Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations No 947 Good Cheer by MynoT

Posted by twencelas on January 8th, 2011

So its Boxing day and the only one of the three (Inquisitor/Listener/EV) to be published this Christmas week. Sounds like a Christmas theme which promises to provide the solver with GOOD CHEER. Each across clue is missing a letter, which when read in clue order gives an instruction to complete the puzzle. So will the puzzle live up to its billing?

As is my policy, where one set of clues is normal, I started on the downs. A good mix of easy-ish, medium and relatively obscure clues. I particularly liked 24 down – an interesting combination of a double definition and homonym. I probably cracked about 2/3rds of the clues before looking at the acrosses. It was at this point that I could see that the diagonals were showing a message (of good cheer) “God rest you merry gentlemen”.
Then to the across clues and to discover the instruction, hoping that it did n’t relate to how the downs were entered. The omission in the preamble of “Down clues are normal” made me a little wary. However, it soon became  apparent that there was no variation in how the downs were to be entered.
The message from the across clues was “Read the fourth letters” – of the clues – which gave “Highlight in grid example of anagram of two down”.
What then was 2 down LORCA and the seasonal anagram is CAROL as exemplified by “God rest you merry Gentlemen”. I must admit to spending a good few minutes looking for the word CAROL in the grid, having managed to ignore the word example in the instruction.

Completed grid

A delightful end game, to a cheering puzzle. The only criticism was of my own making, by looking at the diagonals too early in the solving. Many thanks MynoT – a perfect accompaniment to some port and stilton – GOOD CHEER indeed.
Key: Rev (reversed); * = anagram, DD = double definition)


Original clue
Changed clue
1 He who enjoys Schadenfreude could be legato possibly (7)
He who enjoys Schadenfreude could be legator possibly (7)
(legator)* = GLOATER
E I 7 Grain is stored in her except for name (4)
Grain is stored in here except for name (4)
Bar (except) + n (name) = BARN
A G 11 Knight following rule is Francis from the north (6)
A knight following rule is Francis from the north (6)
Norm (rule) +  a + n (knight) = NORMAN – Francis is a name derived from France, with the Normans coming from the north of France
D H 12 The hero in Rama is first person to wear a jumper (5)
The hero in drama is first person to wear a jumper (5)
Roo (as in kangaroo) around me (first person) = ROMEO
T L 13 Topless Iraqis producing plans (4)
Topless Iraqis producing plants (4)
Kurds – k = URDS
H I 14 In mine tamper with most of local boundary to old position first (7)
In mine tamper with most of local boundary to hold position first (7)
Stem (hold position) + mere – e = STEMMER
E G 16 Berg at Eisenstadt sizes undeveloped female worker (6)
Berg at Eisenstadt seizes undeveloped female worker (6)
Hidden bERG AT Eisenstadt = ERGATE
F H 17 Light shields head of leading actors embracing goddess (6)
Light shields head off leading actors embracing goddess (6)
Stars – s around Ge = TARGES
O T 19 Rot-free organisms take time at all events (6)
Root-free organisms take time at all events (6)
Algae around t = ALGATE
U I 20 Various fishes having roe hosed on board (6)
Various fishes having roe housed on board (6)
R N 25 Spanish city also providing fame for means of illumination (6)
Spanish city also providing frame for means of illumination (6)
Too around LED = TOLEDO
T G 27 Reggae played for mille (6)
Reggae played for millet (6)
(Reggae)* = RAGGEE
H R 28 Nearest alternative is tin fabric mostly (6, two words)
Nearest alternative is thin fabric mostly (6, two words)
Cypress (thin black fabric) = CY PRES
L I 31 Brains except in America can be device to detect change in fee (6)
Brains except in America can be device to detect change in feel (6)
Sensoria – I (in) – a (America) = SENSOR
E D 33 Road’s edge providing stats to fish (7)
Road’s edge providing states to fish (7)
Ways (states) + ide = WAYSIDE
T E 34 On retirement praise for WO (4)
On retirement praise for two (4)
Rev(laud) = DUAL
T X 35 Faux pas to rip old rector (5)
Faux pas to trip old rector (5)
Err (tip) + o (old) + r (rector) = ERROR
E A 36 In canton of Switzerland a stern graduate produces figure of speech (6)
In canton of Switzerland eastern graduate produces figure of speech (6)
Zug around e + MA = ZEUGMA
R M 37 From such seed so many gentlemen (4)
From such seeds or many gentlemen (4)
S P 38 In Spanish river I start to lave with English drunk (7)
In Spanish river I start to slave with English drunk (7)
Ebro round I + s + e = EBRIOSE
L 1 Nyala’s relatives praised aloft (4)
Rev(sung) = GNUS
E 2 A poet from Balearic island having thrown off illness (5)
Mallorca – ml = LORCA
O 3 Enjoined Oscar to beat red stop light (7)
O + (red)* + Red = ORDERED
F 4 The focus point sailor has to acquire (6)
Tar (sailor) + get = TARGET
A 5 A fragrant oil from the South finally out in taps (6, hyphenated)
Rev(attar) + t (the) = RAT-TAT
N 6 Openly cook round fish (6)
Fry (cook) around eel = FREELY
A 8 The ammonites having shells for example (4)
Hidden AMMO
G 9 Dougal’s fits of stubbornness, having a bit of exercise between pauses (6)
E in rests = REESTS
R 10 American, some say, is unfortunately no tenor (7)
(notenor)* = NORTENO
A 15 In painting a medium Margaret’s beginning to imitate old record (6)
Meg (Margaret) + I + lp = MEGILP
M 18 Warm punches and Yule cake in good grammar school (6)
Log (Yule cake) in g g s (good grammar school) = GLOGGS
O 20 Extortionist has gang in Serbia? Not half (7)
Ser (half Serbia) around crew = SCREWER
F 21 It’s fungus causing this umpire to return to game with energy (7)
Rev(ref) + ru (rugby union) + go (energy) = FERRUGO
T 22 A Vatican official with information on railway (6)
Data (information) on ry (railway) = DATARY
W 23 Red wine is lacking success renewing longing (6)
(redwineis – win)* = DESIRE
O 24 Of conifer it’s a leaf? So we hear (6)
DD NEEDLE of conifer’s leaf and sew (homonym of so)
D 26 Pandore, for example, is in grandchild’s territory (6)
Oys (grandchild’s) + ter (territory) = OYSTER
O 29 For orals, perhaps, cut up manuscript (5)
Rev(axe) + ms (manuscript) = EXMS
W 30 A cowshed near the centre of Bayreuth (4)
By + re (centre 2 characters of Bayreuth) = BYRE
N 32 A kind of black or blue colour in Scotland found regularly in bullaces (4)

2 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations No 947 Good Cheer by MynoT”

  1. Newboy says:

    For 11a my workings were
    Norma = rule
    n for knight

    With missing letter ‘a’ Francis becomes Francais ie Frenchman from the north = Norman

  2. twencelas says:

    Newboy – I think I like your explanation. Why not a bilingual clue?
    It was Chambers stating Francis as French in the names section that persuaded me, of my explanation. Both norm and Norma can define rule.
    I suspect a third option (along teh lines of my derivation) could be
    “Knight following rule is a Francis from the north”

    I don’t think there is any ambiguity in the answer though.

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5 + = seven