Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations No.924 – Repeated by Lato

Posted by Mister Sting on July 31st, 2010

Mister Sting.

I wonder if I was alone in finding this tough.

In retrospect, the preamble wasn’t unnecessarily misleading. Nor at any time did I think the clueing unfair. Still, for me this EV was one heck of a struggle. There were precious few gifts (11ac being a notable exception), but I certainly wasn’t helped by my synapses declaring a ceasefire.

2 down is a good example. The clueing is faultless, but for the longest time I just couldn’t figure out what ‘nominally red’ might mean – embarrassingly, this was the case for some time even after having found the answer.

I made an early, educated guess at ‘Ford’, recognising that this probably referred to Gerald Ford. However, despite later filling in ‘Harrison’ (making the (tiny) leap to Harrison Ford=actor) and despite knowing all of the presidents, I failed to recognise the name of the 23rd president (Benjamin Harrison split Grover Cleveland’s terms as 22nd and 24th president).

In essence, the top right and bottom left should have been all that I needed. These unclued entries read TWO OF A KIND. The thematic answers were all just this – words composed of two fish, presidents, rivers, etc. The table below details their composition.

Answer Definition Subsidiary Indication Details
HUNT BALL function in country (1966) World Cup winner (Roger) Hunt, (Alan) Ball
PLUMULE shoot tree plum, ule
BEDS DOWN retires county Bedfordshire (Beds), Down
HARRISON FORD actor president (Benjamin) Harrison, (Gerald) Ford
AUDENSHAW North West town writer (Wystan Hugh) Auden, (George Bernard) Shaw
TAILING following fish tai, ling
CAMPO plain river Cam, Po
MALIAN African boy Mal, Ian
PIETA religious picture letter pi, eta
WIGHTMAN (tennis) cup of old (1923-89) island Wight, Man
SOFA seat note so, fa

As I say, nothing too (two, perhaps?) horrific. Even, dare I say it, straightforward. Except, like me, if you’re an idiot.

I’m not entirely sure of how to parse 8ac (dapo?), but I’m sure you kind people will furnish me with an explanation. I’m away until Sunday evening, but when I’m back I’ll add to/correct the post based on your contributions. Thank you to nmsindy. Thank you also to Lato, whom I sadly neglected in my self-pity, for a satisfying and well-constructed brain stretch.

XXX* = anagram
(xxx) = definition
{xxx} = (anagram/homophone/container) indicator
< = reversal
xxx = unused letter(s)

Across
7 ARAR Tree in the middle of Salisbury – not any longer (4) tree: hARARe (the capital of Zimbabwe was formerly known as Salisbury)
8 DA CAPO Finish penning a chapter and go back to the beginning (6, 2 words) go back to the beginning: ins. {penning} of A CAP(itulus=Latin ‘chapter’) in DO
9 HOUDINI Couple returning home stop greeting US showman (7) US showman: ins. {stop} of <DUO (couple) {returning} + IN (home) in HI (greeting)
10 RUBY-RED Pointless drive to Derby when off colour (7, hyphenated) colour: RUn (drive) {pointless=without N(orth)} + DERBY* {off}
11 ALMOND Old man munched fruit (6) fruit: OLDMAN* {munched}
13 IMPUGNS Opposes Isaiah keeping dog in Minnesota (7) opposes: ins. {keeping} of PUG (dog) in MN (Minnesota) in IS (Isaiah)
15 PRIM Penny’s on edge – it’s her first pregnancy (4) first pregnancy (short for primagravida): P(enny) + RIM (edge)
17 ISSUE Lies collectively not originally put into circulation (5) put into circulation: tISSUE (lies collectively {not originally=lose first letter}
19 NOHOW Drama – old woman out of sorts (5) out of sorts: NOH (drama) + O (old) + W (woman)
20 OLEO Print whole or in part (4) print (oleograph): whOLEOr {in part}
22 ROBI Waste one cabbage (4) cabbage (as in kohl-robi): ROB (waste) + I (one)
23 NITER Moving north bury chemical substance around Boston (5) chemical substance around Boston (US spelling of NITRE): INTER (bury), N(orth) moved
25 ASLAN Bennett is accepted as literary lion (5) literary lion: ins. {accepted} of S (is, as in ‘s) in ALAN (Bennett)
27 BAAL God, flat has no number! (4) god: BAnAL (flat) {no N(umber))
28 HARLECH Fly to city hospital somewhere in Wales (7) somewhere in Wales: HARL ((fishing) fly) EC(ity) + H(ospital)
29 SNOOPY Discover round corner Kelvin’s lost dog (6) dog: ins. {round} of NOOk(corner) {K(elvin)’s lost} in SPY (discover)
30 MINARET Live in brand-new tower (7) tower: ins. of ARE (live) in MINT (brand-new)
35 FRASER Boy’s brother Balkan native, not British (6) boy: FRA (brother) + SERb (Balkan native) {not B(ritish)
36 ODEA In trouble over Eastern places of entertainment (4) places of entertainment (pl. of ODEON): ins. of E(astern) in <ADO (trouble) {over}
Down
1 URDU Language teacher head sacked had to be arrested (4) language: ins. {to be arrested} of D (had, as in ‘d) in gURU (teacher) {head sacked}
2 TROY Boy, nominally Red, supports Tevez primarily and City (4) city: RbOY {nominally red=change N(ame) for R(ed)} under {supports} T(evez) {primarily}
3 BOURGS Top court practitioner’s touring university towns (6) towns: ins. {touring} of U(niversity) in (Bjorn) BORG (top court practitioner)
4 LAID Put down Australian wearing hat (4) put down: ins. {wearing} of A(ustralian) in LID (hat)
5 OAR Row about cutting soldiers (3) row: ins. {cutting} of A(bout) in O(ther) R(anks) (soldiers)
6 OPT Settle round port (3) settle: O (round) + PT (port)
12 NIOBIC Stamp around carrying bismuth and a type of acid (6) a type of acid: ins. {carrying} of BI(smuth) in <COIN (stamp) {around}
14 DECLAIMED Having failed medical, man made set speech (9) made set speech: MEDICAL* {failed} + ED (man)
16 RHONE About to eat sweetie in gutter (5) gutter (Scots): ins. {to eat} of HON (sweetie) in RE (about)
18 UPS Raises prince in country (3) raises: ins. of P(rince) in US (country)
21 TRAPPED Unable to escape from Thailand, got along well (7) unable to escape: T(hailand) + RAPPED (got along well)
24 ELOPS Picked up second rod for fish (5) fish: <S(econd) + POLE (rod) {picked up}
26 ARNUTS Plants at Balmoral all turn out special (6) plants {at Balmoral=Scottish}: A(ll) + TURN* {out} + S(pecial)
30 MUTE Silent corporation upset earl (4) silent: <TUM (corporation) {upset} + E(arl)
31 ALOD American lawman’s first to clean up estate (4) estate: A(merican) + L(awman) {first} <DO (to clean) {up}
32 ENEW Energy restored, plunge into water (4) plunge into water (falconry): E(nergy) + NEW (restored)
33 IRK Marginal reading in bible about to cause distress (3) to cause distress: <K’RI (marginal reading in (the Hebrew) bible (intended as a substitute for the k’thibh))
34 RAI Endlessly attack N African music (3) N African music: RAId (attack) {endlessly}

2 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations No.924 – Repeated by Lato”

  1. nmsindy says:

    I enjoyed this puzzle which, maybe I was lucky, I found a little easier than Lato puzzles in the past in EV and other places. I think DA CAPO is explained by CAP (chapter) in A DO. All v enjoyable.

  2. Jake says:

    Great stuff here,

    had a lucky couple weeks with Lato appearing in the Listener also!

    I thought the preamble was perfectly understandable. In fact I didn’t particularly need it until the unclued entries were ready for placing in.

    Thanks for your blog. I agree that it was an enjoyable walk through, with a few dash’s needed!

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nine + = 11