Posted by kenmac on July 6th, 2011
The blog now arriving on platform 152 is the late running 1183 from kenmac.
What a tough offering from Samuel! This puzzle came out on the day of the Sloggers and Betters do in Birmingham and I stared at it on the train on the way there … and stared, and stared. On the way home I’m sure I did a passable impersonation of someone staring, though it made even less sense Maybe the very tasty Tribute ale had something to do with that!
Anyway, eventually with a little divine intervention (you know who you are!) I was able to solve it though I still found the clues quite tough. Samuel seems to have stepped up a gear (now that life’s begun!)
The preamble tells us that the first and last letters of 20 extra words form the first line of a song, which might describe four characters to be found repeatedly in the grid. Their entry method is implied by the second line of the song. Their arch-enemy is clued without definition and their creator is hidden in the grid. Normally, when I know that there are extra words to be found, some of them are reasonably obvious and just leap out but Samuel has done a good job of disguising them here.
Anyway, it turns out that the first song line is THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES and the second line is THEY GO UP DIDDLY UP-UP, THEY GO DOWN DIDDLY DOWN-DOWN! Since the title instructs us to ignore DIDDLY, this means that we’re looking for four characters who can be described as MAGNIFICENT MEN and they have to be entered both UP and DOWN. The four characters in question are BIGGLES, ALGY, GINGER and BERTIE who are incidentally “up there” with all my childhood heroes – I couldn’t get enough Biggles!Finally, 1-across is the answer clued without definition (ERICH) VON STALHEIN and the author (CAPT. W. E.) JOHNS is hiding in the grid.
|1||VON STALHEIN||(none)||ON HALTS (anag: at sea) inside VEIN (vital vessel)|
|8||LACUNAE||Depressions||LAC (vast number)+U[ndergoing] (at first)+NAE (no)|
|10||GEOLOGY||TITAN||Study of rocks||G[reek]+E[xperts]+O[pinions] (initially)+LOGY (dull)|
|11||DOR||HOST||Mock (once)||ROD (bar) (rev: overturned)|
|12||LINGS||OUTWEIGH||(double def)||(double def)|
|13||REIST||Become rank||RE[s]IST (S[apper] leaving)|
|14||ADAGE||SLATE||Old saying||EGAD (oath)+A(bout) (rev: going west)|
|15||GUARANI||ENNUI||South American money||GUAR[d] (D(ied) missing)+ANI (bird)|
|16||SALIENT||MINER||Striking||[i]S ALIEN T[o] (hidden: essentially)|
|19||GLIOSIS||Disorder of the brain||G(erman)+[a]L[b]I[n]O[i]S[m] I[t]S (regularly)|
|20||ELASTIC||ADOLF||Resilient||CIT(izen)S+ALE (fesival) (all rev: returns)|
|22||CHUGS||GIRL||Explosive sounds||C(atholic)+HUGS (embraces)|
|24||GONER||Stiff (as in dead body)||Ooh, err, Mrs. how did this clue get past the censors
[ma]N inside GOER (promiscuous)
|26||ONEGA||NEARBY||Lake in Russia||ONE (joke)+AG (silver) (rev: about)|
|28||GROSSLY||Stupidly||R (take) inside GOSS (holiday mementos)+L[acke]Y emptied)|
|30||INORBED||FOOTMEN||Encircled||BRIDE ON (anag: buggy)|
|31||ASSUREDNESS||Confidence||ASS (fool)+URE (operation)+D[raws] (at the outset)+NESS head)|
|O (love)+N(ew)+IDEAS (anag: to confuse)|
|ONE (anag: ruined)|
|4||THOSE||INVITING||Ones there||T(ime)+HOSE (socks)|
|LA[d]Y (discarding D(aughter))+OUT (in error)|
|6||EULER||Mathematician||[p]ULER (with E (250) instead of P (400))|
|9||CURARI||Poison||CUR (dog)+A[ttack] (beginning)+[c]RI[b] (uncovered)|
|17||LEAN-TOS||ENCYCLOPEDIA||Sheds||LEAN (unprofitable)+TO[me]S (volumes) (without ME)|
|JOHN (can: toilet)+NO (numeric)+[puzzle]S (ultimately)
I wonder if NUMERIC is used correctly here – or have I misunderstood it?
|21||SEERS||THROUGH||Wise men||SE[v]ER (cut through) (heartlesly)+S(ection)|
|22||COOED||MIMI||Spoke fondly||COO[k]ED (tired out) (missing K(ing))|
|23||SAYS||ENLIVEN||Remarks||[as]SAYS (AS leaving)|
|25||URDÉ||NIECE||Pointed||RUDE (anag: out)|
|29||SEE||INMATES||Judge||SEE[m] (lacking M(oney))|