Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations No.912 – Sounding by Loda

Posted by Mister Sting on May 8th, 2010

Mister Sting.

I rather enjoyed this romp.

I am, as I have previously confessed, rather fond of the ways and means used by some EVs (including this one): quotations constructed from excised letters and hidden grid entries which need to be highlighted. That’s why I do ‘em.

In this instance, the second and fourth letters of the extraneous words in the down clues spell out “As to the adjective, when in doubt strike it out” and – right enough! – the clashes in the across clues are resolved by ‘striking out’ the ‘A’s (an adequate adjectival abbreviation) in favour of the clashing letter where possible. These ‘favoured’ letters spell out Samuel Langhorne Clemens, the real name of Mark Twain and the source of the quote, who appears in the first and fourth rows.

The three down clues without extraneous words are the surnames of the eponymous heroes of three of Twain’s works, namely (Pudd’nhead) Wilson, (The Adventures of Tom) Sawyer and (Adventures of Huckleberry) Finn.

The provenance of the title, I own, stumped me. Thanks to Gaufrid for steering me hither (and for clearing up 23ac): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sounding_line
(It transpires that Clemens, who worked as a Mississippi river pilot, derived his pen name from a call associated with the process of ‘sounding’ – measuring the water depth. I failed to consult even the wikipedia article on Twain – a schoolboy error.)

There were a couple of interesting arboreal anagram indicators – 2dn’s ‘aspen’ and 22dn’s ‘willowy’. ‘Riley’ in 39ac was well deployed, too. ‘Cwms’ was a bit of a gift, given that the last EV I blogged had ‘cwm’. I suppose it’s unsurprising that it isa popular word for EV setters – Scrabblers, too, for all I know.

So, not overly taxing then – a healthy dose of anagrams to get the grid filled and ‘hand holding’ clues that guided you to the answer. No less enjoyable for any of that, though. As clues like 10 and 11 across show, a light doesn’t have to be tricksy to be pleasing.

XXX* = anagram
{xxx} = anagram indicator
<  = reversal
xxx = excised letter(s)
[capsule] = omitted word
letter clashes are highlighted in red

Across
S 1 NAAM Seizure of goods from chap backing all Scots inside (4) seizure of goods: < MAN (chap ‘backing’) including A (Scots “all”)
A 4 ARK-SHELL Shark swimming with character’s what provides protection for mollusc (8, hyphenated) what provides protection for mollusc: SHARK* {swimming} + ELL (character = the letter ‘L’)
M 10 MUSIC Unconventional cubism, no black tones? (5) tones: CUbISM* (no black = no ‘b’) {unconventional}
U 11 VILLA Entire quartet flipped for holiday home (5) holiday home: < ALL IV (entire quartet ‘flipped’)
E 13 CHASM Charlie owns first of megastores opening (5) opening: C (cocaine (‘Charlie’)) + HAS (owns) + M (‘first’ of Megastores)
L 15 SLOT Bar’s drunkard imbibing lager initially (4) bar: SOT (drunkard) including (‘imbibing’) L (Lager ‘initially’)
L 17 INTACT Whole turn after tin’s loosened (6) whole: TIN* + ACT (turn)
A 18 TRAY Tine’s from decapitated straggler (4) tine: sTRAY(‘decapitated’ straggler)
N 19 AIDER One supports eccentric inventor’s latest idea (5) one supports: [R (inventoR's 'latest') + IDEA]* {eccentric}
G 21 GHOST German entertainer’s spirit (5) spirit: G (German) + HOST (entertainer)
H 23 SHANKS Mishits … catch taken by second slip? … edge dropped! (6) mishits: HANK (fasten/catch) in S (second) Slip (slip, lip (‘edge’) dropped)
O 24 ONE-TWO Football move’s too new, uncoordinated (6, hyphenated) football move: TOONEW* {uncoordinated}
R 27 AGIST Soldier’s in middle of a bit of a kip, charge with public burden (5) charge with public burden: GI (soldier) in A reST (bit of a kip)
N 29 EAGRE It’s a bore? Agree to differ (5) bore (drill) : AGREE* {to differ}
E 30 IDLE One led astray Eric perhaps (4) Eric perhaps: [I (one) + LED]* {astray}
C 32 FACIAL Fellow amateur spies model’s rear getting beauty treatment (6) beauty treatment: F (fellow) + A (amateur) + CIA (spies) + L (modeL’s ‘rear’)
L 34 BOWL Fan’s second to last, dismiss (4) dismiss: BLOW (fan), L moved to the end (second (letter) to last)
E 35 SAVER One rescues season reportedly … (5) one rescues: homophone of ‘savour’ = season
M 37 NEATH In the country below Welsh town (5) Welsh town: rural variant (‘in the country’) of ‘beneath’ = below
E 38 EATEN … leaderless, thrashed and upset (5) upset: bEATEN (leaderless ‘thrashed’)
N 39 NOSEGAYS ‘Bouquets gone!’ says Riley (8) bouquets: [INTREPID + O ('leader' of Old)]* {Riley} (upset, turbid)
S 40 MARA Patagonian hare and a sheep from the east (4) Patagonian hare: < A RAM (a sheep ‘from the east)
Down
AS 1 NAUSEATE Sicken us with a [capsule] eaten at sea (8) sicken: [US + AEATEN]* {at sea}
TO 2 SUMACH [Strong] tree, much as aspen (6) tree: MUCHAS* {aspen} (trembling/quivering, like the leaves of an aspen)
TH 3 ASCOT Necktie’s [itchy] like a camp-bed (5) necktie: AS (like) + COT (camp-bed)
EA 4 ACE One [became] a civil engineer (3) one: A + CE (civil engineer)
DJ 5 RESAYS Once more declares [Odd-job] e.g. is in residence (6) once more declares: SAY (e.g.) in RES (residence)
EC 6 KAMILA Kirkpatrick’s raised capital advanced dye [merchanting] (6) dye: K (Kirkpatrick) + < LIMA (raised capital) + A (advanced)
TI 7 HINTING Thin gay’s on good terms with Gauss [stripping] being suggestive (7) suggestive: THIN* {gay} + IN (on good terms) + G (Gauss = unit of magnetic induction)
VE 8 ELUL For a month Israeli [aviette] carrier’s upper class for all (4) a (Jewish) month: Israeli El Al (Israeli carrier = airline) with U (upper class) for A (all)
WH 9 LUST Somewhat illustrious [Swahili's] strong sexual desire (4) strong sexual desire: ilLUSTtious (‘somewhat’)
EN 12 LACES Beats second Anglo-Latin climbing [Vernon] (5) beats: < [SEC (second) + AL (Anglo-Latin)]
IN 14 INNARDS Entrails [signature] towards the centre, changing direction once (7) entrails: INwARDS with N (north) for W (west)
DO 16 WATTEAU Engineer channel for [idiotic] painter (7) painter: WATT (engineer) + EAU (channel)
UB 20 RETRAINS Once again directs, stupid [husband] is errant (8) once again directs: ISERRANT* {stupid}
TS 22 SERIATE Iowa’s overrun by [etesian] willowy trees in rows (7) in rows: IA (Iowa) in (‘overrun by’) TREES*{willowy} (flexible, pliant)
TR 24 ANCLE Clean out once [attractive] joint (5) once (= obs.) joint: CLEAN* {out}
25 WILSON The Italian’s caught by wife, a native neurologist (6) neurologist: IL (the Italian) + S (‘s) in (‘caught by’) SON (a native)
IK 26 OILERY Shell e.g. is part of this news [link] about soaring yen (6) Shell e.g. is part of this (part of Royal Dutch Shell) : OIL (news) + < RE (about ‘soaring’) + Y (yen)
28 SAWYER Fish across river in cutter (6) cutter: SAR (fish) including (‘across’) WYE (river)
EI 31 AORTA Australian reserves surrounding ‘yellow [peril]‘ vessel (5) vessel: A (Australian) + TA (Territorial Army = reserves) including (‘surrounding’) OR (yellow (in heraldry))
32 FINN Fine hotel’s for Sibelius perhaps? (4) Sibelius perhaps: F (fine) + INN (hotel)
TO 33 CWMS Not even [strolling] cows mess Welsh valley (4) Welsh valley: odd letters (‘not even’) from CoWsMeSs
UT 36 VAS Tube’s very [dusty] all sections (3) tube: V (very) + AS (all sections)

9 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations No.912 – Sounding by Loda”

  1. Mike Laws says:

    Further proof, if any were needed, of how well Loda can judge the difficulty level and enjoyment quotient of a puzzle (next Inquisitor 19 June).

  2. nmsindy says:

    This may have been time to coincide with the centenary of MT’s death. Nimrod had an excellent themed puzzle in the Independent (normal 15X15 cryptic) on the actual day – 21 April.

  3. Mister Sting says:

    Ah, drat, yes. Forgot to mention that. Thanks, nmsindy. Twain died 21 April 1910.
    2010 is also the 175th anniversary of his death – perhaps rather more cause for celebration.

  4. Gaufrid says:

    Mister Sting
    I think you meant to say “….. 175th anniversary of his birth …..” ;-)

  5. Jake says:

    When my copy of ODQ5 arrived I knew instantly what to look for, with the previous week (in the independent) a puzzle set by Nimrod already gave away the months theme of SLC Mark Twain.

    I was a bit scared of the clashes but thought I’d print two copies and sort the letter clash out afterwards.

    I found this quite an easy puzzle. Solve time about 2-2 1/2 hrs.

    Nice one Loda for the puzzle. Great stuff!

  6. Mister Sting says:

    Arg.
    Birth, yes.

    Possible film title suggestion: ‘You Only Die Twice’.

  7. Mike Laws says:

    Re comment 3: I’m happy to celebrate an anniversary of someone’s birth, but uncomfortable “celebrating” their death, apart from arch-villains. “Commemorate” perhaps, in spite of Chambers.

    Sorry to be picky :-)

  8. Mister Sting says:

    Mike, see comments 4 and 6 – I intended to declare the puzzle a celebration of Twain’s birth.
    I find anniversary-of-death ‘commemobrations’, whatever they be, rather morbid.

  9. mc_rapper67 says:

    As the great man himself once said: ‘The report of my death was an exaggeration.’ (New York Journal 2 June 1897)

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