Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations No. 896 – Three Letters by Loda

Posted by Gaufrid on January 16th, 2010

Gaufrid.

A fairly gentle, but enjoyable, start to the EV new year from Loda, though it is a good job that a full copy of ‘The Bridal of Triermain’ is available on-line because, not surprisingly, there isn’t one on my bookshelf (and the quotation doesn’t appear in ODQ).

My initial pass through the clues resulted in quite a few grid entries and extra letters, so much so that I had LOO_ BAC_ as the beginning of the quotation. A find ‘look back’ in an on-line copy of the poem immediately brought up a quotation that fitted with the other extra letters I had. The author was Sir Walter Scott so the extra letters were:

LOOK BACK AND SMILE AT PERILS PAST WS

At the same time I looked at the unclued 13/36 and the seasonal message quickly became apparent. With this in place, and knowing all the extra letters, solving the rest of the puzzle became much easier. The location of the blank squares was not too difficult to determine and having been told to draw 4 vertical and 6 diagonal lines between the centres of these squares to form the ‘three letters’ the result could only be MMX (2010).

*(XXX) – anagram
[x] – letter(s) unused
{x} – extra letter
. – blank cell

Across
1 DENGUE*({l}UNGED E[ncephalitic]
5 ANTHEMS *(S{o}ME AT [sta]NH[ope])
11 LYNX hidden in ‘eLY N {o}Xfordshire’
12 BECAME BEC{k}[h]AM (footballer’s not hot) E (Spain)
13/36 A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERY SOLVER – unclued
15 PANS {b}AP (roll) reversed NS (poles)
16 RHODES ODE (poem) in R (king) H{a}S
17 YOWS [donke]Y {c}OWS (heifers)
19 HEIST {k}IS[s] in *(THE)
21 R.E.V.E.R.S.O EVER (always) in R[ack] SO (thus)
24 A…E…OL.US AE (Ian’s very) *(SOUL)
25 G.E.N.I.P.A.P PINE reversed (tree from the East) in GAP (U.S. gorge)
29 MONGS ON (leg) in M{a}GS (birds)
30 DEEP DE{n} (study) EP (record)
34 YELLOW {d}YE (stain) L (length) LOW (base)
35 AIDE {s}AID (uttered) [hostag]E
37 EREBUS {m}E REBUS (puzzle)
38 BRAE *(A{i}R) in BE (exist)
39 CLADISM C{l} (Sri Lanka) L (Luxembourg) *(IS MAD)
40 SKULKS LUK{e} book reversed in SK (Slovakia) S (section)

Down
1 DIAPHRAGMATIC *(G{a}IT I HAD A CRAMP)
2 ENHAL…O LAH (note) in ONE reversed
3 GYPSY *({t}YP[e] [e]G Y[e]S)
4 UNPROVEN N (new) P (priest) ROVE (wandering) in {p}UN (joke)
6 NEEDL…E *(END [th]E) LE (the French)
7 HAYSE.L. *(ASHLEY)
8 EMESIS hidden in ‘extrEME S{e}ISmism’
9 MEAN E{r} (the Queen) in MAN (chap)
10 STRATOSPHERES *(ART{i}ST) O (round) SPHERES (orbs)
11 LANCE L{l} (will) in *(CANE)
14 NOSE [l]ES{s}ON reversed
18 W…ALRUS LAW (hill in Ayr) reversed RUS[h] (grass trimmed)
20 S.U.NDECK DEC (brief month) in SUNK (abandoned)
22 …GYVED G[a]Y V (very) ED (educated)
23 ROPEWORK WE P (power) OR (men) reversed {p}OR (for Spanish) K (knight)
26 ENTERA ENTER (insert a record) A{a} (Australian Army)
27 IDLY I (one) D (daughter) {s}LY (cunning)
28 ALIVE ALI (boxer) VE{t} (animal doctor)
31 PALAU PA (Pascal) LA{w} (jurisprudence) U (united)
33 NOEL NO{s}E (scent) [chane]L

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