Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations No. 976 Wind by Kcit

Posted by Gaufrid on July 30th, 2011


I haven’t looked at an EV for the best part of four months but when the scheduled blogger wrote to me to say that he had been unable to solve this one I couldn’t resist the challenge. It took me about six hours in two sessions but I got there in the end.

With many answers that had to be modified before entry a lot of cold solving was required but fairly soon it became apparent that the perimeter and some adjacent answers were entered without modification. It then became a case of seeing which crossing answers to normal clues only had a single common letter which allowed these to be entered in the required modified form. As the grid began fill it became possible to return to those clues that hadn’t been cold solved.

The surplus letters in the clues not leading to an answer that needed to be modified before entry gave the statement LOOK AT IT CYCLONICALLY and of course a ‘cyclone’ can be considered synonymous with the two hidden thematic words.

The outline of the shading applied to the affected letters is shown in yellow on the following diagram. The two symmetrically arranged thematic words that wind through this shaded area are TORNADO and TYPHOON and these were to be highlighted in a different colour.

When the appropriate letter (H) has been entered into the central square, the unshaded area in the middle of the grid reads (from left to right, top to bottom): EYE OF THE STORM.

This was a very tricky (not helped by the typo in 27ac!) but enjoyable puzzle and it may even tempt me to add the EV back into my schedule when the summer is over (if it ever starts!). I needed some help to fully understand 25ac, though it was still one of the first I solved simply from the definition ‘city’, and I think there may be an error in the wordplay for 7dn (though I am happy to be corrected if I am wrong).

 {X} = extra letter


1 Simple sport book penned by friend — remarkable (7)
PATBALL B (book) in PA{L} (friend) TALL (remarkable)
7 One may draw tumult once to jail (6)
PENCIL PEN (jail) C{O}IL (tumult once)
11 Feasible Old English Queen’s a remarkable person (5, hyphenated)
ONE-ER ON (feasible) {O} (old) E (English) ER (Queen)
14 Overdraft’s satisfactory, egad! (4)
ODSO OD’S (overdraft’s) O{K} (satisfactory)
15 Disquiet suppressed by German criminal (8)
ANGGSTER GANGSTER –  ANGST (disquiet) in GER (German)
16 Cards showing fickle person securing love (5)
TATRO TAROT – O (love) in TART (fickle person)
17 Recipe the last word in some Japanese cuisine (5)
ARMEN RAMEN – R (recipe) AMEN (the last word)
18 Never coy when rearranging transfer again (8)
19 Wave almost entirely doing for marine creature (4)
SEAL SE[a] (wave almost) AL{L} (entirely)
20 Certainly taken aback, enthralled by dainty jewel (7, hyphenated)
CAETSYE CATS-EYE – YES (certainly) reversed in CATE (dainty)
22 Evoking slime containing fuel, found around Australia (6)
OIOZLY OOZILY – OZ (Australia) in OILY (containing fuel)
24 Policewoman’s behind, tailing Unionist? Take to higher level (6)
UWAPFT UPWAFT – U (Unionist) PW (policewoman) AFT (behind)
27 Hear____ is replaced — uro cashed as result (6)
ESUDCO ESCUDO – ‘hear Escudo’ is an anagram of ‘Euro cashed’ (there was a typo in the clue!)
28 South African lodge is most reasonable (6)
SASNET SANEST – SA (South African) NEST (lodge)
30 Root with twisting network getting bird (7)
ORLTOAN ORTOLAN – *(ROOT) LAN ([local area] network)
33 Scars one with part of sword (4)
HILA HIL{T} (part of sword) I (one)
34 Suggesting I am gambling, losing article? (8)
36 Anguish for Poe in opening line? (5)
DOLRO DOLOR – L (line) in DOOR (opening)
38 Better leg from chicken (5)
APCON CAPON – CAP (better) ON (leg)
40 Item of clothing, a number that’s well-organized (8)
TOGETRHE TOGETHER – TOG (item of clothing) ETHER (a number)
41 I gave wrong information after recalling food shop (4)
DELI I L{I}ED (I gave the wrong information) reversed
42 Curved shapes not right for hair (5)
ESSES {T}[r]ESSES (not right for hair)
43 Fools associate with Government lawyers (6)
CHUMPS CHUM (associate) {C}PS (Government lawyers)
44 Examplars of cruelty distilled in remarks (7)
SADISTS DIST (distilled) in SA{Y}S (remarks)


1 Piano, restrained for jazzman’s group of players (4)
POOL P (piano) {C}OOL (restrained)
2 An opening for date with genuine girl (6)
3 Witness accepting a lot of money, forming legal precedent (8, 2 words)
TESTCEAS TESTCASE – CAS[h] (a lot of money) in TESTE (witness)
4 Target of revolutionaries in French city getting beheaded as well? Not quite (6)
ARITOS ARISTO – [p]ARIS (French city getting beheaded) TO[o] (as well not quite)
5 Moon’s mostly enticement around NASA? Not half (5)
LUARN LUNAR – NA[sa] in LUR[e] (mostly enticement)
6 See a reduction in poverty for one borrowing money? (6)
LANOEE LOANEE – LO (see) A NEE[d] (reduction in poverty)
7 Lyric’s success, taken in by a theatre fan (8, hyphenated)
PLGAYOER PLAYGOER – GO (success) in PLAYER (lyric) – I have been unable to equate ‘lyric’ with ‘player’. The person who plays a lyre or harp is a lyrist.
8 Using belt secures equipment picked up in outer districts (7)
ENGRDIS ENGIRDS – RIG (equipment) reversed in ENDS (outer districts)
9 Astute sovereign ditching queen (4)
CUTE C{O}UTE[r] (sovereign ditching queen)
10 Scottish herald drolly put out over French refusal (8, 2 words)
LORD LYON *(DROLLY) {N}ON (French refusal)
12 Nothing suspect about molybdenum containing metal (6)
OSMSOU OSMOUS O (nothing) MO (molybdenum) in SUS (suspect)
13 Allowing pardon of mercenary (5)
VENAL VEN{I}AL(allowing pardon)
20 African languages? Copper translated Tshi in carbon copy (8)
CUSHITIC CU (copper) *(TSHI) I (in) {C}C (carbon copy)
21 I try to upset American regarding metal (8)
23 Party publications start to show dull attitude (8)
ZDOINESS DOZINESS – DO (party) ZINES (publications) S[how]
25 Mostly threadbare city, a precursor to demise? (6)
PNALES NAPLES– NAPLES[s] (mostly threadbare) – I needed to ask a friend (thanks Eileen) for an explanation for the second half of the clue. Apparently it is a reference to the saying ‘see Naples and die’.
26 Arrangement of hair appropriate to dissolute poet (7)
FEORTOP FORETOP – FOR (appropriate to) *(POET)
29 Verdi opera well sent up? Shame (5)
AIDOS AID{A} (Verdi opera) SO (well) reversed
30 Groups of Indian officials translated ‘Shalom’ (6)
31 Steal pannier? Scots tattled (6)
LYCPED CLYPED – CLY (steal) PED (pannier)
32 Obstruction from net under drooping ornamental chain (6)
ANKLET {L}ANK (drooping) LET (obstruction from net {tennis})
35 Fell over a shield (5)
LPETA PELTA – PELT (fell {skin}) A
37 Secret police once turned up chasing ship’s record (4)
OGPU {L}OG (ship’s record) UP reversed
39 Show of affection is seen in top pictures, looking up (4)
KISS IS in SK{Y} (top pictures) reversed – no, not the movie channels but the upper rows of pictures in a gallery.


3 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations No. 976 Wind by Kcit”

  1. Kcit says:

    There wasn’t a typo in 27a in the proof I sent back. (Well, there was, but I’d circled it and pointed arrows at it. They corrected the other one I spotted, so I can’t absolutely grumble. Well, not as much.)

    PLAY-GOER is LAY (=lyric) + GO (success) in PER (=A). Yeah, PER = A is always nasty, and catches me out when I’m solving as well.

  2. Tony says:

    I thought there was a typo in 44 with examplar for exemplar until I learnt it was an archaic form of the more usual exemplar. Was there a particular reason for using the archaic form?

  3. Mister Sting says:

    As the scheduled blogger, I’d like to thank Mr. G for leaping into the fray when my arms and art failed me.
    It’s a nice-looking puzzle, but, away from my regular solving partner, I just couldn’t quite make the necessary breakthroughs.

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