Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations No.936 – Four Quarters by Giovanni

Posted by Mister Sting on October 23rd, 2010

Mister Sting.

This brought back happy memories of the very first EV that I completed. That one also used this format (splitting the grid into quarters). It wasn’t that long ago, so if you’ve been doing these for a while, you’ll probably remember it. I do, however, tend to be a little nervous around anything that threatens a lot of ‘cold’ solving, though. The worry is that one won’t build up the necessary escape velocity/achieve critical mass/other misplaced physics metaphor and that the connections that aid one along (assuming that one needs a small hint to discover what the ancient Egyptians called the soul) won’t be forthcoming.

This one ticked along quite nicely, though. There was a fair mix of the easier (fuss=ado is always helpful and there aren’t a whole heap of well-known Siberian lakes) and the tricksy (the 32ac misspelling, for instance). A more irritating setter would have been less generous with ‘troely’, for example. I feel that the word is obscure enough to merit a transparent anagram. In this instance, Giovanni fortunately agreed, although I see from a Google search that ‘Bandmaster’, whoever (s)he might be, was not so generous in a Listener from May this year.

I’ve noted down here that new words for me included: Albert, ka, ort, rep, rexcat, troely. Here seems as good a place as any to mention that.

I did have a couple of niggles. In 3dn, ‘ban’ is rather too similar to ‘bar’, and 4dn comes mighty close to – horror of horrors – an indirect anagram. There seems to be no indication in 27dn that the order of the inserted element should be ‘LI’, rather than ‘IL’. Also, I noted down that something was doing double duty, but it’s obviously annoyed me so little that I can’t remember what it was. Finally, there was a mistake in the preamble (hardly Giovanni’s fault), which incorrectly indicated the order in which the clues should be placed.

These are piffling matters. I enjoyed it.

The misspelt letters gave us (perhaps predictably) THE TITLE. I’m sure the more astute were yet one more step ahead, and had already figured out the ‘error’. FOUR QUARTERS becomes, of course, FOUR QUARTETS. And what is this we have forming a neat little square in the centre? Blimey! If it’s not ‘THEY ALL GO INTO THE DARK’, which might just be a line from that very poem.

I think that’s about your lot. It just remains to say thank you, eminent man of letters, generous patron of art Giovanni.

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

I 1 ALBERT Warning about first sign of broomstick – ‘It’s attached to witch’? it’s attached to watch: ins. {about} of Broomstick {first sign of} ALERT (warning)
6 BEDASH Spatter couch with remnants from tray spatter: bed (couch) + remnants from tray (ash)
19 REPAIR Correct material to broadcast correct: REP (material) + AIR (broadcast)
Very little time involved in so great a kiss kiss: ins. {involved in} of MO (very little time) in SUCH (so great)
11 BOATER Worried wearing neighbour’s hat hat: ins. {wearing} of ATE (worried) in BOR (neighbour)
29 EVADNE Girl to avoid, taking in men (but not me!) girl: ins. {taking in} of meN {not me} in EVADE (avoid)
12 OTELLO In the middle of room explain opera opera: ins. {in} TELL (explain) in rOOm {middle of}
Worked endlessly carrying uranium in battle plane battle plate: ins. {carrying} of U (uranium) in TILLEd (worked) {endlessly}
31 CLAQUE Fans with a question when stuck in part of the crossword fans: ins. {stuck} of A + Q (question) in CLUE (part of the crossword)
Stars fuss after the appearance of beetle stars: DOR (beetle) + ADO (fuss)
T 32 KITTEN Puts recently arrived equipment that’s no longer pure back puss recently arrived: KIT (equipment) + < NET (no longer pure)
14 WHALER Old Aussie tramp, one crying audibly old Aussie tramp: homonym of WAILER (one crying)
H 33 AUTUMN Gold cask outside front of masonic hall fall: ins. {outside} of Masonic {front} in AU (gold) + TUN (cask)
Pole hugging Egyptian soul in Siberian lake Siberian lake: ins. {hugging} of KA (Egyptian soul) in BAIL (pole)
16 ENLEVÉ Eleven becoming excited, carried away carried away: ELEVEN* {becoming excited}
Being one without love for member of sect member of sect: ESSE (being) + oNE {without love}
Shame about big article being lost shame: RE (about) + GREaT (big) {article being lost)
E 17 SHORTY Tetchy individual is reticent when eating fragment titchy individual: ins. {eating} of ORT (fragment) in SHY (reticent)
36 SMARTY One trying to be clever confines damage in farm building one trying to be clever: ins. {confines} of MAR (damage) in STY (farm building)
35 TEEPEE Tent peg provided by character at end of camp tent: TEE (peg) + PEE (character at end of camP)
1 ABDABS Nervous state of sailor confronting experts nervous state: AB (sailor) + DABS (experts)
T 6 BOWYER One taking item of sports equipment from yard into shady enclosure one making item of sports equipment: ins. of Y (yard) in BOWER (shady enclosure)
19 REXCAT Pet possibly cold needing extra fluffy covering pet possibly: ins. {covering} of C (cold) in EXTRA* {fluffy}
Fuels for physics unit dd (fuels/physics unit)
7 ETHANE Gas heat malfunctioning, only half of what’s required gas: HEAT* {malfunctioning} + NEed (what’s required) {only half}
20 EVOLUE Certain European countries delight in upsetting assimilated member of more primitive community assimilated member of more primitive community: < EU (certain European countries) + LOVE (delight in)
2 LOOFAH Husband, an idiot, knocked over plant plant: < (knocked over) H (husband) + A FOOL (an idiot)
I 25 MUTISM Mother admits it’s no condition for chit no condition for chat: ins. {admits} of ITS* {no condition} in MUM (mother)
8 ALLIER In France go across one river that meets the Loire river that meets the Loire: ins. {go across} of I (one) in ALLER (French ‘go’)
3 BARRIO Spanish-speaking district’s ban on port Spanish-speaking district: BAR (ban) + RIO (port)
T 21 PALATE Friend’s chewed a root – it’s in the mouth a roof – it’s in the mouth: PAL (friend) + ATE (chewed)
26 ULSTER Coat of exceptional lustre coat: LUSTRE* {exceptional}
27 CLIENT Customer needs a bit of money – about one pound? customer: ins. {about} of LI (one pound) in CENT (a bit of money)
22 INHUME In part of Manchester, we hear, or Bury bury: IN + homonym {we hear} of Hulme
Staff officer’s extreme dislike when parts are assembled in wrong order (2 words) staff officer: HATRED (extreme dislike) {when parts are assembled in wrong order}
Lover, for the record, almost killed girl cover for the record: SLEw (killed) {almost} + EVE (girl)
28 HEANEY A French soldier, the man originally a poet poet: HE (the man) {originally} + A + NEY (French soldier)
10 HORNET Hospital men trap insect insect: H (hospital) + OR (men) + NET (trap)
23 RETENE Chemical helping to give Margaret energy chemical: margaRETENErgy {helping to}
E 5 TROELY Let Roy come round, being pale palm: LETROY* {come round}

One Response to “Enigmatic Variations No.936 – Four Quarters by Giovanni”

  1. mc_rapper67 says:

    Nice blog, thanks, Mister Sting – and an interesting variation with the quartered grid – I haven’t seen one of those for a while.

    I wasn’t sure if we were supposed to follow the quote literally – ‘O dark dark dark. They all go into the dark, The vacant interstellar spaces, the vacant into the vacant…’ and colour in all the filled squares black – leaving 4 vacant ‘stars’ among the void. in the end, I did that with my working copy of the grid and stapled it as a flap over my neater submission copy – covering all bases…

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

+ six = 7