Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations No. 969 – Prestissimo by Samson

Posted by mc_rapper67 on June 11th, 2011


What a preamble?! An author and one of his works to be found in the grid. Another thematic phrase to be resolved from clashing entries in the grid. And there’s more…

Wow. Educational…eventually…once the direction of the unclued entries was determined.

It all relates to W(illiam) S(chwenk) Gilbert, and his work TopsyTurv(e)yDom – hence reversed entries (with associated confusion)…with the clashing entries giving the following from another WSG work, Ruddigore:


(So, I’m guessing the title, ‘Prestissimo’, relates to the ‘rapid’ patter…)

Hard work, but gettable – nice construction and clueing – a great mid- to hard- level EV, I felt…and I will remember ‘Schwenk’, as WS Gilbert’s middle name, in pub quizzes for many years to come…

Clue No Answer Clue /
11A ANT Tapir misses one insect (3) /
ANTa (tapir) without A (one)
12A SPUD Digging tool tips over losing money (4) /
SPUD = DUmPS (tips, without M – money) over
13A INAPT Brew a pint? Not appropriate (5) /
anag (i.e. brew) of A PINT
14A SKIRT Go along the edge of street carrying drink (5) /
ST (street) around KIR (drink)
15A CUR Short, short dog (3) /
CURt (short, cut short!)
16A LAIRS Retreats from American city tax authorities (5) /
LA (American city) + IRS (Inland Revenue Service, tax authorities)
17A EAST Welfare state provides regular contributions for bridge player (4) /
EAST = regularly space letters of wElfAreStaT
18A LIMY Fifty one extremely messy and sticky (4) /
L (fifty) + I (one) + MY (extreme letters of MessY)
19A FEN Church abandoned barrier in bog (3) /
FENce (barrier) minus CE (Church of England)
20A UNNEST Make homeless compose tunes with an extra note (6) /
anag (i.e compose) of TUNES + N (note)
21A KALI Goddess starting to kiss boxer (4) /
K (first letter of kiss) + ALI (boxer)
24A BEES Heartless beauties – they can bring sweetness (4) /
BEES = BEautiES missing middle letters, or heart
25A TEST River renowned for fishing match (4) /
double defn: test match, and River Test
27A WEAN A new bouncing baby in Scotland? (4) /
anag (i.e. bouncing) of A NEW
28A EUWE Making regular appearances in chess quickwitted former champion (4) /
Regularly spaced letters of chEss qUickWittEd – Max Euwe being a Dutch World Chess Champion
31A ATAP Cooking pasta drop a bit of spaghetti in palm (4) /
anag (i.e. cooking) of PASTA less S (first letter of, or ‘bit of’, spaghetti)
33A CRINGE Stoop to call in Chancellor of the Exchequer (6) /
CE (Chancellor of the Exchequer) around RING (call)
35A HOY Drive on island boat (3) /
Triple defn: HOY = to drive on (e.g. a horse), a Scottish island, and a type of boat
36A AGEE A speck of granite? Mac’s eye’s not fully open in Aberdeen (4) /
A + G (first letter, speck, of granite0 + EE (Scottish for eye) = AGEE being Scottish for ‘ajar’
37A ACAI Purple fruit in Central America eaten by sloth (4) /
AI (sloth) around CA (Central America)
39A SPELL Overs for a bowler to conjure up a bit of magic (5) /
&lit/double defn: SPELL of overs in cricket, magic spell
40A ERA Period drama with music where old Prince disappears (3) /
opERA (drama with music) less O (old) and P (prince)
41A NOOSE No love sex unknown wasted marriage for some (5) /
NO + O (love) + SE (sex with the unknown, ‘x’ discarded)
42A LOSEL Rascal secretly leaves Cyprus (5) /
cLOSELy with CY (Cyprus) discarded
43A TUFT Trade union newspaper crest (4) /
TU (Trade Union) + FT (newspaper)
44A ICI Big company here in France (3) /
&lit/double defn: ICI the company, ici = ‘here’ in French
45A WIDEN Will’s to throw open Women’s Institute’s private room (5) /
WI (Women’s Institute) + DEN (private room)
46A ATTENDING Waiting on Dan get tin heated (9) /
anag (i.e. heated) of DAN GET TIN
Clue No Answer Clue /
1D DHARMA Lawyer accepts injury calling attention to injustice (6) /
DA (District Attorney, lawyer) around HARM (injury)
2D YIPPY Radical in Paraguay following dog’s cry (5) /
YIP (dog’e cry) + PY (Paraguay) – YIPPY being a variant of hippy?
3D VAT Tank tax (3) /
double defn: VAT = tax, vat = tank (of liquid)
4D RUSSEL Philosopher’s unfinished material (6) /
(Bertrand) RUSSELL missing last letter
5D TRIODE Editor changed valve (6) /
anag (i.e. changed) of EDITOR
6D YORKIST Civil war partisan amended one story about King (7) /
anag (i.e. amended) of I (one) + STORY, around K (king)
7D STRETTE Fluid tester takes time making notes quicker at the end (7) /
anag (i.e. fluid) of TESTER + T (time)
8D PRIAL Trinity perhaps in Scripture lesson taken by Father Lambert (5) /
PA (father) + L (Lambert, unit of brightness), around RI (Religious Instruction, lesson)
9D OILS Old Italian – the special paintings (4) /
O (old) + IL (‘the’ in Italian) + S (special)
10D TRATT Restaurant serving up pastry on time (5) /
TRAT (tart, served ‘up’) on T (time) – TRATT being short for trattoria, Italian restaurant
16D YIKE Turn key – I must go in to make alarm sound! (4) /
anag (i.e. turn) of KEY, with I going in
22D INSIDES Vicious piercing girl’s guts (7) /
INES (girl’s name) including SID (Vicious, Sex Pistol)
23D GET LOST In a flap let go, be quiet! Go away! (7, 2 words) /
anag (i.e. in a flap) of LET GO, plus ST (interjection, hush!))
26D SPEY Flower of Scotland played originally in rising, that’s true (4) /
SEY (yes, rising) including P (original letter of played) – ‘flower’ being a flowing river, not a flowering plant
29D UNFORM Rip up military dress with no hint of individuality (6) /
UNiFORM without I (first letter, or hint, of individuality)
30D POSEUR Postal Order sure to confuse one who’s affected (6) /
PO (postal order) plus anag (i.e to confuse) of SURE
32D AGASSI Wimbledon champion once retired is legend (6) /
AGASSI = IS + SAGA (legend), all retired, or reversed
33D CAHOW Dog devouring a seabird (5) /
CHOW (dog) including A
34D RADIO In past era diodes found in this (5) /
&lit-ish, hidden word in ‘eRA DIOdes’
36D AROID Plant giving help around Romania (5) /
AID (help) around RO (Romania)
38D CAST Throw about stone (4) /
CA (circa, about) + ST (stone)
42D LIN Regularly televising waterfall (3) /
regularly spaced letters of teLevIsiNg

2 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations No. 969 – Prestissimo by Samson”

  1. Tony says:

    Thanks, mc.

    It’s worth noting that this was set exactly 100 years to the day when Gilbert died. There are also some references to Gilbert and Sullivan in the clues. For example, 36A, the quotation in the crossword comes from the song “My eyes are fully open”. Then 9D, the show it comes from has paintings that come to life.

  2. mc_rapper67 says:

    Tony – many thanks for the extra info – and gives the theme a more solid context that I had failed to spot…my knowledge of G&S being limited to models of modern major generals, etc.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

eight + = 9