Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations No. 949 – Square By Square by Piccadilly

Posted by mc_rapper67 on January 22nd, 2011

mc_rapper67.

After a few weeks of seasonal/festive-themed EVs, we are back to business with a ‘normal’ EV – but no less enyoyable for that! A fiendish looking preamble – with ALL answers entered ‘cyclically’ and an encoded perimeter, with the code based on two unlued entries. It looked like we were going to be back to business with a bump – but, with a bit of head-down application and, I felt, some relatively gentle clueing, this soon fell into place, and turned out to be my quickest EV solve in a long while – although I still haven’t worked out the relevance/connection of the title…

It made sense to look at the shortest entries first, as there would be fewer permutations to check – and so it turned out…3D had only one letter in common with 11A, so that determined the cyclic start of each of these two – and then 2D and 4D soon followed. Similarly the four-letter 15A quickly determined the entry of 6/7/8D and the first unclued entry, ‘TOM SAWYER’ shone out at me – leading to ‘MARK TWAIN’ in the other.

The coding sequence, incorporating Twain’s real name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, is then:

Code sequence:
M A R K T W I N S U E L G H O C B D F J P Q V X Y Z
T O M S A W Y E R B C D F G H I J K L N P Q U V X Z

Coded phrases:
P U D D N H E A D W I L S O N
P B K K E G C O K W Y D R H E

F O L L O W I N G T H E E Q U A T O R
L H D D H W Y E F A G C C Q B O A H M

R O U G H I N G I T
M H B F G Y E F Y A

Whilst a totally different treatment, the thematic elements of Twain/Clemens and Sawyer, Pudd’nhead Wilson etc. ocurred in a relatively recent EV (912 – Sounding by Loda) – as well as a recent Grauniad Genius by Araucaria, and probably a recent Inquisitor or two(?) – so this helped trigger the pattern recognition – at least for me. Given the recent 100th anniversary of his death, at which milestone he gave permission for his autobiography to be published, I guess it is no surprise that there has been renewed interest, and some good thematic material to work with.

I have to say I found the clueing rather gentle, with a preponderance of anagrams – in fact nine out of eighteen down clues – 1, 6, 7, 12, 17, 19, 20, 21 and 22 – were all full or partial anagrams! However, there is nothing wrong with gentleness, per se – not all EVs can be complete stinkers – and maybe Piccadilly felt the complications of the cycling and encoding were enough to contend with, without messing with our heads with some sadistic clueing as well?!

All in all, a very enjoyable EV, and maybe now the great man himself might quip: ‘the cruciverbal use of my work/passing has now been a teensy bit exaggerated…let’s wait another 100 crosswords or so…’

Across
Clue No Solution Cyclical entry Clue /
Logic/parsing
9A PURSUE RSUEPU Old Jack has girl to chase (6) /
PUR (obsolete for knave, or jack) + SUE (girl)
10A WEAR EARW Scots guard to stand the test of time (4) /
double defn. WEAR being Scottish for guard, or to last/stand the test of time
11A GAIETY YGAIET Finally catching a wild yeti causes merriment (6) /
G (last letter of catching) + A + anag (i.e. wild) of YETI
13A LAYERS ERSLAY Courses philosopher presented in Lesotho (6) /
LS (Lesotho) around AYER (philosopher, Sir Alfred Jules Ayer)
14A CORSAGE GECORSA Small bouquet is to droop in company (7) /
CORE (company, or corps) around SAG (droop)
15A SUET UETS Fatty tissue student regularly secretes (4) /
Regular letters ‘secreted’ from S-t-U-d-E-n-T
16A TOM SAWYER n/a Unclued – thematic (3, 6) /
Thematic – deduced
18A TABOUR BOURTA Drum and tambourine not belonging to me (6) /
TAmBOURine without ‘mine’
23A DIRECT CTDIRE Immediate credit arranged (6) /
anag (i.e. arranged) of CREDIT
25A MARK TWAIN n/a Unclued – thematic (4, 5) /
Thematic – deduced
27A RIOT TRIO I get into corruption and debauchery (4) /
I in ROT (corruption)
28A HARNESS ARNESSH Tackle hard composer – soprano succeeded (7) /
H (hard) + ARNE (composer, Thomas) + S (soprano) + S (succeeded)
29A SERAPH HSERAP Angel: some choose Raphael (6) /
hidden word in chooSE RAPHael
30A DACOIT ACOITD Company lawyer’s first appeal to find robber (6) /
DA (lawyer) + CO (company) + IT (personal magnetism, sex-appeal)
32A SAUL AULS Man is asked for tips in science at university laboratory (4) /
First letters (tips) of Science At University Laboratory
33A BRECON RECONB British tortured crone in Welsh town (6) /
B (British) + anag (i.e. tortured) of CRONE
 
Down
Clue No Solution Cyclical entry Clue /
Logic/parsing
1D VOYAGE YAGEVO Cruise gave most of you hiccups (6) /
anag (i.e. hiccups) of GAVE + YO (most of yo-u)
2D CLARA ARACL Girl left in vehicle beginning to asphyxiate (5) /
CAR (vehicle) containing L (left) + A (first letter of asphyxiate)
3D SIP PSI Drink in small quantities husband removed from vessel (3) /
SHIP (vessel) without H (husband)
4D MARKETS KETSMAR Buys and sells old German currency around Egypt (7) /
MARKS (former German currency) around ET (Egypt)
5D PEAK KPEA Will’s to sneak about summit (4) /
double defn – PEAK being Shakespearean for sneak, or slink around, as well as a summit
6D SEWAGE GESEWA Waste wages foolishly at end of June (6) /
anag (i.e. waste) of WAGES, follwed by E (last letter of June)
7D TYPICAL CALTYPI Clay-pit’s unusual characteristic (7) /
anag (i.e. unusual) of CLAY-PIT
8D SENORA ORASEN Over in Qatar, one sees European woman (6) /
reversed hidden word in QatAR ONE Sees
12D ROTATE EROTAT Turn toaster off, extract fourth piece of toast (6) /
anag (i.e. turn) of TOASTER less S (fourth letter of toaSt)
17D TINCAL ALTINC Crude mineral in talc purified (6) /
anag (i.e. purified) of IN TALC
19D QUARREL UARRELQ Run into Raquel carelessly causing a breach of friendship (7) /
R (run) in anag (i.e. carelessly) of RAQUEL
20D CARACAL LCARACA 2 caught a wild lynx (7) /
anag (i.e. wild) of CLARA (answer to 2D) + C (caught) + A
21D U-BOATS OATSUB Submarines, manoeuvring about, start to submerge (6, hyphenated) /
anag (i.e. manoeuvring) of ABOUT, followed by S (first letter of submerge)
22D KIRSCH HKIRSC Rick’s brewing hard liquor (6) /
anag (i.e. brewing) or RICKS, followed by H (hard)
24D STOWRE RESTOW Formidable old women in shop (6) /
W (women) in STORE (shop) – STOWRE, or stoor, being obsolete for formidable, or stubborn.
26D SIBYL LSIBY Witch is levitating near lake (5) /
SI (is, levitating) + BY (near) + L (lake)
28D GAPE APEG Passage at end of volume makes you yawn (4) /
GAP (passage) + E (last letter of volume)
31D NEO ONE Artificial language finishes off in the Congo (3) /
Last letters (finishes) of iN thE CongO – Neo being an artficial language, invented in 1961 by Italian Arturo Alfandari)

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