Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations 900 Times Were A-Changin’ by Jaques

Posted by Colin Blackburn on February 13th, 2010

Colin Blackburn.

Just over three years and three months ago I wrote this blog. I think it was my first for Fifteensquared. Since that Independent puzzle I have blogged the Guardian, Everyman, Azed, Inquisitor and Enigmatic Variations. I have blogged from several puzzles a week to a puzzle every several weeks. Life has finally got the better of me and I can’t find the time to write these things along with running, XC skiing, solving crosswords, trying to set crosswords, OU studies, OU work, and, oh, my full time job. So EV 900 will be my final blog.

So, on to Jaques’ offering.

After checking the preamble—extra letters in SIs—filling the grid was a breeze. Part way through I realised that BLOWING and CONTINENT didn’t index the quotation needed (at least in ODQ6) and I couldn’t remember the author. Luckily my partner pointed me towards Macmillan. With the quotation confirmed and only a slight stumble over Macmillan’s initial being one of the extra letters I then had to work out what to do. The full quotation and author is:

(THE WIND OF CHANGE) IS BLOWING THROUGH THIS CONTINENT H. MACMILLAN

Well, the continent is Africa but FRICA in 1ac is nothing to do with the final changes. I shaded the 6 words produced by the normal clues (asterisked in the solution below) and saw that they formed a block at the bottom of the grid with the potential for AFRICA to appear vertically in a couple of places. Checking the letters, the topmost word contained an A, the second an F,… yes it was possible. Rotating the letters in each word didn’t offer much. Then I stuck HALMAS into my iPod Chambers App. SHAMAL, a wind! And it put an A in one of the right squares. A couple of minutes later as well as HALMAS to SHAMAL, I had FAULTS to FLATUS, TRAUMAS to SUMATRA, LICHI to CHILI, RAUNCHIER to HURRICANE, and RESTAGE to ARGESTES; all winds of various kinds, all changed from the original entries. With all the winds in place the bottom of the sixth column then spelt AFRICA.

I did wonder if the title somehow led to a wind but if it does I’ve not seen it. Maybe it is simply a reference to the idea of the quotation, maybe some vague Dylan reference. Does it matter? It was a very enjoyable puzzle, definitely at the easier end for me but at least that made it possible to get the blog done one time.

Anyway, as they say in parts of Africa, kwaherini!

(XY Z)* anagram
X[Y]Z insertion
X[y]Z deletion
ZYX< reversal
uvwXY Zabc hidden answer
X.Y.Z. initial letter or letters
X..Z extreme letters

Across
1 I FRICADEL CLARIFIED fricadel is a South African fried meatball. The first five letters of this entry proved to be a bit of a red herring for a few minutes after completing the grid and twigging the theme.
8 S KALE K+ALES kale is a broth made from the vegetable of the same name.
11 B GENTLEMAN G BENT LEMAN leman is an archaic word for a lover or sweetheart.
12 L MORIA MOR[I]AL a moral is a practical lesson hat can be drawn from an experience. Moria = folly.
13 O ITEMS (TO SEMI)*
15 W EMEND E(MEW)ND mew is to cast as in to moult or shed.
16 I ENWHEEL (E’EN WHILE)
17 N BOSHTA BOSH TAN I initially tried to shoehorn bonzer in. Boshta may be a variant of bonzer.
18 G OVATE O..V GATE in York a street is a gate, a gate is a bar and a bar is a pub! Gate is used widely throughout Yorkshire and the North East to mean a street.
19 T TOOM TOT MO< toom is Scots for empty.
20 H REEBOK REE[HOB<]K a hob is a male ferret, the female is a jill.
23 R PIGHEADEDNESS (PREDESIGNED HAS)*
24 * HALMAS ALMA in H.S. alma is an Egyptian dancing girl. Halma is a board game using a 16×16 board.
26 O ANTA ANO[T]A useful that anoa is an ox and anta is a tapir.
28 U STEER STE[p] RUE<
30 * FAULTS ULT in F.A.S. this abbreviation is in Chambers.
32 * TRAUMAS TRA[p] [p]UMAS
34 G VERVE REV< VEG
36 * LICHI L[I CH]I one of several spellings of the Chinese fruit and its tree. ch = chestnut, presumably in describing the colour of a horse.
37 H USUAL US U HAL
38 * RAUNCHIER RA[U.]NCH[I]ER
39 T ETNA lutANTTEphr< Etna is often hidden backwards in normal cryptics. Here the extra letter makes it a little more awkward.
40 * RESTAGES REST AGES
Down
1 H FOMENT FO[M]EHN T a hot dry Alpine wind but not one forming a key to the puzzle.
2 I RHOMBOID (HOO[ped] MIDRIB)* I was about to protest that a rhombus can be very far from square even with its four equal sides but Chambers has ‘nearly square’ as a botanical meaning.
3 S IURE I SURE iure is Latin for ‘by right or by ‘.
4 C CHINO CHIC NO
5 O DEISHEAL DOE IS HEAL deasil (and its variants) means in the direction of the motion of the sun, withershins is in the against this direction.
6 N ENTETE ENTENTE
7 T ELMWOODS (MOST DOWEL)*
8 I KESH eliKEISHair an augmented definition to some extent as kesh is the uncut hair worn by Sikhs.
9 N LACET LANCET lacet is a kind of braidwork.
10 E ENDLESS (.S NEEDLES)*
14 N WEAZENS WEA[ZEN]NS
17 T BOGBEAN BOT BEGAN* bot is the maggot of the botfly
20 H REARMICE REAR MIC HE reremouse (and rearmouse) is a delightful word meaning bat, the mammal.
21 M BEAUTIES BEAU TIMES spell as in time.
22 A ESTIVATE [f]ESTIVA[l] TEA endless chopping of both ends. Estivate is sort of the summer equivalent of hibernate.
23 C POSTURE POST CURE
25 M MASHIE M[ASH]IME in Greek theatre a mime is a farcical play.
27 I ABELES (E ISABEL)*
29 L TROAT TRO[LA]T
31 L TESLA (ALL SET)< tesla is the derived SI unit of magnetic flux density.
33 A ULNA unusUALNAme
35 N RUNG RUN N.G.

4 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations 900 Times Were A-Changin’ by Jaques”

  1. cholecyst says:

    Thanks, Colin, for all your hard work. Best wishes for the future!

  2. nmsindy says:

    Good luck and thanks, Colin. Maybe you’ll have time for blogging again sometime in the future.

    I think the puzzle marked 50 years since that speech (3 Feb 1960).

  3. Colin Blackburn says:

    I thought it might be an anniversary but despite reading the quote in ODQ6 the date didn’t register.

    I’m sure I’ll return to blogging puzzles some day, I’ll certainly be reading Fifteensquared and chipping in now and then.

  4. Matthew Ling says:

    The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind.

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