Posted by duncanshiell on April 4th, 2010
It’s nearly a year since I blogged a Genius and it clearly hasn’t got any easier. This one took me an age to get into, but eventually I got a chink of light and began plodding away to completion.
The preamble told us that:
Solutions are divided into four groups of seven. Each member of that group begins with the same letter. The definition in all 28 of these clues is normal (and is placed at the correct clue number), but all subsidiary parts of these clues have been swapped around. The correct subsidiary part for any definition can always be found in another clue where the solution begins with the same letter. All 28 subsidiary parts of these clues ignore the initial letter of the solution. The four letters that begin the solutionjs may be arranged to give something to drive.
When solving this, I tended to focus on possible definitions and then look for wordplay that supported the answer I came up with. I was fairly sure that 1d was LYSOSOME or RIBOSOME and 10a looked like DOJO which fitted only with RIBOSOME and 12a was possibly EOCENE. 24a and 24d had to begin with the same letter so HOWL and HASH seemed a possibility. It took me a while to realise that ‘on key’ was part of the definition for 24d. That gave me ‘R‘, ‘D‘, ‘E‘ and ‘H‘ as the likely leading letters and led me to HERD as the thing to drive. This gave me confidence that I got the leading letters right, so I was able to build on this knowing that wordplay and definitions could only interchange on answers beginning with the same letter.
The four groups of 7 are:
‘H‘: 14a HORMONES, 24a HOWL, 25a HOUSE, 3d HEARSE, 4d HEIGH-HO, 19d HECKLER,and 24d HASH
‘E‘: 9a ELOPE, 12a EOCENE, 26a EVERSION, 2d ECHO, 13d EPITHELIUM, 18d EASTWOOD and 21d ELISHA
‘R‘: 11a REGIMENTAL, 15a REWINDS, 22a RADISH, 1d RIBOSOME, 5d RE-EMERGE, 7d RELATE and 22d REEFER
‘D‘ 8a DISCRETE, 10a DOJO, 17a DEAD SET, 20a DETHRONE, 23a DILL PICKLE, 6d DOWNLOADED and 16d DIOXIDES.
A couple of the definitions may need a bit more explanation than I give below. 17a DEAD SET, I think relates to the action of a setter dog when it has discovered game and remains intently focused on pointing it out. For 7d RELATE, this refers to the national federated charity working in a wide range of relationship issues. Many years ago it was known as the Marriage Guidance Council, hence the cryptic reference to ‘union negotiators’.
I found the clues very rigorous once I worked out which clue went where. Also the surfaces generally read well throughout with some good misdirection. The longest clue only had 10 words. I blogged an Independent on Saturday recently where there were almost always more unchecked letters than checked letters in words of odd numbered letters. This grid was better with at least some of the odd lettered words having more checked than unchecked letters.
I have ignored link words when parsing the clues.
In summary – a real challenge, but very satisfying to finish.
Components of Wordplay
|8||individual||DISCRETE||17a – two islands||IS (island) + CRETE (island) = ISCRETE|
|9||go off||ELOPE||21d – bound||LOPE (bound) = LOPE|
|10||martial arts hall||DOJO||23a – soft drink old||OJ (Orange Juice) + O (old) = OJO|
|11||of a particular unit||REGIMENTAL||5d – misinterpreted name legit||Anagram of (misinterpreted) NAME LEGIT = EGIMENTAL|
|12||relating to a period||EOCENE||18d – once foreign (English)||Anagram of (foreign) ONCE + E = OCENE|
|14||might they be replaced||HORMONES||24a – no more when moving, close to tears||Anagram of (moving) NO MORE + S (last letter of [close to] tearS = ORMONES|
|15||turns back||REWINDS||11a – east given mah-jong points||E (east) + WINDS (reference ‘wind tiles’ which are Honours in Mah Jong) = EWINDS|
|17||saw arrangement||DEAD SET||8a – disturb sedate||Anagram of (disturb) SEDATE = EAD SET|
|20||remove from power||DETHRONE||10a – the stupid individual’s after resistance||Anagram of (stupid) THE + R (resistance) + ONE (individual) = ETHRONE|
|22||root||RADISH||7d – a course||A + DISH (course) = ADISH|
|23||it’s preserved||DILL PICKLE||16d – sick little child||ILL (sick) + PICKLE ([troublesome] little (?) child [not sure what purpose the word ‘little’ is serving in this clue) = ILLPICKLE|
|24||cry||HOWL||4d – bird||OWL (bird) = OWL|
|25||to contain||HOUSE||19d – river||OUSE (river, there is more than one in Britain) = OUSE|
|26||turning the other way||EVERSION||9a – form||VERSION (form) = VERSION|
|No.||Definition||Entry||Wordplay at||Components of Wordplay|
|1||cellular particle||RIBOSOME||22d – that is covering chest||IE (that is) containing (covering) BOSOM (chest) = IBOSOME|
|2||one returns||ECHO||12a – cut short||CHOP (cut) omitting the last letter (short) P = CHO|
|3||in which a corpse||HEARSE||24d – key-hole||E (key – reference musical key) + ARSE (reference arsehole) = EARSE|
|4||word of resignation||HEIGH-HO||25a – timeless figure, this answer no use||EIGHT (figure ‘8’) excluding the T (timeless) + HOUSE (the entry at 25 across) less USE (no use) = EIGHHO|
|5||come again||RE-EMERGE||1d – a quarter tripled, consuming mutation of germ||(E [east [quarter of the compass] + E + E [3 of them, tripled]) containing an anagram of (mutation) GERM = EEMERGE|
|6||having reproduced image, perhaps||DOWNLOADED||20a – now terribly loaded||Anagram of (terribly) NOW + LOADED (rich) = OWNLOADED|
|7||the union negotiators||RELATE||22a – lift||ELATE (lift) = ELATE|
|13||tissue||EPITHELIUM||2d – coal gas||PIT (coal[mine]) + HELIUM (gas) = PITHELIUM|
|16||various compounds||DIOXIDES||6d – one strong thing dies out||I (one) + OX (strong thing) + anagram of (out) DIES = IOXIDES|
|18||American actor||EASTWOOD||13d – a number buried in ground||A + (TWO [a number] contained in [buried in] SOD [ground]) = ASTWOOD|
|19||one shouting down||HECKLER||14a – community left queen to support king||EC (European Community) + K (king) + L (left) +ER (queen) (as a down clue, LER is ‘supporting’ K) = ECKLER|
|21||prophet||ELISHA||26a – girl touring hospital||LISA (girl) containing (touring) H (hospital) = LISHA|
|22||jacket||REEFER||15a – on price that’s been raised||RE (on) + FEE (price), all reversed (raised [it's a down clue]) = EEFER|
|24||symbol on key||HASH||3d – remains||ASH (remains) = ASH|