Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations No. 902 – Alternative Outcome by kcit

Posted by Gaufrid on February 27th, 2010


The preamble seemed quite straightforward, no extra letters etc in the wordplay just the possible modification of six across answers and twelve down ones before entering them in the grid.

I started with the down clues and it quickly became clear that some of the answers were too long for the space available in the grid and some too short, always by one letter. After solving a few of the first across clues it appeared that one letter in some of the down clues was being duplicated before entry.

At this stage I had a possible DO??????????? for the unclued 21ac and, given the enumeration, I took a guess at DOUBLE OR QUITS which would fit in with the title and with duplicating or removing a letter. It turned out that my guess was correct because two of the thematic across clues were soon solved and these could only be entered by the removal of two occurrences of ‘or’.

So, ‘double or’ quits six of the across clues, a letter in six down clues is repeated (‘doubled’) and a letter is removed from (‘quits’) a further six down clues. The repeated letters and the removed letters in the down clues could both be rearranged to give GAMBLE which was to be written below the grid.

My lucky guess meant that this puzzle didn’t prove to be particularly difficult. In fact it was probably my quickest EV solve for several months but this didn’t detract from the enjoyment.

*(XXX) – anagram
[x] – letter(s) unused
X – duplicated letter
x – removed letter

1 C[or]OC[or]O  R (run) in COO (expression of surprise) repeated 
4 STATS  TAT (rubbish) in SS (found on board)
8 S[or][or]IAL  SOR[t] (mostly kind) I (one) in ORAL (exam)
11 IRON ORE  R (run) ON OR (gold) in IE (that is)
13 TATOU  T[ail] O (of) in TAU (cross)
14 SAMEL  *([f]LAMES)
15 MIN[or] [or]DERS  *(DONE MIRRORS)
16 CAMELEON  CAMEL (desert animal) *(ONE)
17 DRAT  TAR (sailor) ‘D (had) reversed
19 NICE  N[ature] ICE (reserve)
21 DOUBLE OR QUITS  unclued
23 KETA  hidden in ‘caKE TAinted’
27 GYRE  *(GRE[ed]Y)
28 OUTREACH  OU (university) R (Rector) in TEACH (educate)
29 GROWN-UP  W (women) N (new) in GROUP (collection of people)
31 M[or]ASS [or]E  MORAS (delays) SORE (sensitive)
32 HONEY  hidden in ‘nourisH ONE Yes’
33 FRETSAW  FR (frequently) WASTE (rejected) reversed
34 T[or]EAD[or]  READ (learned) in ROOT (cheer) reversed
35 ANGST  ANGST[rom] (Swedish physicist losing memory)
36 M[or]AT[or]Y  MORA (game) TORY (right-winger)

1 CISCO  hidden in ‘atlantiC IS COnsidered’
2 ORAATORY  ORA[l] (most of spoken) [s]TORY (tale dismissing first)
3 COMMP  CO (company) MP (moderately soft)
4 SOLLE  SOL[ac]E (pleasure having disposed of bill)
5 TRIENEE  TRIE (historic attempt) NE (not once)
7 STaNCE  ANC (African party) in STE[w] (difficulty ignoring Western)
8 SAD  dd
9 bITERS  BIT (a little) ER[o]S (love, nothing less)
10 LUSTReS  LUST (desire) RES[t] (most of others)
12 NEEDBBE  NEE (born) *(BED)
17 DRUmBEAT  [wa]R in DUMB (lost for words) EAT (worry)
18 ATTIC SAlT  ATTIC (story) SALT (sailor)
20 CRATERS  [inswinge]R in CATERS (fours, not any more)
21 DIGGHT  DIG (approve) H[ungarian] T[rade]
22 TRONA  AN (one) ORT (left-over portion) reversed
23 KENYA  N (North) in KEY (of great importance) A (America)
24 ARMET  [w]AR (head lost in conflict) MET (satisfied)
25 LASSA  ASSA[i]L (attack doing for one) reversed
26 CHEWY  CH (church) *(YEW)
28 OURN  O (circular feature) URN (vase)
30 WED  dd

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