Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations No 959 Hobson’s Choice by Jaques

Posted by twencelas on April 2nd, 2011

twencelas.

Well – what is the Hobson’s choice of the title to be this week to complete it or to complete it? A fairly standard preamble – additional letters in the subsidiary quotation lead to a quote and its originator. Then 36 cells are to be shaded “appropriately”. However, one answer is declared wrong in Chambers – whatever next!

A fair amount of Chambers thumbing this week, both for the entries and their cryptic indicators, but all the clueing seems impeccable. 2 down was interesting as I initially convinced myself that it was ours, but could n’t make the wordplay work, only to find it was in fact OURN. A pitfall to trip up the unwary. 5 down took some effort to parse too.

Once all the clues were resolved the extra letters of the word play yielded the words of a certain H. Ford – commonly known as Henry – a prime exponent of a major scourge of modern society, the production line. In line with that technique of mass manufacture, where the personal touch is not only discouraged, but actively frowned upon, male customers of his could have “Any color that he wants as long as it is black“. As for female customers, he was n’t so prescriptive.

So where were the 36 cells, forming a closed loop. I quickly spotted the colour (reverting to the English spelling of the word) “green”, closely followed by the other colours of the rainbow – in their correct wavelength order, which when combined make up white light. They also neatly formed a T as in the Model T Ford defined by the quotation. As to the appropriate shading – it had to be BLACK . And Hobson’s choice is fulfilled.

L

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

The final grid is above. A very pleasing puzzle, even if the subject matter is not a person I admire. Thanks Jaques

NB.
20 across is in Chambers but declared as wrong pl octopuses, () octopodis (or ); octopi is wrong).

Key: * (Anagram) Rev (Reverse), Underline (definition in clue)

ACROSS

1 A 1 One scratch on piece of wood – clumsy device to simplify calculations (9)
log (piece of wood) + a + rit (scratch) + ham (clumsy) = LOGARITHM
7 N 7 Having diminished power of sensation nothing makes projection into inner ear (4)
numb (diminished power of sensation) + o (nothing) = UMBO
10 Y 10 Show greater embarrassment? Maybe teenager’s not finished clear up in Edinburgh (6)
yout (unfinished teenager – youth) + red (Scottish – to clear up) = OUTRED
11 C Quantity of herring and pike fluctuated (6)
cran (quantity of herring) + ged (pike) = RANGED
12 O Disturbed oysters with a lot of locks (6)
(oysters)* = TRESSY (as in hair)
13 L Offender’s first caught in headlong fall in jug, perhaps (6)
Purler (headlong fall) around o (offender’s first) = POURER
15 O One hitting ball on the full, lovely shot for the romantics it’s too much (8)
(lovely)* + oer (poetic too much) = VOLLEYER
16 R Hypothetical force applied to reverse caries, perhaps reasonable of dental science (13)
Od (hypothetical force) + on + Rev(rot) (caries) + logical (reasonable) = ODONTOLOGICAL
19 T Who goes to abandoned US prison? (8)
(whogoesto)* = HOOSEGOW
20 H Sea creatures getting nothin in photic scattering (6)(o+ photic)*= OCTOPIC
22 A Precious stone of little value corrupted well-to-do men (6)
Gem (precious stone) + mean (little value) = GEMMEN (corruption of gentlemen)
25 T Directing assembly of rigid tent (8)
(rigidtent)* = DIRIGENT
28 H Condemnations enthuse and condemn confusingly (13)(enthuse+condemen)* = DENOUNCEMENTS
30 E Bookseller’s euphemism is aspect not oddly liberated (8)
Facet (aspect) + lIbErAtEd = FACETIAE
32 W Crayon lying unused in Public Library (6)
Waste (unused) in PL (public library) = PASTEL
33 A Beat with the fists and Bill’s warrant is attached to the old gallows (6)
Nub (gallows) + able (to warrant – Shakespeare) = NUBBLE
34 N Distance, one in the country, taking in one’s environment (6)
Mile (distance) around I (one) + un (one dialect) = MILIEU
35 T Abandoned flat in marriage duties made bitter, perhaps (6)
Trew (abandoned i.e. old form of true meaning “flat” ) in bed (marriage duties) = BREWED
36 S Opportune times for slippery characters (4)
Seels (opportune times) = EELS
37 A Quantity of ale is upset, senses awful periods of temperance (9)
Rev (yard) (quantity of ale) + (senses)* = DRYNESSES
DOWN
1 S Missed at game of chance (5)
Lost (missed) + to (at) = LOTTO
2 L Take in Mac’s shelter it’s belonging to us (4)
R (take) in loun (Shelter – Scottish) = OURN
3 O Row before children’s criminal misdemeanours (6)
Oar (row) + sons (childrens) = ARSONS
4 N Change location and move entries (6)
(entries)* = RESITE
5 G Drink nearly a pint in local getting outskirts of Llandovery on the map? (13)
[ go (drink - a specific thing) + log (hebrew measure nearly a pint)]  in topical (local) + ly (outskirts of Llandovery) = TOPOLOGICALLY
6 A Struggle with violent rage making age-old ill-will (7)
Maul (struggle) + (rage)* = MAULGRE
7 S What can become plastic after United Nations loosen controls (6)
Un (united nations) + resin (can make plastic) = UNREIN
8 I Before 250 stand for the dead and hail to widow (7)
Bier (stand for the dead) + e (250 medieval roman numeral) + ave (hail) = BEREAVE
9 T Detective found in yellow river (4)
Det (detective) in or (yellow) = ODER
14 I Morag’s allowed love for Angus no Russian revolutionary? (6)
Loo (Scots form of love) + Rev (niet (Russian for no)) = LOOTEN
17 S Union trail takes in Maine (6)
Me (Maine) in Scent (trail) = CEMENT (verb)
18 B Not pursuing librarian? Could be a bit of fluff (4)
Lib (librarian) + nt (not) = LINT
19 L Criminal having nothing in custody (4)
Hold (custody) around o (nothing) = HOOD
21 A Shakespearean letter apparently that’s something of little value (7)
Ache (aitch Shakespeare) + ap (apparently) + ie (that’s) = CHEAPIE
22 C Cut into ground — depth made a dull sound (7)
(depth)* around cut = PHUTTED
24 K Intellectual apprehension arising from Senior Executive Officer in depression (6)
Rev (sink (depression)) around SEO (Senior Executive Officer) = NOESIS
26 H Tainted picked up oriental instrument to follow a little devil (6)
Imp (little devil) + Rev (erhu (chinese instrument)) = IMPURE
27 F Old fountains exist on plot surrounded by Grammar School (6)
GS (grammar school) around erf (plot) + be (exist) = GERBES
29 O Notice turf’s lifted for races (5)
See (notice) + Rev (sod(turf)) = SEEDS
30 R Woman legally following engineers (4)
F (following) + REME (engineers) = FEME
31 D Lose blood and the old complexion (4)
Bleed (lose blood) = BLEE

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