Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations 948 – Tradition by Samuel

Posted by Gaufrid on January 15th, 2011


We were told that twenty-five clues contained a superfluous letter or word that needed to be removed before solving and that these would give, in clue order, an abridged definition of a TRADITION. This, in turn, suggested the way in which a further eight answers were to be entered into the grid. The remaining five clues, connected with the theme, did not have a definition.

As I am again standing in at short notice, and my memory of what I solved yesterday, yet alone nearly two weeks ago, is sparse to say the least, there will not be many comments from me, simply an analysis of the puzzle.

The superfluous letters and words in the clues, identified in blue in the analysis below, spelt out:


This is a definition of ‘first-foot‘ and the eight modified answers had FT (foot) moved to the start of the word before entry into the grid. Presumably as eight feet had to be moved this first-foot was an arachnid. Perhaps Samuel was thinking of his fellow setter Scorpion (Arachne would be considered unlucky in most places because of her gender).

The undefined answers were BREAD, DRINK, MONEY, SALT and AULD LANG, the first four being items that a first-foot might bring (oddly ‘coal’ is missing, I thought this was the most well known item) and the fifth is two-thirds of a song that might be being sung at the time. The remaining third, SYNE, was to be written beneath the grid.

Unless my parsing is totally wrong (I’m happy to be corrected!), there is an error in 8dn, something not exactly uncommon in the EV in recent months though usually it is just a case of faulty enumeration.

1 Strain with amateur for title in the end
  BREAD BREED (strain) with A (amateur) replacing [titl]E
5 Couple settled with [F]right for daughter
  PAIR OFF PAID OFF (settled) with R (right) replacing D (daughter)
12 Reach tax[I] after English vessel for grapes
  WINE VAT WIN (reach) E (English) VAT (tax)
13 Note whenever row’s quicker
  FTNIIER NIFTIER : N (note) IF (whenever) TIER (row)
14 Conservative/labour split
  FTCLE CLEFT : C (conservative) LEFT (labour)
15 [R]are society granted subscription
  ASSENT A (are {100 sq m}) S (society) SENT (granted)
17 Obstacle[S] overcoming terrible luck for collier?
  BULK CARRIER *(LUCK) in BARRIER (obstacle)
18 Hall trimmed land destroyed by government
  AULD LANG AUL[a] (hall trimmed) *(LAND) G (government)
21 Run behind crowd
  FTRA RAFT : R (run) AFT (behind)
22 Young child’s fine inside local mound
  FTTO TOFT : F (fine) in TOT (young child)
24 I emphatically disrupted lesson with tips of [T]en fags
  ONE’S SELF *(LESSON E[n] F[ags])
26 More than one semiconductor [PER] month’s getting quiet for dead section
  THERMISTORS THERMIDOR’S (month’s) with ST (quiet) replacing D (dead)
30 Celtic trials for [SON] aged seven
  PROOFS PRO (for) OF (aged) S (seven {medieval Roman numeral})
33 Elf friend acting lame at first, open up [TOE]
  ALWIN A[cting] L[ame] WIN (open up) – see Chambers’ first appendix.
34 Italian poet composed from almost s[N]ooty air
35 [T]allow is put round fancy uncovered instruments
  LANCETS [f]ANC[y] in LET (allow) ‘S (is)
36 [E]we toyed around with a couple of lights
37 Ed’s raised ancient again in vacated lodge
  FTLEE LEFTE : EFT (ancient again) in L[odg]E
1 Post Christmas gift before leaders of annual nativity [R]ace
  BEFANA BEF (before) A[nnual] N[ativity] A[ce]
2 Furrows [H]old oxen knight abandoned
  RUTS RU[n]TS (old oxen knight abandoned)
3 Mistress accepted mud avoiding River [OUSE]
  AMIE A (accepted) MI[r]E (mud avoiding river)
4 Doctor contents of cartridge?
  DRINK DR (doctor) INK (contents of cartridge)
6 I take in terrible alien [AFT], where planes fly?
  AIRLANE I R (take) in *(ALIEN)
7 Drama leaving hell – bring on[E] for Will!
  INFER INFER[no] (drama leaving hell)
8 Abandoning heroin, rising promote[R], 70, replaces grass
  RETURFS FURT[h]ER reversed (abandoning heroin, rising promote) S (70 {medieval Roman numeral}) – unfortunately this gives RETRUFS rather than the required answer.
9 [BEG] force to amend flag
  FALTER F (force) ALTER (amend)
10 Women leaving film start to see lizards
  FTES EFTS : [w]EFT (women leaving film) S[ee]
11 Abused during [INNING], Trinidad’s opener led us out
  INSULTED IN (during) *(T[rinidad] LED US)
16 Affectedly learned set fire to base [OF] paragon
  LITEROSE LIT (set fire to) E (base) ROSE (paragon)
19 Hedge-dwellers co[N]ed rim off
20 Living bird marks bit[E]
  ANIMATE ANI (bird) M (marks) ATE (bit)
23 We halt [W]ailing MP, perhaps
25 Cut short Muslim student that is fool
  FTSOIE SOFTIE : SOFT[a] (cut short Muslin student) IE (that is)
27 Knight quits habit
  MONEY MON[k]EY (knight quits habit)
28 Ton[Y] repeated phrase – excellent
  TRIFF T (ton) RIFF (repeated phrase)
29 Scots shall ultimately graft …
  SALT SAL (Scots shall) [graf]T
31 … section of hippo [EAR] onto camel
  OONT hidden in ‘hippO ONTo’
32 Shortfall without French here? Clever!
  FTDE DEFT : DEF[ici]T (shortfall without French here)

2 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations 948 – Tradition by Samuel”

  1. Dave Hennings says:

    I thought I had finally resolved 8dn, but try as I might I can’t now! The frequency of EV mistakes is getting tiresome, and I’m assuming it’s not Samuel’s error here.

  2. Bob Sage says:

    I have just commented on the gripe a couple of puzzles earlier in that this week’s EV950 has a grid typo…

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