Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations 901: Time for Action by Raich

Posted by Dave Hennings on February 20th, 2010

Dave Hennings.

Five clues have no definition. That sounds easy, since that leaves over fifty other normal clues that presumably do. Little did I know …!

Despite seeing some 4-letter words beginning with I, a couple of them ending with O, it wasn’t until I solved FREIGHTER, seemingly a 5-letter word with 8 in it, that I finally twigged what was going on. Five 4-letter ‘words’ were dates, and, from the title, it was fairly easy to guess that they matched up with famous battles that took place in those years, and the clues led to the names of those battles. The five crossing answers that needed words to be replaced by their numerical equivalents were FREIGHTER, PUNINESS, DEIGHTON, BALFOUR and SLEIGHT. It was just a shame that EIGHT was used three times (a very minor niggle).

So, another good puzzle from Raich, and one that managed to string me along for much longer than it should have (my fault, not its). Solving time: about 2½ hours.

Legend:
ABC* = anagram
ABC< = reversal
abCDef = hidden

ACROSS
1 KOPPIE low hill in SA: sounds like COPY (something newsworthy)
5 EDNA delightful lady (see meanings of names in Chambers: in unitED NAtions
9 LAC large number: LACK (want) – K (thousand); a lakh/lac is either 100,000 or an indefinitely vast number
12 NEURAL about a central system: NEU(T)RAL (heartlessly indifferent)
14 EARED has hearers: E (ultimately tiradE) + A + RED (socialist)
15 1690 THE BOYNE: [ENVOY - V (very)]* after T (piece of Turgid) HEB (Hebrew); the battle between the supporters of the Protestant King William and the Catholic King James, near Drogheda in Ireland
17 ELECTRO plate: ELECT (choose) + O (old)
19 ULRICA German: [PECULIAR - PE (exercise)]*
22 HEIT command (archaic): H (Henry) + EST (French ‘is’)
23 BEAR tolerate: BEAR(D) (short hair)
24 1870 SEDAN: USE (avail oneself) – U (unionist) + DAN (title of honour); the battle, near Sedan in France, between the Prussians and the French, after which Napoleon III was exiled
25 AIMLESS with no specific plan: [LASSIE'S + M (money)]*
27 OVOID in form, like what’s laid: O (nothing) + VOID (unutilised)
28 STREETY characteristic of way: SETTER* + Y (You initially)
30 WONGI talk (Aust): WRONG (treat unfairly) – R (rule) + I
31 ODIST poet: in tassO DISTtinguished
33 GABRIEL boy: BRIE (cheese) in GAL (local girl)
35 FR8ER US transporting agent, FREIGHTER: RE (engineers) in FIGHTER (Hurricane, plane, say)
36 OWL-EYED with blinkers: in crOWLEY EDitor
37 MAIL 2 meanings: old coin (a halfpenny) & spot (Scot)
38 1314 BANNOCKBURN: BAN (denunciation) CON< K (king) B (British) URN (vessel); battle between Scotland, under Robert Bruce, and England, under Edward II
39 WADT ore: WAIT (delay) with D (department) for I (source of Industrial)
42 PEDLAR seller: DL (limits to DeaL) in (block) PEAR (fruit)
46 LINDSEY boy or girl: (SIN LED)* + Y (at first, Yes)
49 OSSA bones: OS (sailor, Ordinary Seaman) + SA (appeal, Sex Appeal)
50 REALM province: REAL M(ADRID) (players from abroad, not half)
51 ENDEAR bind in gratitude (Shak): EN (letter) DEAR [how you might start one (a letter)]
52 ALB vestment: BLA(B)< (almost let out secret)
53 1805 TRAFALGAR: ART< (trick) + FAL (river) + GAR (fish); between Britain, under Nelson, and France/Spain, under de Villeneuve
54 TASTES tries: TA (soldiers, Territorial Army) + SETS< (groups); I think soldiers slinked with should read soldiers linked with!
DOWN
1 KNIGHTS OF MALTA members of charitable order: [HOM(E) TALKING FAST]*; this order started in 1099
2 PU9SS feeble quality, PUNINESS: PUN (joke) + (F)INESS(E) (subtlety with no case, ie surroundings)
3 PROM musical performance: PROMPT (ready for delivery) – PT (point)
4 ELUL month: LULU (opera) with ending revised with E (English); Lulu is an opera written by Alan Berg, unfinished at the time of his death, but finished much later by Friedrich Cerha; never heard of it or them! (Now Marie MacDonald McLaughlin Lawrie I have heard of!)
6 DELI shop: sounds like DELHI
7 NAE not at all (Scot): (M)EAN(S)<
8 ARC line (curved): A + RC (Latin, ie Roman Catholic)
10 ADRY seeking a drink? (poetic): DR (a couple of DRaughts) in AY (yes)
11 CROCODILE TEARS they’re feigned: [CORRECT IDEALS + O (love)]*
13 HERESY contrary opinion: [RE (about) S (son)] in HEY (dance)
16 BULLETRIE tropical grower (a tree): BULL (good shot) + ETRIE(R) (foot off ladder)
18 NEAT elegant: A (article) in NET (court feature)
20 CROWBERRY shrub: [BOWER* + RR (bishop)] in CY (Cyprus)
21 D8ON author, DEIGHTON: (DOING THE)*
23 BETA star: BA (airline) crossing ET (Egypt)
24 IVORY tooth material: IVY (climber) collecting OR (gold)
26 MESEL sufferer (obs for a leper): in niMES ELderly
29 BAL4 PM, BALFOUR: FLAB< (fat) + OUR (how the Queen might say ‘My’?)
32 1815 WATERLOO: [FOOTWEAR with L (beginning to Last) for F (female)]*; between Britain and allies, under Wellington et al, and the French Empire, under Napoleon Bonaparte
33 GWILYM Welsh guy: WIL(D) (tempestuous for the most part) in GYM (place for physical activity)
34 EDDY 2 meanings: diminutive man & current, going back
40 ASSET item of property: ASSERT (lay claim to) – R (right)
41 GIRL maidservant: GI (soldier) + RL (game)
43 DEMO musical recording: DEMON (person of great skill) – N (note)
44 ABET to back up (Spenser): A BET (guess); Spenser would probably turn in his grave if he knew Raich was calling him ‘Ed’! Where will it end? It reminds me of the Python sketch where Sir Edward Ross says it’s OK for the interviewer to call him Edward or Ted or anything, but then objects when he calls him Eddie Baby!
45 MODS faction members: MODES (ways) – E (Eastern); one half of the Mods and Rockers rivalry of the 60’s
47 DAI guy in Cardiff: DA (knife) + I (beginning to Intrigue)
48 SL8 cunning, SLEIGHT: sounds like SLIGHT (insult)

4 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations 901: Time for Action by Raich”

  1. Alberich says:

    No comments yet on this excellent puzzle? I found this a delight to solve, although in a couple of cases it was embarrassing to realise how rusty my history has become. The clues were excellent, as can be expected from this setter. Great stuff, thanks Raich.

  2. Jim T says:

    Lovely puzzle. I really liked the theme.

  3. Hypnos says:

    Found the theme very original. The clues for the battle names were suitably tough and well disguised but managed to find my way in through cracking THE BOYNE. Very enjoyable and satisfying to complete.

  4. Raich says:

    Many thanks for blog and comments which are much appreciated and have been carefully noted. Decided not to use words eg TWO-TIME and FOURFOLD in which numbers appeared as themselves, this may have helped to lead to the three EIGHTs in the crossing entries.

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