [with] + PEAS)*
20 CILIA hip’s (= ILIAC): C (constant) AIL< (trouble) after I (touch of Infection)
22 ANGER row (= RANGE): RAN (amounted to) GE (empty GabblE)
23 STEMSON timber on ship: STEMS (checks) ON (forward)
24 MIASMIC of unhealthy air: S (sun) in MIAMI (Florida resort) + C (primarily Cause)
28 TEIND Scottish tithe: in debaTE IN Dundee
31 ALAE fruity outgrowths: AL(G)AE (seaweed with middle vanishing)
33 SOLON US Congressman: SO (very good) + LON (Lon Chaney)
34 PAISA small amount of money: PA (old man) + IS + A (advanced)
35 TOOT blast: TOO (extremely) + T (tense)
36 BOURSES exchanged in these: (S [seven] + B (billion) + EUROS)*
1 IRANIAN national: ANI (bird) swamped by RAIN*
2 RERUN repeat broadcast: in heaRER UNderstanding
3 SATE Malaysian dish: EATS*
4 SHALM instrument: SHAL(E) (rock, nearly all) + M (Music’s intro)
5 ABLET board (= TABLE): T (time) + ELBA< (island)
6 LURGI disease: L (finally hospitaL) + U (beginning to Use) + RG (dRuGs regularly) + I (in)
7 BEVY 2 meanings: company & drinking session; I initially had BEND here
11 REEST possibly planes (+ TREES): STEER*
13 ABRIM full to top: A + B (black) + GRIME – GE (earth)
14 KEIR vat: (RE [rhenium] I [iodine] K [potassium])*
18 PESTO old bar: TOPES*
19 ESILE vinegar: E (Easy at first) SILE (strain)
20 CETE group of badgers: C (caught) + ETE (summer in French)
21 IONISES produces electrically charged particles: ION (press reportedly, ie sounds like IRON) + IS (Iceland) + E (energy) + S (Sector originally)
25 AULOI ancient Greek instruments (singular is aulos): AU (gold) + LO (look) + I (Irridescent at the outset)
26 MANSE house: NAME’S*
27 CAROL song: CA (about) ROL(L) (wind doesn’t finish)
29 IRISH poet (= RISHI): in ecuadoR IS HIghly
30 MOOR heath: MOR (layer of humus) permeated by O (oxygen)
32 PARA 2 meanings: soldier who’s dropped into & Brazilian estuary; why this city, state and estuary in Brazil is in Chambers, when very few other geographical places aren’t, escapes me!

One Response to “Enigmatic Variations 886: Toss Up by Warbler”

  1. kenmac says:

    Quite an enjoyable, relatively easy puzzle.

    I managed to confuse myself with 8a – I was convinced that it was THAWERS (thawing snow causing snowdrifts, though I couldn’t fully justify it) “knowing” that I “knew” what WREATHS meant I didn’t even look it up – d’oh!

    Then I saw MATTHEW at the end of the quotation but it took me ages to realize that I needed to stick an ST (saint) in there – double d’oh!

    All came right in the end though :-D

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