Posted by duncanshiell on March 2nd, 2011
The preamble stated that the puzzle is based on of Phi’s favourite poems. The poem features a recurrent phrase, which explains the entry of one normally clued answser. The phrase is connected in the poem with a sequence of other terms. Some of these are unclued answers, others occur as redundant words in clues. Where consecutive clues have redundant words, these words form a two-word thematic term. Wordplay in remaining clues gives the grid entry with an extra letter: these letters in clue order spell out the poet. Solvers must highlight the poem’s title.
It became obvious fairly early on that were quite a lot of clues with redundant words, but none of them made a great deal of sense to me. I got my breakthrough when I had enough extra letters in wordplay to determine that the poet’s Christian name was Louis. A little bit of research established that the poet was LOUIS MACNEICE and the poem was BAGPIPE MUSIC.
The recurrent phrase is NO GO and all the objects subject to NO GO appear as redundant words or as unclued entries in the grid. There are 24 words involved, 19 of them are redundant in the clues and 5 are unclued entries in the grid.
There are many copies of BAGPIPE MUSIC on the Internet and I was going to include a full copy in this blog. However, I note that MACNEICE‘s work is still covered by copyright and some web sites recognise that fact. As I worked most of my life for an organisation that was very rigorous in observing and applying copyright, it would be hypocritical of me to breach copyright rather blatantly. I have therefore just highlighted the lines that are crucial to the puzzle, as follows.
It’s no go the merrygoround, it’s no go the rickshaw,
It’s no go the Yogi-man, it’s no go Blavatsky,
It’s no go your maidenheads, it’s no go your culture,
It’s no go the gossip column, it’s no go the Ceilidh,
It’s no go the Herring Board, it’s no go the Bible,
It’s no go the picture palace, it’s no go the stadium,
It’s no go the country cot with a pot of pink geraniums,
It’s no go the Government grants, it’s no go the elections,
It’s no go my honey love, it’s no go my poppet;
The one clued word that is adjusted before entry is 27 Across – AGONISE – which is entered as ANISE (i.e. there is NO GO). The five words qualified by NO GO that are unclued in the grid are BIBLE (at 1 Across), STADIUM (6 Across), POPPET (16 Across), CEILIDH (37 Across) and MAIDENHEADS (11 Down).
I note that two of the redundant words in the clues – GOVERNMENT and MERRY-GO-ROUND – each have GO within. If these had been non-clued entries would they have been entered as VERNMENT and MERRYROUND?
BAGPIPE MUSIC is spelled out down the diagonal running from top left to bottom right.
I have noticed an increasing trend recently to use foreign words, usually well known, as entries in crosswords. I have noted words from French, Spanish, German and Italian, as well as Latin. The Guardian in particular has had a number of French words as solutions in the last few weeks, and there have been a few in the Saturday Independents that I solve. I don’t know if it just me taking a greater interest in the entries or whether it has always been the case that there has been such a large number of foreign words.
Phi’s clues are generally very smooth, although I think there are one or two occasions here where the requirement to force in some fairly difficult redundant words means that the surface is slightly odd. I didn’t have any difficulty parsing any of the clues (althougn I am happy to be proved wrong).
I was impressed by the way Phi managed to space out the redundant words and the extra letters so there was no ambiguity. I was also impressed by Phi’s ability to get LOUIS in only the Acrosses, and MACNEICE in only the Downs.
All in all, another entertaining puzzle from Phi that helped me pass an enjoyable couple of hours whilst solving it.
|No.||Clues||Word or Letter||Wordplay||Entry|
|13||Spanish princess is murder victim (linked to the French government) (8)||government||IS + ABEL (murder victim; Cain murdered Abel as described in the Book of Genesis) + LA (French for ‘the’)||ISABELLA (Spanish princess)|
|14||Grants moths will show urges, circling a rushlight initially (6)||grants||EGGS (urges) containing (circling) (A + first letter [initially] R of RUSHLIGHT)||EGGARS (moths; variant spelling of EGGERS)|
|17||Moving needles showed impact of pollen (6)||
|Anagram of NEEDLES||NEESED (sneezed, possibly as a result of inhaling pollen)|
|18||Cover for rickshaw mechanism – Chinese warehouse storing American one (7)||rickshaw||HONG (Chinese warehouse) containing (storing) (US [American] + I [one])||HOUSING (cover for mechanism)|
|20||Shakespeare’s set on black rock (5)||
|TAR (black; I can’t find a straight dictionary definition of ‘tar’ as ‘black’ but there is enough in the definitions to align ‘tar’ with ‘black’) + ORE (rock)||TARRE (Shakesperean word for ‘set on’)|
|23||Blavatsky trusted prisoners (mass circulating in prison) (7)||Blavatsky||Anagram of (circulating) MASS contained in (in) PEN (prison)||PASSMEN (prisoners permitted to leave their cells to carry out certain duties; trusted prisoners)|
|25||Girl: "What’s low in calories about fat?" (7)||
|LITE (low in calories) containing (about) SUET (fat)||LISETTE (girl’s name)|
|27||Worry intensely about one’s being restricted by decrepitude (5)||(ON [about] +IS [one’s]) contained in (being restricted by) AGE (decrepitude)||ANISE – (AGONISE [worry intensely], excluding [no] GO, from the theme phrase used throughout the poem [no go …..])|
|28||Regret soldiers start to spurn culture whilst in Engineers (7)||culture||(OR [other ranks; soldiers] + first letter S of [start to] SPURN) contained in (whilst in) REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers)||REMORSE (regret)|
|30||French character allowed a broadside (6)||
|LET (allowed) + TIRE (broadside, as in a volley)||LETTRE (French for ‘letter'; French character)|
|32||Yogi Bear confused about gold Australian plants (6)||Yogi||Anagram of (confused) BEAR containing AU (gold)||BAUERA (a plant of a genus of evergreen shrubs found in Australia)|
|35||Guest distressed man and daughter ate greedily (6)||man||Anagram of (distressed) GUEST + D (daughter)||GUTSED (ate greedily)|
|36||Unfortunate inducement, though not involving a trick (8)||
|ILL (unfortunate) + SUASION (persuasion; inducement) excluding (not involving) A||ILLUSION (trick)|
|38||Payment system about to be applied to market-place merry-go-round (5)||merry-go-round||TRON (market place) + C (about)||TRONC (the system by which tips for waiters, or other staff, are divided; payment system)|
|No.||Clue||Word or Letter||Wordplay||Entry|
|2||Perfect stage villain? (4)||
|IMAGO (the last or perfect stage of an insect’s development)||IAGO (villain in Shakespeare’s Othello; stage villain) ‘stage’ may be doing double duty in this clue ‘perfect stage‘ and ‘stage villain”|
|3||Picture TV character, mostly offensive, in trousers (7)||picture||The first three characters (mostly) of PUSH (offensive, as in ‘the big push’ to win the battle) contained in (in) BAGS (trousers)||BAGPUSS (TV Character in Children’s TV programme of the same name)|
|4||Wide gaps apparently cracking the French palace (5)||palace||AP (apparently) contained in (cracking) LES (French for ‘the’)||LEAPS (wide gaps)|
|5||Country song in Early English (4)||
|AIR (song) contained in (in) EE [EarlyEnglish)||EIRE (country)|
|7||Article found in Pacific island herring, greatly prized item in Auckland (6)||herring||A (indefinite article) contained in (found in) TONGA (Pacific island)||TAONGA ([in Maori culture], anything prized; Auckland being the largest city in New Zealand, home of the Maori people)|
|8||Board declaration over calm death (7)||board||DEC (declaration) + EASE (calm)||DECEASE (death)|
|9||Injuries? I will get special constable (4)||
|I’LL (shortened form of ‘I will’) + SC (special constable)||ILLS (ailments; misfortunes; injuries) possibly, hence the ‘?’)|
|10||Unionist, Liberal, Conservative and left-winger accepting European elections as corrupted (7)||elections||(U [Unionist]) + L [Liberal] + C [Conservative] + RED [socialist; left-winger]) containing (accepting) E (European)||ULCERED (corrupted)|
|12||Cheap calling when roaming causing a headache (11)||
|Anagram of (roaming) CHEAP CALLING||CEPHALALGIC (causing a headache)|
|15||Debris in sea and stream? Identical (6)||
|JET (a narrow spouting stream) + SAME (identical)||JETSAM (goods jettisoned from a ship; goods from a wreck; debris in sea)|
|19||Country doctor to bury last of population (6)||country||INTER (bury) + final letter N of (last of) POPULATION||INTERN (resident assistant surgeon; doctor)|
|21||It’s used to disinfect cot, one squirming with lice (7)||cot||Anagram of (squirming) ONE and LICE||CINEOLE (a disinfectant liquid)|
|22||Fire with lust, possibly – that’d be the opposite of this! (7)||
|Anagram of (possibly) FIRE and LUST||RESTFUL (a word expressing the opposite concept to ‘fire and lust’)|
|24||Moorish customs leading to company gossip (7)||gossip||MORES (customs) + CO (company)||MORESCO (Moorish)|
|26||Quaking upset forward column – one died (6)||column||PERT (forward) reversed (upset) + I (one) + D (died)||TREPID (quaking)|
|29||It’s by no means the gold sovereign (5)||
|COUTER (sovereign)||OUTER (the outermost ring of a target, whose centre is usually gold in colour; by no means the gold)|
|31||Bones found in Oriental honey? Inexplicable (4)||honey||Hidden word (in) ORIENTAL INEXPLICABLE||TALI (ankle-bones)|
|33||I love leaving a single portion for female relative (4)||love||A + UNIT (single portion) excluding (leaving) I||AUNT (female relative)|
|34||Control French monarch (4)||
|REINE (French for ‘Queen'; French monarch)||REIN (control)|