Posted by duncanshiell on June 22nd, 2011
The preamble stated that unchecked letters of the 10 unclued grid entries, including mutual crossing letters, spell CELIBATE BEDTIME WEEK. The unclued entries could be described by 13 contiguous cells (3,6,4) which extend from top to bottom of the grid. These cells (forming the ’27′?) must be highlighted.
The preamble was fairly succinct and understandable on first read through. Perhaps this was going to be a reasonably easy puzzle, even though I had spotted that there 4 cells that were completely barred off. Presumably we would find that the final 13 cell phrase would involve these cells.
Having solved the puzzle in one session of a couple of hours, I think I would place it towards the easier end of the Inquisitor spectrum, but other solvers may have different views.
It took me a while to deduce the unclued entries, but once I had a couple and had realised the theme, it made the deduction of the rest far easier. I didn’t really use the phrase of unchecked letters other than at the end to deduce MISER.
The theme, was slightly strange being focused on tools that bored holes, but it all hung together well.
The ten unclued entries in normal grid order are:
|19a||CORKSCREW||a device in the shape of a screw for boring into and drawing corks from bottles|
|27a||CENTRE BIT||a joiner’s tool for boring circular holes in wood|
|31a||GIMLET||a small hand-tool with a pointed screw-tip for boring holes in wood|
|35a||AIGUILLE||a slender boring tool|
|38a||TEREBRA||a boring instrument or organ|
|3d||AUGER||a carpenter’s boring tool|
|7d||BRADAWL||a small boring tool|
|9d||WIMBLE||an instrument for boring holes|
|26d||BROACH||tapering, pointed instrument used primarily for boring or rounding holes|
|32d||MISER||a well-boring instrument|
It was GIMLET that helped me get the required spelling of RIEVERS as I would normally spell it with E before the I.
This left the final stage, to find the 3,6,4 phrase, using, as suspected, the 4 unfilled cells. The phrase is THE BORING BITS and the letters form the shape of a CENTRE-BIT (27 across, hence the reference to 27 in the preamble)
The picture below is designed to highlight all the key elements of the puzzle, including the 19 letters that can be anagrammed to form CELIBATE BEDTIME WEEK
The title, REPETITIVE PRACTICE can describe a boring activiity.
This was a pleasant puzzle with precise cluing that produced a few smiles as I solved the puzzle. The parsing I agonised over most was the wordplay at 11a where I struggled a bit with the two Ws in A NEW MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. I decided that one of the Ws had to be an abbreviation for ‘with’ in MEZUZAH w[ith] ANCIENT TWIRL. I am happy to be told that there is an alternative interpretation of the wordplay. I was also a bit confused over the definition of ‘undergarments’ for ALBS at 16 across, but found a definition of ”chasuble’ [spelling corrected - thanks Holy Ghost at comment 1] which said it was worn above the ALB.
I smiled at 2d – SEAFOOD and 4a – IZARDS when I understood the definition.
A pleasant puzzle.
|1||Very square palms (6)||ASSAI (very – a musical term) + S (square)||ASSAIS (South American palm trees)|
|7||Tincture knight’s put on beneath crest (5)||BROW (edge of a hill; crest) + N (knight, in chess)||BROWN (shade of colour; tincture)|
|11||This parchment scroll with ancient twirl could be a new Martin Chuzzlewit hit (7)||An anagram of (hit) A NEW MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT is MEZUZAH W (with) ANCIENT TWIRL, so one phrase could be the other after anagramming.||MEZUZAH (a parchment scroll containing scriptural texts)|
|12||A first-rate bank over in the Middle East (6)||A + reverse of (over) (A1 [first-rate]+ BAR [bank; e.g. sandbank])||ARABIA (an area of the Middle East)|
|13||Stab eternal optimist? – that’s no loss (4)||PANGLOSS (reference Dr Pangloss, a character in Voltaire’s Candide who views everything with unwarranted optimism) excluding (that’s no) LOSS||PANG (a stab of pain)|
|14||Flowering plant, an avens, covering desert (8)||A GEUM (a plant of the Geum genus of the rose family; an avens) containing (covering) RAT (desert, as a verb)||AGERATUM (any plant of the tropical American genus Ageratum with clumps of long-lasting purple flowers)|
|16||Pound invested in all sections for undergarments (4)||LB (pound) contained in (invested in) AS (all sections)||ALBS (undergarments- apparently ALBS can be worn under the chasuble. ALBS are generally defined as ‘vestments’ which are themselves defined as coverings rather than undergarments)|
|17||Ed’s rude boys enthuse over a bit of ska (6)||DROOL (show effusive or lascivious pleasure; enthuse) reversed (over) + first letter of (a bit of) SKA||LOORDS (Edmund Spenser’s word for louts; Ed’s rude boys)|
|18||They keep people staying afloat after hats have changed hands (7)||BOATERS (hats) with (R [right] exchanged for L [left] - changed hands)||BOATELS (boats or ships which function as hotels; they keep people staying afloat)|
|21||Lord in his year working, before sloth (6)||AD (in the year of the Lord) + ON (working) + AI (the three-toed sloth)||ADONIA (a name of God in the Old Testament, usually translated as Lord)|
|24||Sub abandons junior officer once switching sides (6)||SUBALTERN (an officer below the rank of Captain; junior officer) excluding (abandons) SUB||ALTERN (archaic [once] word for alternate, which can mean, of leaves placed singly with change of side at each node)|
|29||Portion cut off in outskirts of the farm (7)||RANCH (farm) contained in (in) TE (the first and last letters of [the outskirts of] THE)||TRANCHE (slice; block or portion cut off)|
|34||A letter that’s very small (4)||IOTA (a very small amount)||IOTA (Greek letter)|
|36||Some energy chucking ball out for a duck? (4)||SOME + E (energy) excluding (chucking out) O (ball)||SMEE (a name for various ducks, such as smew, pochard, wigeon and pintail)|
|37||Greywacke estimated to bear fruit (6)||Hidden word in (to bear) GREYWACKE ESTIMATED||ACKEES (a small African tree, now common in the West Indies and its edible fruit)|
|39||Mews outhouses (5)||SHEDS (moults; casts; mews)||SHEDS (outhouses)|
|40||Assumed one’s advocate is in the marketplace (6)||IS contained in (in) MART (marketplace)||
MARIST (a member of an evangelical Roman Catholic sect emphasizing teaching, preaching and foreign missions, i.e. an advocate of Mary.; reference the Assumption of Mary)
|1||What provides a drop of medication for injection if Paul is unwell? (5)||Anagram of (unwell) PAUL containing first letter M of (a drop of) MEDICATION||AMPUL (a small sealed glass container for a hypodermic dose; what provides a drop of medication)|
|2||A dose of runs? – it might be mussels (7)||Anagram of (runs) A DOSE OF||SEAFOOD (mussels are a type of SEAFOOD)|
|4||Magi head off – they’re well-balanced at a high level (6)||WIZARDS (magi) excluding the first letter W (heads off)||IZARDS (chamois from the Pyrenees mountains; these animals will have a good sense of balance)|
|5||When recalled they’re the same old stories (5)||SAGAS is a palindrome, so when reversed (recalled) the word remains the same – SAGAS||SAGAS (old stories)|
|6||Broad slow movement in a well-known key (5)||Reference KEY LARGO, a well known resort area in the Florida Keys||LARGO (a term in music meaning broad and slow)|
|8||Knock at the door? The terriers back again after their quarry? (7)||RAT (the quarry of a terrier dog) + TA (Territorial Army; Terriers) reversed (back) + TA (Territorial Army; Terriers) again, reversed (back)||RAT-A-TAT (a knocking sound – e.g. a knock at the door)|
|10||New assistant I promoted, though no little saint, is rising in the field (8)||N (new) + (ASSISTANT excluding (no) ST [saint] with the I moved forward two characters [promoted])||NAISSANT (rising or coming forth [in heraldry]; in heraldry a field is the surface of a shield)|
|15||Almost eager as regards apparently thematic element? (5)||BORE (eager; an alternative spelling of eagre) excluding (almost) the final letter E + ON (as regards)||BORON (a non-metallic element), sounding a bit like the theme of the puzzle BORE ON)|
|18||Major German river, you might say, after Belgium becomes the sea (5)||B (International Vehicle Registration for Belgium) + RINE (sounds like [you might say] RHINE [major German river])||BRINE (the sea)|
|19||A couple of alternatives to bottles like in wine shops (8)||CAN (an alternative to a bottle) + TIN (another alternative to a bottle) + AS (like)||CANTINAS (wine shops)|
|20||A sample of intake bless alma mater? (5)||Hidden word in (a sample of) INTAKE BLESS||KEBLE (reference Keble College, Oxford as an alma mater, a term used by alumni to describe their university or college)|
|22||In the minority and gone bust (7)||Anagram of (bust) AND GONE||NONAGED (in the minority or legal infancy)|
|23||Gathers funds, perhaps for a luxury holiday, say? (7)||Sounds like (say) A CRUISE (a luxury holiday)||ACCRUES (gathers funds)|
|25||I’ll go in to back up mostly old Scottish looters (7)||REVERSE (back up) excluding the final letter (mostly) E, containing (go in) I||RIEVERS (an alternate spelling of REIVERS, Scottish looters or plunderers. Usually applied to people of the Scottish Borders. I am a member of an orienteering club in the Borders with the word REIVERS in the title)|
|28||Flower artist primarily and muralist (6)||RIVER (flower; something that flows) + first letter A of (primarily) ARTIST||RIVERA (reference the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera)|
|30||Duck’s egg held in this broke in lift (5)||O (duck’s egg) contained in (held in) an anagram of (broke) THIS||HOIST (lift)|
|31||Robot to move moon vehicle (5)||GO (move) + LEM (Lunar Excursion Module)||GOLEM (robot)|
|33||Tucked into Italian restaurant’s linguine finally as a special occasion (5)||TRAT (Trattoria; Italian restaurant) containing last letter E of (finally) LINGUINE||TREAT (a special occasion)|