Posted by petebiddlecombe on April 16th, 2010
This was a pretty straightforward puzzle except for locating the last piece of thematic material to highlight in the grid – I’d guess that two thirds of the clues could be solved quite happily by a broadsheet daily cryptic solver without Chambers.
Four unclued across answers had to be completed “somewhat unconventionally, in accordance with thematic material on the same level”. “level” here turned out to mean row of the grid. The first of these I completed was on the third row, where STAT?TTE seemed impossible to complete with a single letter. Just as I saw that STATUETTE matched the visible letters, I saw SHROVE on the same row, matching Tuesday which would provide the necessary TUE. Other thematic rows contained a name for a day in or close to Lent, with the three-letter abbreviation for the day to be entered in a single cell, completing a thematically completed word – DIAMOND, STATUETTE, ALL THUMBS, AFRICAN. In the central row, WED had to be written in the central unchecked cell. The named days are Collop Monday (which I didn’t know about), Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday and Spy Wednesday – see comments, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday (the last being the day before the puzzle was published). And the puzzle’s full title is of course “Name the day”.
A remaining minor puzzle is that the instructions say that “All six items of thematic material must be highlighted”, when there are only five names of thematic days. I assume this is because COLLOP contains letters from two grid entries which are counted as separate “items”, but I won’t be too surprised if someone tells me that HOLY (Saturday) or EASTER (Sunday) is somehow concealed in the grid. Wrong – see first comment from Inquisitor editor Mike Laws. This sort of slip is my best excuse for never seriously chasing after the Listener Solver’s Silver Salver.
|1||COLL = abbrev. for colleague, and to hug|
|4||(c)OPES – this is the best place to mention that collops were slices of meat eaten the day before Shrove Tuesday, after which meat was off the menu.|
|13||SH,ROVE – shrove is the past tense of shrive = to confess or to hear confession – confession as well as merry-making was common just before Lent.|
|15||CRE(N)EL – a crenel is a notch in a parapet|
|17||F.O.,LIA = ail rev.|
|19||CAL(I)M,AS – a calima is a dust storm in S Europe, coming from the Sahara|
|30||ONLINE = (El Nino)*|
|32||MAUND,Y from clemencY – surprisingly, there is no connection between maund = to beg, and Maundy as in Maundy Thursday or Maundy Money, in which Maundy comes from the Latin ‘mandatum’=command|
|35||RHEA – move the R in Hera.|
|1||CAS(e),CO. – a casco is a cargo barge from the Philippines|
|3||LION CUB = (bouncily – Y)*|
|5||PA(t)ELLA – both the knee-cap and cranium are ‘pans’|
|6||ESSE – ES = “are” in French, forwards and backwards|
|7||SH,TUM – an instant write-in for Times solvers, who get corporation = TUM about twice a week when the setters aren’t feeling original|
|16||RASCAL – first/last letter swap in lascar=sailor|
|20||ADERMIN = (remained – E)* – adermin or pyridoxine is a member of the vitamin B complex|
|21||SEAL,UNG = rev. of gnu|
|27||K(EYE)D – KD = Kuwaiti Dinar|
|29||ESTH – hidden word|