Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations No.960 – Scandal in Bohemia by Salamanca

Posted by Mister Sting on April 9th, 2011

Mister Sting.

The last few EVs have been pretty tough, so I was glad that Salamanca’s offering was on the easy side.

The main bulk of thematic material was found in ten undefined entries. Once the theme was identified, grid population was very swift. The first thematic entry I worked out was SERGEANT, which wasn’t in itself very helpful. However, I was fairly sure 7dn was an anagram,  and a bit of poking about gave me PARPIGNOL, a character from La bohème. This very rapidly paved the way for the other thematic entries (all characters from that opera), which helped things along nicely.

The highlighted entries caused me a little bother. SCANDAL IN BOHEMIA is a Sherlock Holmes story, in which the source of potential scandal is IRENE ADLER, an opera singer. Here name is found as an anagram (I’m not entirely sure why this is a ‘natural’ disguise for her) in 16ac (ERNIE) and 8dn (DALER). This last flourish seemed, if anything, extraneous, although any self-respecting sleuthophile should have been familiar (as I was not) with the story, and the preamble did make it clear who you were looking for.

There were some curious anagram indicators (e.g. racing, scrub, suffuses). While these might have been bothersome if accompanied by more opaque clueing, with the simpler lights they added a certain frisson. Apart from the highlighted clues, which took me almost as long to find as the rest of the puzzle took to complete, a nice little romp.

Two small (nay, miniscule) issues:

Firstly, Reno is not Nevada’s state capital (9dn). That glory falls to Carson City.
Secondly, 13ac is wrongly indicated as having 6 letters.

(xxx) = definition
{xxx} = (anagram/homophone/container/etc.) indicator
XXX* = anagram
< = reversal
xxx = unused letter(s)
SCHAUNARD = thematic entry

Please post a comment if the explanations are not clear.

1 SCHAUNARD US handcar racing (9) No def: USHANDCAR* {racing}
10 HAGG Type of lamprey found round edge of gaseous bog-pool in Scotland (4) bog-pool in Scotland: ins. {found round} of G {edge of Gaseous} in HAG (type of lamprey)
11 CANAAN See one Aramaic leader getting one to Promised Land (6) promised land: C (see) + AN (one) + A {Aramaic leader} + AN (one)
12 RODOLFO Scrub most of odd floor (7) No def: [OD {most of ODd} + FLOOR]* {scrub}
No longer talk as queen enters enclosure (5) talk (arch.) {no longer}: ins. {enters} of R (queen) in PALE (enclosure)
15 FLIPPER Hand from airman grasping edges of prop (7) hand: ins. {grasping} of PP {edges of ProP} in FLIER (airman)
I pick winners – I ne’er fail (5) I pick winners: INEER* (fail)
18 FIRM Stable business (4) Double definition
20 BENOIT Criminal has zero independence (6) No def: ins. {has} of [O (zero) + I (independence)] in BENT (criminal)
22 GOA
Work with a gazelle (3) gazelle: GO (work) + A
23 NIL Catch one out for nothing (3) nothing: NaIL (catch) {one out}
24 WINTON Secure a great amount in Queensland town (6) Queensland town: WIN (secure) + TON (a great amount)
26 TREY Part of the antler – leading features in the rut every year (4) part of the antler: The Rut Every Year {leading features}
Tips a bit of coal onto Scots weighing machine (5) tips: TRON (Scots weighing machine) + C {a bit of Coal} {onto}
29 MUSETTA Times active in pursuit of one of nine, say (7) No def: MUSE (one of nine, say) + [TT (times) + A (active)] {in pursuit}
32 INSET Small picture in corner by TV? (5) small picture in corner: IN (by) + SET (TV)
33 ENTERAL Penetrate indeed to back of the intestines (7) of the intestines: ENTER (penetrate) + <LA (indeed) {to back}
Bit of a memory of captain in Merchant Navy (6) bit of a memory: ins. {in} of NEMO (captain) in MN (merchant navy)
35 UNCI Pouncing with hooks stuck (4) hooks: poUNCIng {stuck}
Orlando in charge? That’s not right (9) No def: [ORLANDO + IC (in charge)]* {not right}
1 SERGEANT Cloth worker in colony (8) No def: SERGE (cloth) + ANT (worker in colony)
2 CHOWRY It’s needed to shoo flies away from food line (6) it’s needed to shoo flies away: CHOW (food) + RY (line)
3 AGONIES Pains in age – so unpleasant (7) pains: INAGESO* {unpleasant}
Guy beginning to leer turning this (4) &lit: [GUY + L {beginning to Leer}]* {turning}
5 NAFF Female devotee leaping up is vulgar (4) vulgar: <[F (female) + FAN (devotee)] {leaping up}
6 RAPIST Criminal is part mad (6) criminal: ISPART* {mad}
7 PARPIGNOL Leader of poisoners gets lax paroling (9) No def: P {leader of Poisoners} + PAROLING* {lax}
8 DALER River at bottom of valley here in Denmark (5) here in Denmark: DALE (valley) + R (river) {at bottom}
Expert from state capital returns (4) expert: <RENO (state capital – see preamble)
11 COLLINE Cocktail without a hint of spirit starting to excite (7) No def: COLLINs (cocktail) {without a hint of Spirit} + E {starting to Excite}
14 UNBLESSED Unholy blueness suffuses duke (9) unholy: BLUENESS* {suffuses} + D (duke)
17 MOISTEN Slightly wet son needs time to recover (7) slightly wet: [SON + TIME]* {to recover}
19 MARCELLO Defence tower’s about for time (8) No def: MARTELLO (defence tower), C (about) replacing T (time)
21 FORFEND Once turn aside from bog in shallow crossing (7) turn aside (arch.) {once}: ins. {in} of FEN (bog) in FORD (shallow crossing)
24 WITTOL Intelligence almost disclosed elderly cuckold (7) cuckold (arch.) {elderly}: WIT (intelligence) + TOLd (disclosed) {almost}
Not just one loud tune (6) not just: UN (one) + F (loud) + AIR (tune)
27 RUNNY King’s fellow in odd liquid (5) liquid: FUNNY (odd), R (King) replacing F (fellow)
29 MIMI Identical notes (4) No def: MI (note) x2
30 ANTI One against a thing that’s raised (4) one against: AN (a) <IT (thing) {raised}
31 STUN Head to strike barrel – may well ____ (4) &lit: S {head to Strike} + TUN (barrel)

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