Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations 950: Resident Jokers by Owzat

Posted by Dave Hennings on January 29th, 2011

Dave Hennings.

Typical!! One of my (two) New Year resolutions is to adopt the practice of giving the full clues in my EV blogs. And what happens? I get landed with a puzzle that has 63 of them! Having moaned that, it turned out not to be too difficult once I’d decided how to highlight the definition part of each clue and what tricks I could use in writing the blog. So here it is.

This was in fact Owzat’s first EV puzzle for 11 years, well before my time of solving them, so I have no idea whether he/she generally sets an easier puzzle. The preamble was quite intriguing: we had to deduce a 16 across instruction from a work by 51, consider a revised instruction in the light of 3 and 29, and then complete the grid with three resident jokers.

Having 16ac ending in …HEC.OW.S pretty quickly led to SEND IN THE CLOWNS, a song from the 1973 musical, A Little Night Music, by STEPHEN SONDHEIM who appears at 51ac. 3 and 29 give “Don’t bother, they’re here”, the last two lines from the song, and three clowns can be found at 43ac GRIMALDI, 33dn WETTACH, and 31dn POLIAKOV. Joseph Grimaldi was an English clown way back at the beginning of the 18th cenntury; Charles Wettach (1880 – 1959) was known as Grock; and Nicolai Poliakov (1900 – 1974) was born in Latvia but performed in England for most of his life.

I have to confess that I was still confused by the preamble. The instruction to be deduced was to “send in the clowns”, but they’re already there, so I guess the revised instruction is to “do nothing”! Unless I’m missing something, it does seem a trifle contrived for the preamble’s sake.

However, this was an enjoyable, if easy, puzzle from Owzat … but then EVs don’t all have to be tough.

Solving time: luckily the gods were on my side: the puzzle took only marginally over an hour to complete, so the time saved was used in typing the clues.

Definition in clue
ABC* = anagram
ABC< = reversal
abCDef = hidden

even if it makes a less bizarre surface reading

1 MUDPACK Female cosmetic is rubbish, wrong pad included in it (7)
MUCK (rubbish) including PAD*
7 SCHISMS After short, school Miss organised breaks (7)
SCH (short school) + MISS*;I don’t like misplaced punctuation and would put the comma after “school”
13 FLOOR Base reported defect (5)
sounds like FLAW (defect)
15 EPHEBI Extreme pressure put on male, one attached to both sexes and young Greeks (5)
EP (extreme pressure) + HE (male) + BI (one attached to both sexes?)
16 SEND IN THE CLOWNS (15, 4 words)
18 ACTA Minutes in American court accepted (4)
A (American) + CT (court) + A (accepted)
20 AFRESH Abuse ref has once more
21 YLEM Original matter merely disheartened in recession (4)
23 MISGUIDE Note son and female scout give wrong directions (8)
MI (note) + S (son) + GUIDE (female scout)
26 UP-OVER At university screen’s no top like a door raised to horizontal position (6, hyphenated)
UP (at university) + (c)OVER (screen has no top); see alongside entry up-and-over
27 REDO Catholic excused from belief to try again (4)
CREDO (belief) – C (Catholic)
28 STET Restore after marking for removal road that’s had its central area blocked off (4)
ST(re)ET (road)
30 KOTOW Japanese musical instrument, principally white and fawn (5)
KOTO (Japanese musical instrument) + W (principally White)
32 DISPATCHES Forwards scrap in rough sides (10)
PATCH (scrap) in SIDES*
34 PERAEOPOD O! Dear! Pope cracked crab’s leg (9)
36 FLEETINGLY Run away with sensation for a second (10)
FLEE (run away) + TINGLY (with sensation)
37 ROYST Revel noisily in new story (5)
39 AERY Aged Roy, regularly visionary (4)
AE (aged) + RY (RoY regularly); I’m not particularly keen on this to mean just 1st and 3rd letters in a 3-letter word, but it’s sound
40 LOTI A large number connected with one French writer
LOT (a large number) + I (one)
42 FAIRER More just force help with drying (6)
F (force) + AIRER (help with drying)
46 INGO Reveal Scottish house of no little breadth (4)
BINGO (house!) – B (little breadth)
48 MASKED Short medical screening request concealed (6)
MED (short MEDical) screening (covering) ASK (request)
50 SHEA Type of butter cut right away (4)
SHEAR (cut) – R (right)
51 STEPHEN SONDHEIM (15, 2 words)
54 TONERS People making up without first getting hair preparations
(A)TONERS (people making up, without first)
55 LERNA Learn about place near Argos
56 SURBASE Partly uses a brush over pedestal cornice (7)
in usES A BRUSh<
57 USELESS What energy conservation people advise is no good (7)
USE LESS (advice from eco-people)
2 ULE Polled Christmas tree (3)
(Y)ULE (Christmas, polled)
3 DON’T BOTHER (10, 2 words)
4 POD School case
two meanings
5 ARIAN Maid losing her head is theologian (5)
(M)ARIAN (maid, losing her head)
6 CONFER Give credit to maintain a grasping fellow (6)
CR (credit) maintaining (holding) ONE (a) grasping F (fellow)
7 SCHEME Divers seem to embrace chain in plan (6)
SEEM* embracing C (chain)
8 CUES According to audience, lines getting prompts (4)
sounds like QUEUES
9 HECH City partly invested in hospitals, expression of surprise up north (4)
EC [city (of London), partly] in two Hs (hospitals)
10 SHOYU Ignoring recipe, cook yours with hot Japanese sauce (5)
[YOURS - R (recipe) + H (hot)]*
11 MEWL Heard obstinate person cry (4)
sounds like MULE
12 KISMET King’s Head is convened for a musical (6)
K (King’s head) IS MET (convened)
14 ETRURIAN Trainer worried about University in old Italian state (8)
TRAINER* around U (university)
16 SALUKI Silky-haired dog Lisa flew around country (6)
LISA* around UK (country)
17 LEGATOR Person who leaves something on a hill (7)
LEG (on, as in cricket) + A + TOR (hill)
19 ARVO Canberra PM right about Macau currency! Just the opposite (4)
AVO (Macau currency) about R (right)
22 SPOOLER Sermon about combination of interest one commits to memory (7)
SER (sermon) about POOL (combination of interest)
24 SOAPY Old-timer in case of surgery is like a person in lather (5)
OAP (old-timer) in SY (case of SurgerY)
25 DEEPSET Firmly positioned in satellite, speedily erected (7, hyphenated)
in satelliTE SPEEDily<
29 THEY’RE HERE (10, 2 words)
31 WETTACH (7)
32 DRILL It may be boring down by small stream (5)
D (down) + RILL (small stream)
35 STREAM Master running current
38 OILS Perfume ingredients from ground first to last (4)
SOIL (ground, first letter to last)
39 AGISTS Since keeping substance, charges with tax (6)
AS (since) keeping GIST (substance)
41 TISSUE The outcome is a piece of paper (6)
T (the) ISSUE (outcome)
42 FIENDS No time for duke sheltering close wicked people (6)
FIST (duke) – T (time) sheltering END (close)
44 MOPER Floor cleaner given to the Queen? She’s not happy! (5)
MOP (floor cleaner) + ER (Queen)
45 ADDLE A couple of daughters into beer become confused (5)
DD [two Ds (daughters)] in ALE (beer)
47 GENU Information on universal joint (4)
GEN (information) + U (universal)
48 MESA Same ground in flat-topped hill (4)
49 ANIS Cuckoos from one island (4)
AN (one) + IS (island)
52 HEL He needs Latin goddess (3)
HE + L (Latin)
53 INS I have opposing directions for party members (3)
I + NS (opposing directions, North South); have should be having, for example

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six + = 15