Posted by Dave Hennings on November 28th, 2009
As far as I can see, Hugo is a new setter, so good luck to him with this puzzle. As far as I’m concerned, he’s off to a good start with lots of things to find: a man, two things he described as ‘indistinguishable’, a title, and a revolutionary concept.
The wordplay in clues led to an extra letter, not to be entered, and some of them were quite tricky, probably about medium on the EV difficulty scale.
With most of the clues completed, I had the extra letters in the acrosses reading RENDE.VO.SW..H. It helps having an interest in science fiction, and discounting RENDER something, I saw RENDEZVOUS, which then led to RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA by ARTHUR C CLARKE, a hugely inventive scientific thinker and author. 2001, A Space Odyssey is probably his most famous work; although it was co-written with Stanley Kubrick, it was based on his short story The Sentinel. The extra letters in the downs began .EOST, leading to GEOSTATIONARY ORBIT, a concept he wrote about, although it is unlikely he was the first to come up with the idea. Finally, it needed Google to remind me of his three laws:
- When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
- The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
- Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
The last law gives us the two things which are indistinguishable, and indeed SUFFICIENTLY, ADVANCED, TECHNOLOGY, and MAGIC appear as entries in the grid, so need to be highlighted.
Solving time: about 90 minutes.
ABC* = anagram
ABC< = reversal
abCDef = hidden
X = extra letters in wordplay
|1||R||HACIENDA||landed estate: (IDEA RANCH)*|
|7||E||ARAB||horse: AREA (space) + B (black)|
|10||N||AROW||in a line: NAR(R)OW (keen, half-hearted, ie only one R)|
|11||D||GONDOLA||boat: GLAD (happy) keeping ON DO (the same, ie ditto)|
|12||E||OUTGIVE||donate more than: OU (man from Jo’burg) + GET< +IVE (I have, shortly)|
|14||Z||FAILLE||silk: FAZE (worry) about ILL (ailing)|
|15||V||SAMEL||insufficiently baked: (MARVELS – R [recipe])*|
|16||O||SUFFICIENTLY||enough: (SILENTLY [without a word] – L [lecturer]) about U (university) OFFIC(E) (duty, not finished)|
|19||U||SECTOR||guarded area: SEC (dry) TOUR (round, n)|
|21||S||LORCAN||fierce Irishman (see name meanings in Chambers): RSC (theatre company) in LOAN (advance)|
|23||W||ECHO-SOUNDING||analysis in depth (ie the sea): CHOSE* + WOUNDING (as pointed remark could be)|
|25||I||MAGIC||exciting: GAM< + ICI (here, in French)|
|26||T||IGOROT||Filipino: IGOR (Prince perhaps) + OTT (going too far, ie over the top)|
|29||H||IDIOTIC||foolish: I + HID(E)< (most of skin) + OTIC (of the ear)|
|30||R||ENRANGE||what rover (ie sailor) would do: (GREEN RAN)*|
|31||A||OMIT||fail to perform: O (Oscar) + ADMIT (confess) – D (director)|
|32||M||LEAL||faithful: LEMAN (sweetheart, with N replaced by L [first of Lovers])|
|33||A||EYEPIECE||what’s vital to scope: EA (each) + YEP (casual agreement) + ICE (formality) holding E (English)|
|1||G||HAFF||lagoon: H (henry) + GAFF (fishing equipment, a hook)|
|2||E||ARNAUT||Albanian: EARN (make) A (American) UT (do, ie the note)|
|3||O||CONIFER||maybe pine: (FOR ICON + E [ultimate in lovE])*|
|4||S||ELUL||month: SELL (sell out, as in betray) with U (uniform) inside|
|5||T||DOG BISCUIT||type of pet food: DOT (spot) GB (this island) + IS + CUT(E) (astute, not entirely) importing I (single)|
|6||A||ANISEED||cordial: DENIES* taken in by AA|
|7||T||ADVANCED||well ahead: TAD (a bit) VANED (like fans) booking C (first of Concerts)|
|8||I||ALLEL||gene: ALL (completely) transfixed (ie cut through) by LIE (story)|
|9||O||BALLYRAG||badger: BRAG (crow) eating ALLOY (mixture)|
|13||N||TECHNOLOGY||applied science: Y (unknown) + TENCH (fish) ahead, keeping NO LOG (record)|
|16||A||SHLEMIEL||fool: SH (mum) + MEAL* + IE (that is) L (left)|
|17||R||FUCOIDAL||like some seaweed: I (one) LAD< (youngster) after FUR (coat) CO (officer)|
|18||Y||FASCINE||coastal defence: FINE (excellent) surrounding AS (when) CY (Cyprus)|
|20||O||TRIREME||old warship: TOR (rising) IRE (anger) + ME|
|22||R||GNOMIC||particular Greek past tense: NG< (no good) + ROMIC (phonetic notation); it took me ages to see gnomic aorist in Chambers just three lines below gnomic (which on its own has nothing to do with tenses); this led me on a googlefest of lots of tenses in different languages … may have to get a book on it all!|
|24||B||CAINE||film star: CABIN (simple dwelling) + E (base)|
|27||I||GIMP||yarn: G (grand) + IMPI (group of warriors)|
|28||T||TOTE||carry: TOTTE(R) (stagger, dropping last)|