Posted by Colin Blackburn on January 23rd, 2010
The first few answers I got were an across answer that was normal and 4dn for which I though STOP was a satisfactory answer. So it took a few minutes to work out what was going on. Seeing that KEEMA fitted 35dn and checking ESTOP in Chambers soon confirmed a possible un-preambled method for entering down answers. It was then a matter of solving more across clues to find some misquote emerging. So there was no last second penny-drop but there was an enjoyable well-clued puzzle to entertain for an hour or so.
The misquotation, taking in the top-left to bottom-right diagonal is:
(IF) YOU CAN KEEP YOUR HEAD WHEN ALL THE DOWNS ARE LOSING THEIRS
The title of the puzzle hinting at the missing word and the source of the original quotation.
Unfortunately I didn’t have time to comment on each clue in detail, though I’ll be happy to respond to any comments.
(XY Z)* anagram
uvwXY Zabc hidden answer
X.Y.Z. initial letter or letters
.X.Y.Z final letter or letters or odd letters
|16||ABIOSIS||A BIO SIS|
|40||LENGTHSMAN||G[i]LES* MAN||I can’t see where the N comes from here.|
|5||BECUBITUS||CUB in SUITE*|
|6||SCENICAL||A in LICENC[e]*|
|7||NOTT||dd OTT||Over The Top|
|13||ACETOUS||ETC* O US|
|17||ASHTON||SH TON||Sir Frederick Ashton, choreographer.|
|21||PROFITEER||(TO FIRE)* .ER|
|26||XIBS||dd IBS||Irritable Bowel Syndrome|
|30||CREAGH||AG in HER<|
|33||BRAE||EAR<||not sure about ‘falls down’ as a reversal indicator.|