Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations No. 937 – Upheaval by Raich

Posted by mc_rapper67 on October 30th, 2010


 With ‘pencil recommended, at first’ and ‘upheaval’ threatened, I braced myself for some serious re-engineering of the grid post-solving…but in the end there was a relatively simple, but cleverly constructed, twist to the tale…

The solver is to identify extra letters in the wordplay of all but four clues, which will help with the upheaval connected to the remaining four, directly affecting two of these – and all resulting in a grid of real words.

All in all I found this a relatively gentle EV – in clueing and denouement – especially compared to some of the recent toughies, and for which I again give thanks to the schedule! The grid filled up nice and smoothly, without too many obvious conflicts – until I got 3 and 51 across – DEMOCRACY and COMMUNISM – and deduced that they were to swap places, leaving real words in the altered crossing entries. I have to ‘red’-facedly admit that the other linked clues – RISE and FALL – were among the last to click, even though they were being flagged by the extra letters gradually revealing SOLIDARITY, BERLIN WALL, DEMOS IN LEIPZIG and VELVET REVOLUTION.

So, we have the upheaval created by the fall of communism and the rise of democracy, encapsulated in a 13×14 grid, plus a few new (to me), interesting (to me, also!?), words – like ABRAY, BOBA, SENGA, ACCORAGE, and somewhere exotic-sounding – TABRIZ.

Glasnost, prost, solidarnosc, dosvedanya, and cheers!…’top Marx’ to Comrade Raich…


Clue No Length Extra letter Solution (and entry, if different) Clue /
3A (9) n/a COMMUNISM (DEMOCRACY) Frenchmen at university taking part in function start to mellow /
M (short for Monsieur – Frenchman) + UNI (university) in COS (function – cosine) + M (start of mellow). No definition.
12A (5) S CANTO Slight ordinary part of poem /
SCANT (slight) + O (ordinary)
13A (3) O URE Unionist in mineral operation once /
U (Unionist) in ORE (mineral)
15A (5) L MORNA Virtuous, embracing knight, beloved Irish girl /
MORAL (virtuous) embracing N (knight)
16A (3) I CHA Beverage series of shops reduced /
sort of deouble defn – CHAIN = series of shops, reduced to CHAI, CHA = tea (beverage)
17A (5) D PODAL Strange article in Poland about feet /
ODD (strange + A (article) in PL (Poland)
18A (3) A OHM Old amateur unit showing resistance /
O (old) + HAM (amateur)
19A (3) R EAR Unusually rare sense /
anag (i.e. unusually) of RARE – ear menaing the sense, or power, of hearing
20A (3) I ALL The whole Left is in trouble /
L (Left) in AIL (trouble)
21A (6) T RETROD Active type’s coming back over dry run – put foot down again /
TT (teetotal, or dry) + R (run) in DOER (active type) coming back
23A (7) Y STYPTIC Drawing together, agent at last working with City spy /
anag (i.e. working) of CITY + SPY + T (last letter of AT)
26A (4) B AREA Poor American piece of ground /
BARE (poor) + A (American)
29A (7) E TIARAED With elaborate headgear, costly to return after match with Australia /
TIE (match) with A (Australia) followed by DEAR (costly) returning
31A (10) R BEEKEEPING Rebuilt kneipe with good ale at first, aiming to produce honey, perhaps? /
BEER (ale) followed by anag (i.e. rebuilt) of KNEIPE + G (good)
33A (10) L ENERVATION Weakening veteran curiously associated with one famous /
anag (i.e. curiously) of VETERAN with LION (famous person)
34A (7) I HETAERA Paramour, he has appeal before important date /
HE + IT (sex appeal) + A (important, as in A-road?) + ERA (date)HE + IT (sex appeal) + A (abbrev. for ‘before’, in Chambers) + ERA (important date)
36A (4) N BOBA Wealthy person’s brought back yaws /
NABOB (wealthy person) brough back
37A (7, hyphenated) W EWE-LAMB Twice we escape in US with British item (treasured) /
WEWE (we twice) + LAM (American for escape) + B (British)
39A (6) A TABRIZ Asian city volunteers obstruct international zone /
TA (Territotial Army, volunteers) + BAR (obstruct) + I (international) + Z (zone)
41A (3) L RHO Both sides accept house letter /
R + L (right & left, both sides) with HO (house) inside
43A (3) L FRA Brother, feeble with no independence /
FRAIL (feeble) less I (independent)
45A (3) D ALI Laid out US heavyweight /
anag (i.e. out) of LAID
46A (5) E IEUAN Welsh guy in European Union, one for Scots /
I (in) + EU (European Union) + ANE (Scottish for ‘one’)
47A (3) M ASP Mum’s special snake /
MA (Mum) + SP (special)
48A (5) O SENGA Spanish lady’s grand for Republican – she’s slender /
SENORA (Spanish lady) with G (grand) for R (Republican) – SENGA being a Scottish name meaning ‘slender one’
49A (3) S RYE Woeful years without a whisky /
anag (i.e. woeful) of YEARS without A
50A (5) I GILTS Stocks listing with no number is weird /
anag (i.e. weird) of LISTING without N (number)
51A (9)  n/a DEMOCRACY (COMMUNISM) Governor accepts money order (100 dollars) and returned vehicle /
DEY (Algerian pasha, or governor) accepting MO (money order) + C (US slang for $100) + RAC (returned ‘CAR’, or vehicle) No definition.
Clue No Length Extra letter Solution (and entry, if different) Clue /
1D (8) N ACCORAGE A college company with scope to spur on, as before /
A + C (college) + CO (company) + RANGE (scope) – ACCORAGE is an obsolete/Spenserian version of ENCOURAGE
2D (14, hyphenated) L CATHERINE-WHEEL He’s struggling with the wine cellar window /
anag (i.e. struggling) or HE + THE WINE CELLAR. Catherine-wheel being a type of window, as well as a firework.
4D (5) E OTHER (ETHER) Second Test not starting at this point /
OT (MOT, or test, not starting) + HERE (at this point)
5D (4) I MOAN Grumbler, girl, comes up /
NAOMI (girl) coming up
6D (5) P MUTED (OUTED) Softened, placed in sea /
PUT (placed) in MED (Mediterranean Sea)
7D (4) Z NEAR (REAR) New Zealand plough at one time left on the road /
NZ (New Zealand) + EAR (obsolete, or ‘one time’ – to plough) – NEAR as in near-side of a car
8D (5) I IMPLY (AMPLY) One politician’s unctuous, first to leave hint /
I (one) + MP (politician) + WILY (unctuous, with the first letter leaving)I (one) + MP (politician) + OILY (unctuous, with the first letter leaving)
9D (4) G SOOT (COOT) Accordingly procured old sweet /
SO (accordingly) + GOT (procured) – SOOT being an obsolete adjective for ‘sweet’
10D (14) V INALIENABILITY Initially naive boy at first misbehaving, State precluding removal /
anag (i.e. misbehaving) of INITIALLY NAÏVE + B (boy, at first)
11D (4)  n/a FALL It follows me, extremely loyal /
FA (note following ME, or MI on Do, Re, Mi scale) + extreme letters of LoyaL. No definition.
14D (5) E ROAST Strongly criticize nonsense, which includes ageism regularly /
ROT (nonsense) holding AES (alternate letters of ‘ageism’)
22D (6) L TERETE Gnarled tree at foot of Arab hill? Smooth and cylindrical! /
TEL (Arab hill) + anag (i.e. gnarled) of TREE
24D (5, hyphenated) V TIE-IN I have briefly pulled up interrupting metal connection /
I’VE (I have, contracted, i.e. briefly) inside TIN (metal)
25D (6) E TAILOR Awkward relation’s ignoring new person in the clothing business /
anag (i.e awkward) of RELATION less N (new)
27D (4) T NEVE Sporting competition going over snow /
‘reversed’ double defn – EVENT (sporting competition) going back = NEVE (surface snow on a glacier)
28D (5) R REARM Following beginning of revolutionary age, marines prepare for war again /
R (beginning of revolutionary) + ERA (age) + RM (Royal Marines)
30D (4) E AEON Long time alone, learner’s gone for ecstasy /
anag (i.e. gone) of ALONE, less L (learner) + E (ecstasy)substitution – ALONE, with L (learner) gone/changed to E (ecstasy)
32D (8) V GRAZIOSO South of Austrian city, six Roman mappers love playing gracefully /
GRAZ (Swiss city) + VI (Roman numeral, six) + OS (Ordnance Survey, mappers) + O (nil, or love)
35D (5) O ABRAY Ed’s to rouse wild boar? Indeed /
anag (i.e. wild) of BOAR followed by AY (indeed)
38D (5) L ANNAM Lord Mayor receives old coin from India, protectorate once in Asia /
LM (Lord mayor) receiving ANNA (Indian coin) – ANNAM being a former French protectorate inVietnam
39D (5) U TAKER (TAKEN) He seizes seabird in Territory /
TER (territory) with AUK (seabird) inside
40D (5) T BASIC (BASIS) Plain white wine imported by British Columbia /
BC (British Columbia) importing ASTI (white wine)
41D (4)  n/a RISE Norse gods, first to leave, moving North /
AESIR (Norse gods) without the first letter, and moving Northwards. Not defined
42D (4) I SAGE (SAGO) Talk over, that is wise /
GAS (talk) over, followed by IE (id est, that is)
43D (4) O FARO (FARM) Row in Foreign Office betting game /
OAR (row) in FO (Foreign Office)
44D (4) N RAGA (RAGI) Hindu musical piece resounded near Academy /
RANG (resounded) by A (academy)

6 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations No. 937 – Upheaval by Raich”

  1. Wil Ransome says:

    Nice crossword, but I fell at the final hurdle, never realising that DEMOCRACY and COMMUNISM had to change places. My attention was on SENGA, which isn’t in Chambers: I was therefore expecting that there was some kind of upheaval (anagram, perhaps) of that word and some other that I couldn’t find.

    It always seems a bit odd (The Listener does it too) for one to be told in the preamble that Chambers (2008) is recommended and then to have a word that isn’t in that dictionary (surely senga isn’t one of the place-names in Collins). Seems a bit unfair to me.

  2. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Wil
    Senga is in Chambers. It is in the appendix ‘Some first names’ where it as indicated as being “a backward spelling of Agnes more likely from the Gaelic seang meaning slender”.

  3. mc_rapper67 says:

    Wil – I was fortunate to deduce the substitution early on – but took ages to find RISE and FALL to justify it…

    Thanks for the update, Gaufrid – and I have to admit I initially entered, and submitted with, ‘Senga’, just on the parsing of the clue and the missing ‘o’ – assuming that it was probably one of the aforementioned place names. On writing the blog, and cross-checking with the rubric, I realised that I had missed a trick, and it was probably a name rather than a place, but it wasn’t in my (electronic) version of an earlier Chambers, which dates back to circa 1993.

    In the end – confessions of a short-cutting close-to-deadline blogger – I have to admit to using a ‘popular Internet search engine’ to find the link to ‘slender’…

  4. Mike Laws says:

    Let’s not beat about the bush. There’s nothing wrong with googling (with a small g), but I personally prefer it to be a last resort.

    However, some themes will have to be googled unless the solver happens to be particularly familiar with the subject, especially now that dead-tree reference sections in libraries are becoming extinct.

  5. Raich says:

    Many thanks, mc_rapper67, for that extremely comprehensive and detailed blog which is excellent.

    Thanks also to all who commented.

    Yes, the idea of the puzzle, hinted at by the events revealed by the extra letters, was that the ‘Upheaval’ was the FALL of COMMUNISM and RISE of DEMOCRACY with the latter moving therefore upwards and other downwards, swapping places. I thought, in relation to the final step, that to refer to the thematic clues in the preamble might be too much of a giveaway as there were just four of them. I always intended that real words would appear to confirm the correct change had been made. That made it a very hard grid to construct. I thought it better to mention the ‘real words’ aspect in the preamble to help the solver. The editor added a pencil warning, which was very good, and should have helped further to show that clued answers as initially placed did not give the final grid.

  6. mc_rapper67 says:

    Raich – thanks for your kind words – and also for giving us some insight into the thinking behind this puzzle.

    I have made corrections to a couple of the clue parsings above – where I had taken a slight detour in (fortunately) arriving at the correct answer/entry…

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