Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations No 975 58,91 by Syd Lexis

Posted by twencelas on July 23rd, 2011


Well what a preamble – redundant letters spell out a phrase concerning one of the puzzle’s numbers. Then it entered the world of Edward Lear, in my opinion – I’ll save decoding its meaning till I’ve solved the clues and see if it makes sense then.

Some tricky clues also this week, though all are perfectly fair, but some very obscure definitions in both the word play and the answers.

Anyway, after much thumbing of Chambers for explanations, the extra letters in the subsidiary indications gave “IN THIS YEAR AN AWARD WENT TO”.

So returning to the preamble

these letters provide a phrase concerning one of the puzzle title’s numbers and, in sequence, the unclued across entries, specifying one or other of the symmetrically positioned pairs of unclued down entries”

The unclued across entries yield -  1 across and 7 across  ACADEMY AWARD and 45 across and 46 across are OSCAR WINNERS.
So, using my best logic, it follows that we're looking for oscar winners in 58 and 91 for the unclued down entries.

1dn and 29 dn are ANTHONY HOPKINS – for Silence of the Lambs in 1991

3dn and 37 dn are DAVID NIVEN – for Separate tables in 1959.

But the preamble is n’t quite finished. ”

After completing the grid solvers should shade two more pairs of words (asymmetrically positioned) also specified by the unclued across

So we’re looking for another 2 oscar winners. These being Woody Allen (No comment – let’s say I’m not a fan and leave it at that) and Carol Reed (1968 Academy Award for Best Director for Oliver) at 2, 8, 9 and 10 down.

So the preamble did make sense in the end, but not the sort of preamble that would entice someone new to attempt this puzzle. For some reason I started thinking of the Plain English campaign see Plain English Campaign.


Underline – Definition

Rev. – Reverse

* Anagram

DD Double definition


I 12 Cattle diseaseonce more found in North America (6)Again (once more) in na (north America) = NAGANA
13 Praiseformer wife a great deal after return (5)Ex (former wife) + Rev.(lot (a great deal)) = EXTOL
N 14 Plant in wheel hub is turned away from main axis (6)Ers (plant) in nave (wheel hub) = AVERSE
15 Fishes, having no yen for the greens(5)Coleys (fishes) – y (yen) = COLES (as in vegetables)
T 16 Knitted goods shops’shoplifters returning income support (7)Hoisters (shop lifting) returning is (income support) giving hositers = HOSIERS
17 Pole with education flew regularly in evening(5)Rod (pole) + ed (education) = RODED
H 18 Rankday of rest — always up north, away (4)Holiday (day of rest) – ay (always up north) = OLID
20 Perth bird’sconfusion with time … (4)Pie (confusion) + t (time) = PIET (Perth as in Scottish)
I 21 and not justfood in Japan (3)Nori (Japanese food) = NOR
23 Orders review of Saturn orbiting earth (7)(Saturn + e)* = NATURES
S 25 Snubs from Scotland to Spain’s upper class youth(6)Sloans(snubs (Scot)) + e (spain) = SLOANE
27 Inclination of road ring round bottom of water foss rebuilt (9)Call (ring) around (r+foss)* = CROSSFALL
Y 30 Turkish governor has partial interest(6)Bey (Turkish governor) + half (partial) = BEHALF
32 Halfpenny to clean old generator(7)Mag (halfpenny – new one on me Chambers definition 3) + net (clean) + o (old) = MAGNETO
E 33 Betel tree cut in curve(3)Areca (betel tree) – a = ARC
36 Boxship’s record at end of voyage (4)Log (ship’s record) + e (end of voyage) = LOGE
A 37 Set back exultation is of smallest range (4)Rev (Paean(exultation)) = NEAP
39 Expression of ignorancefrom two arresting heartless sister (5)Duo (two) around nn (heartless nun) = DUNNO
R 40 In dock losing head Maori’s upset boat(7)Dock – d (head) around (maori)* = OOMIACK
41 Pour hot fat overson in anger (5)Bate (anger) around s (son) = BASTE
A 42 Vacate ground around Italy liable to erupt (6)(vacate + i)* = ACTIVE
43 An age beside one who inspires(5)Era (age) + to (beside) = ERATO
44 After that curse ancient Greek(6)Then (after that) + ban (curse) = THEBAN


2 Scottish miser with nothing in study enclosure(5)Carl (Scottish miser) around o (nothing) = CAROL
A 4 Joinsspoil sign (7)Mar (spoil) + aries (sign) = MARRIES
5 Those backingthe old with early UK tax returns (6)Ye + Rev (sess (tax)) = YESSES
W 6 Doesscatter loosely about without coming back (6)Ex (without) + Rev Strew (scatter) = EXERTS
8 Little manwithout force, left off (5)Wo (without) + odyl (force) – l (left) = WOODY
A 9 Key typeis aluminium and thin (5)Al (aluminium) + lean (thin) = ALLEN
10 Thatching Aberdonian yard for cattle (4)DD = REED
R 11 Ask the German father (6)Der (the german) + sire (father) = DESIRE
15 Pass convict a bit of Etty’s scrappy picture(7)Col (pass) + lag (convict) + e (bit of Etty) = COLLAGE
D 19 Get rid of irritation(4)DD Ditch = ITCH
20 Amino acidfor stroke (7)Pro (for) + line (stroke) = PROLINE
W 22 Admits it once in some parts(4)Owns (admits) + t (it) = ONST
24 Cattle to declare(4)Dd = AVER
E 26 Thought to have been evil, base is on sheltered side(4)Eale (believed to mean evil in Shakespeare) + e (base – log) = ALEE
28 Organ stops acquired — with different notes either side (7)Got (acquired) in fa and ti (notes) = FAGOTTI
N 30 False tale to benefit grass (6)Bam (false) + boon (benefit) = BAMBOO
31 Buoyantlight vehicle covers grass (6)Fly (light vehicle) around oat (grass) = FLOATY
T 32 Childish animal’s trying situation in dispute (6)Cow (trying situation) in moot (dispute) = MOOCOW
34 Endless success after altering rate of flow(5)(ucces)* = CUSEC
T 35 Hindu writings in cavities(5)DD tantra = ANTRA
38 Afternoon tea with right spicy pickle(5)A (afternoon) + cha (tea) + r (right) = ACHAR
O 39 Part of harem is a raised floor (4)Oda (part of harem) + is = DAIS


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+ six = 7