Posted by Hihoba on November 3rd, 2010
I found this pretty tricky and it took several hours over three days to complete. Some interesting words, two of which (ZARI and NIKAB) are only in the latest version of Chambers. Google helped somewhat, but they caused me grief. I may have to invest in a new dictionary!
There were two types of clue. Those with a letter missing from the wordplay (10 across and 10 down) and normal clues (6 across and 6 down). We had to make an aphorism out of the former and a “conclusion” from the latter.
I wasn’t having much luck with the missing letters which did not seem to mean a lot – you only have to get one or two wrong to make a complete mess of the phrase! An inspired guess led me to the conlusion that “The Last Laugh” referred to the recent death and funeral of Sir Norman Wisdom, (6, 6). I found his name diagonally up left to right starting at the N in square 21 and the W to the left of square 30.
As I composed this blog my missing letter errors became plain, and the aphorism appeared – GOD IS NOT GIVEN TO FOLLY. The final step was to link this to the name of the deceased. So the completed aphorism is
“GOD IS NOT GIVEN TO FOLLY, NOR MAN WISDOM.” Brilliant!
In the table below, the aphorism letters are in red. The name letters are (appropriately) in black and are numbered to make the order clear.
|1||G||JET ENGINES||Thrusters: JETE (leap) + NINES (9 in a baseball team)|
|10||O||ELINOR||Girl’s name which means “foreign” in German|
|11||N 6||NIPTER||Ritual washing of the feet: PTE in N(orthern) + IR(eland)|
|12||D||FEEDBACK||Useful response: K(nown) + CA + BEEF reversed.|
|13||I||ZARI||A thread wrapped in gold (only in the latest edition of Chambers): ZR round A|
|14||M 4||MISALIGN||Fail to even properly: [MAILINGS]*|
|16||S||SEHRI||Meal before dawn: HR (personnel department) in E(ast) I(ndies)|
|19||M 12||SLIPFORMS||Enable continuous building (assembly lines): SLIMS (contracts) round PF + OR (otherwise)|
|20||N||IN GENERAL||As a rule: [NAIL GERE]*|
|24||O||ADDIO||Cheers: ADD + I|
|25||S 9||NAHUATLS||Aztecs: [THAN SUAL]* (U removed from Usual – less refined. I liked that!)|
|27||T||ITEM||Couple involved romantically: IE + M|
|28||I 8||CRIBRATE||Perforated: CRIB (wicker basket) + RATE (=RET – soak)|
|29||W 7||SEA MEW||A gull: SMEW (merganser) round EA|
|30||G||TROGON||One flies (tropical bird): TROON is a town with a golf links|
|31||I||DOTTED LINE||Sign here: DOTE (timber decay) round TED (spread) + LN (natural log)|
|2||V||ELEVEN||A prime number: even letters in Nellie Dean|
|3||E||TIER||Fastener: TIR appears in attire|
|4||R 3||ENDORSED||Approved of: Witch of ENDOR (Bible) + SED (Milton said)|
|5||A 5||GRAINIEST||With least detail in picture: RAIN in GI (an American private!) + EST(ablished)|
|6||N||NIKAB||A NIKAB (more usually niqab) is a veil, but only in the latest edition of Chambers. IB(idem) round KA|
|7||O 11||STAIRROD||A bar to secure Wilton carpet (22D): STROD(e) round AIR (dry)|
|8||T||TERGUM||Insect’s back: ER (hesitate) + GUM (stick)|
|9||O||TRINISCOPE||A TV display: NIS (friendly goblin) + C(aught) in TRIPE|
|12||F||FASHIONIST||Clever &lit clue: Whole phrase is the definition and the wordplay is model (=anagram) [TONISH AS I]*|
|15||O||SAPROLITE||Another &lit clue: Whole clue is quite a good paraphrase of the definition and A + P (soft) + R(ock primarily) + L(eft) in SITE (location) is the wordplay|
|17||O 2||HOGSHEAD||Capacity for beer etc. HOGS (refuses to give up) + HEAD (froth)|
|18||D 10||FOLDEROL||Senseless burden (=refrain): FOLDER (file) + O(n) + L(iberal)|
|21||N 1||NEATER||With more efficiency: (Ma)NEATER|
|22||L||WILTON||Carpet: WIT (marbles) + ON|
|23||L||LACET||Braiding: ACE + (plai)T|
|26||Y||YAGI||A directional aerial: AgI (silver iodide)|