Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations No. 977 – The Red and Whites by Kruger

Posted by mc_rapper67 on August 6th, 2011


With the new football season only a week or two away, and given the title, and the preamble indicating that 8 answers have to be replaced (substituted?), one could be forgiven for expecting this to be footie-related – maybe Kruger is a closet Sunderland fan?…  

As the grid filled up I wasn’t getting any Rooneys, Beckhams or Fabregas-es, but a couple of answers – 13D ELEPHANTS and 32D FLOYD – clearly didn’t match their crossing letters, and even this colour-blind solver soon twigged that it was the mix of red and white – PINK – that was key here.

Eight answers associated with PINK were substituted with words from the eight different definitions of ‘pink’ in Chambers:

  • 1A (PINK) NOISE (interference) became SAILBOAT
  • 16A (PINK) COLLAR became MINNOW
  • 20A (PINK) SLIP became PIGMENT
  • 37A (PINK) SALMON  became EYELET
  • 38A (PINK) POUND became SMALL
  • 32D (PINK) FLOYD became KNOCK
  • 35D (PINK) LADY became PEEP (not PEER, as the preamble directed solvers to the palindromic option)

I vaguely remember a similar method being used before with a multiply-defined word – not sure if that was Kruger, or someone else – but this was a very nicely constructed puzzle, with minimal leafing through Chambers as most of it was all on the same page!

There were some wonderful surface readings – 32D with a chef picking a fight with Loyd Grossman (who wouldn’t?!), 13D with long-memoried elephants lapsing into a confused state, and 39A with CERN scientists excitedly talking about molecular arrangements. Some new (to me) words – RUSTRES for lozenges, MILLIEME, and WIND EGG. All in all, a pleasant puzzle to solve and blog - thank-you Kruger – and thank goodness I didn’t have either of the previous two even-numbered EVs, as they both defeated me…

(Some more sensitive/PC souls may take issue with the use of ‘bananas’ for nuts, or mad/crazy, in 19A…but as David Cameron/Michael Winner would say: ‘Calm down dear, it’s only a thematic crossword…’)

Clue No Entry/Derived Answer Clue (definition in bold)/
1A SAILBOAT/NOISE Interference from one in grass (8) /
I (one) in NOSE (slang for informer, or grass) – thematic substitution
8A AWED Struck with fear before middle of the week (4) /
A (before) + WED (Wednesday, or middle of the – working – week)
12A PLOD Policeman’s heavy walk (4) /
double defn. PLOD can be a heavy walk, or a generic term for a policeman, PC Plod
14A ANNULI Put an end to international rings (6) /
ANNUL (put an end to) + I (international)
15A TUNIC Individual’s back at front with coloured jacket (5) /
TUNI (UNIT, or individual, with last letter first) + C (coloured)
16A MINNOW/COLLAR Seize urn held by creditor (6) /
CR (creditor) containing OLLA (urn, or jug) – thematic substitution
18A CHIPPED IN Harry pinched 1p and paid part of bill (9, 2 words) /
anag (i.e. harry) of PINCHED + IP (1p)
19A ANANAS Baboon initially left nuts and fruit (6) /
ANANAS = BANANAS (mad, or nuts) with B (first letter of baboon) missing
20A PIGMENT/SLIP Lose one’s footing in creamy paste (7) /
double defn. SLIP can be a creamy paste, or to lose one’s step – thematic substitution
23A RUSTRES Regrets swallowing strong lozenges (7) /
RUES (regrets) around STR (strong)
25A GEIGER Physicist Gauss is on mountain (6) /
G (Gauss) + EIGER (Swiss mountain)
29A AGOUTI South American rodent and sloth riddled with disease (6) /
AI (sloth) around, or riddled with, GOUT (disease)
30A COALMAN He may deliver peas in coarse loam in tin (7) /
CAN (tin) around anag (i.e. coarse) of LOAM – peas being small pieces of coal
31A NONSUCH An extraordinary thing is not so great (7) /
NON (not) + SUCH (so great)
32A KNIFED Before end of dispute, strikebreaker is sent back dead – stabbed (6) /
KNIF (FINK, or strikebreaker, backwards) + E (last letter of dispute) + D (dead)
33A TELEPHONE Temper overcomes more than half of very large animals in ring (9) /
TONE (temper) around ELEPH (more than half of elephants, large animals)
37A EYELET/SALMON Disciple catches one oddly limp fish (6) /
SON (disciple) around A (one) + LM (odd letters of LiMp) – thematic substitution
38A SMALL/POUND Struggle on certain sum of money (5) /
double defn. POUND can be to struggle on, as well as a sum of money – thematic substitution
39A STERIC Most of CERN is beginning to talk excitedly of spatial arrangement in molecules (6) /
anag (i.e. excitedly) of CERN I (most of CERN is) + T (beginning to talk)
40A ERAS Longer ascent takes ages (4) /
hidden word in longER AScent
41A SESS Judge loses a pound in tax (4) /
SESS = ASSESS (judge) without AS (Roman unit of weight, a pound)
42A OCKERISM Come and risk stupid boorishness of Australians (8) /
anag (i.e. stupid) of COME and RISK
Clue No Entry/Derived Answer Clue (definition in bold)/
2D ALUMNUS Old boy holding an American in chimney? On the contrary (7) /
AN + US (American) holding LUM (chimney) – i.e. ‘chimney in an American’, not the other way round
3D IONS Institute starts to observe neutrinos (subatomic particles) (4) /
I (institute) plus ONS (first letters of Observe Neutrinos Subatomic)
4D BACCARAT Reportedly help active gunners to finally shoot game (8) /
BACC (homonym of ‘back’, or help) + A (active) + RA (Royal Artillery, gunners) + T (last letter of shooT)
5D OATHS Curses pastoral songs about husband (5) /
OATS (pastoral songs) around H (husband)
6D ANTI-PSYCHOTIC Drug for mental disorder is drunk in treatment of chaotic knight (13) /
anag (i.e. treatment of) CHAOTIC + N (knight), around TIPSY (drunk)
7D QUIP Incomplete Incan mnemonic device is an old knick-knack (4) /
double defn.ish/&lit. QUIPU, or QUIPO, being an Incan set of beads used as a mnemonic, and QUIP having an obsolete usage as a ‘knick-knack’
9D WIND EGG Make one’s way to rear of stage – heartlessly getting the bird won’t materialise from this (7, 2 words) /
WIND (make one’s way) + E (last letter of stage) + GG (GettinG, heartlessley)
10D EUOI Frenzied cry from European over withdrawal of acknowledgement of debt (4) /
E (European) + UOI (IOU, acknowledgement of debt, backwards)
11D DOWNTRENDS Tendencies for falling feathers: wings of tree-creeper close with onset of scabies (10) /
DOWN (feathers) + TR (extreme letters of Tree-creepeR) + END (close) + S (first letter of scabies)
13D DIANTHUS/ELEPHANTS They always remember and then lapse into a confused state (8) /
anag (i.e. confused state) of THEN LAPSE – thematic substitution
17D WARRANTERS They guarantee a long struggle with extravagant preachers (10) /
WAR (long struggle) + RANTERS (preachers)
21D IGBO East Nigerian’s awfully big and round (4) /
anag (i.e. awfully) of BIG, plus O (round)
22D MILLIEME Amelia and yours truly provide bread for Egyptians (8) /
MILLIE (diminutive of Amelia) + ME (your’s truly)
24D EPIC Ben Hur, for example, set record in front of chariot (4) /
EP (record) + I (in) + C (first letter of chariot)
26D EVANESCE Sadly, even aces fade away (8) /
anag (i.e. sadly) of EVEN ACES
27D SONLESS Not being with male child, as has been stated, Lambert’s wearing cape (7) /
SO (as stated) + NESS (headland, or cape) around L (Lambert)
28D PAELLAS All peas are mushy in stews (7) /
anag (i.e. mushy) of ALL PEAS
32D KNOCK/FLOYD Former chef’s starting to fight with Grossman (5) /
F (first letter of fight) + LOYD (TV presenter, Loyd Grossman) – thematic substitution
34D EYRE Jane’s journey? (4) /
double defn. ‘eyre’ being an obsolete word for a journey, or Judge’s circuit, as well as a famous Jane
35D PEEP/LADY In Ayr, lover has unknown mistress (4) /
LAD (Scottish for lover) + Y (unknown) – thematic substitution, PEEP rather than PEER, as per preamble
36D SARI Take in Capuchin’s garment (4) /
SAI (capuchin, monkey) around R (take)

5 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations No. 977 – The Red and Whites by Kruger”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Thanks, mc_rapper67, for the excellent blog and Kruger for an equally excellent puzzle. I’d exactly the same thought as you on seeing the title, which was most intriguing, noting further from the Azed book that Kruger has associations with the North East.

    I got ELEPHANTS early on but it took me quite a while before I got any more of the themed words, and I wondered along the way if the reds and whites might be wines with ‘pink elephants’ the after-effects. When I got FLOYD the ‘pink’ theme was clear and it was easier after that with, as you say, Chambers explaining everything. The very carefully worded preamble was excellent gaving confirmation and the clues were very good and fair in what I found quite a tough puzzle.

  2. Kruger says:

    Thanks for the comprehensive and supportive blog. However, I would like to point out that I am not, never have been and never will be a closet (or indeed open) Sunderland fan!

  3. twencelas says:

    Kruger – perhaps a “Black and white” title could be one for the future, on the assumption that your football allegiance if you have one, is aligned to mine. The strength of your denial is telling.

  4. Raich says:

    Let’s see what happens in a fortnight, on 20 August…

  5. mc_rapper67 says:

    Thanks to nmsindy and Kruger for the feedback – and sorry if I touched a nerve with the Sunderland suggestion!

    Everybody else – let’s keep the tribal football banter/baiting down, and stick to the crosswords!…

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