Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations No. 981: Pub Crawl by Shark

Posted by mc_rapper67 on September 3rd, 2011


Now I enjoy a good pub crawl, as much as the next (semi-)alcoholic, apart from the inevitable morning after, but I found this one particularly tough going – almost like suffering the hangover whilst you are out enjoying yourself!

Nineteen corrected misprints would lead to a well known verse, an adaptation of which was then to be found – with four ‘appropriate actions’ then carried out - two to answers before entry in the grid, two to produce the ‘final’ grid. Solvers were then to highlight the surname of the adaptor (which last point I missed in my initial reading of the preamble – schoolboy error! – thus invalidating my posted entry…doh!)

All familiar enough EV devices to experienced solvers, maybe a little daunting to beginners, but in combination and with no indication of how many devices were being applied to each clue – and, for me, some fairly stiff clueing in itself – I think this all combined to make this a toughie. By the Friday, I had only managed to fill part of the NE quarter, and had 7 of the required 19 letters. If I wasn’t blogging this one, I would have thrown in the towel at this point, and I did consider sending an SOS to the EV team, to see if anybody would cover for me.

Some hard slog, intensive use of Chambers, and a fair wind eventually cracked it – with the 19 letters giving ‘…half a pound of treacle…’. Several clues seemed to have a superfluous ‘M’ – ‘that’s the way the money goes’ – so surely it was just a case of removing those Ms, finding the weasel – and maybe some tuppenny rice?

However, there were two answers – SAUTERNE and WERNERITE – which were 4 letters too long, and two – FRY and TINT – that seemed 4 letters short for their entry. Back to that ‘adaptation’ and, with a bit of Googling and Wikipedia-ing, I found it:

Up and down the City Road,
In and out The Eagle,
That’s the way the money goes,
Pop goes the weasel.
W. R. Mandale (also attributed to Charles Twigg)

So the Eagle (ERNE) came out of those two long words, and into the short ones – and, after a bit of searching, DRYTIC in the top right corner came down to be CITY RD. Removing WEASEL diagonally from bottom left resulted in real words spanning the gaps. And, too late for me, Mr Mandale appears in an L shape from the only ‘M’ that wasn’t removed - which explains that little mystery…(only the surname was asked for, but there is ’WR’, his initials, just above the MAN):

Phew – enough to drive one to drink! Many thanks to Shark for such a stiff challenge, and such a wonderful piece of grid/theme construction. My office is just at the bottom end of City Road – might need to pop up the Eagle for a bit more research…!

(Not completely sure on the parsing of 22D – grateful for any better suggestions)

Clue No Corrected Letter Entry/Derived Answer Clue /
1A   FARE Food very much eaten to begin with (4) /
FAR (very much) + E (first letter of Eaten)
7A   RABIC/RABID Sun God has call that is raging (5) /
RA (Egyptian sun-god) + BID (call)
12A H EVERYMAN Zero Hero is always an unknown number to follow my answer (8) /
EVER (always) + Y (an unknown) + M (contraction of ‘my’) + A (answer) + N (number)
13A A RATTLER Pied Piper, perhaps, hiding lire in old couch coach (7) /
RATTER (Pied Piper) around L (Lire)
14A L DOILT/DOILY Top of dirty, greasy face lace paper (5) /
D (first letter of Dirty) + OILY (greasy)
15A F BANIA European cash accepted for big fig tree in India (5) /
BANI (Romanian coinage) + A (accepted)
16A   STEY/STET Back festivals instruction to restore after removal (4) /
STET (Latin – ‘let it stand’) = TETS (Vietnamese festivals) reversed
17A A ETENS Tell Tall old people “head right within young people” (5) /
ETENS (giants) = TEENS (young people) with the first letter moving to the right
19A   TORR/TORI One trailing hill ridges (4) /
TOR (hill) + I (one)
20A P RIGHT Groper Proper produces sudden fear without force (5) /
(F)RIGHT without F (force)
23A   AGE/MAGE Noble not born a Persian priest (3) /
MAG(NAT)E (noble) without NAT (Latin, natus – born)
26A O OE/MOLE Spit Spot from pier (3) /
double defn – MOLE can be a spot, or a breakwater/pier
29A U KESAR One who riled ruled Germans takes a right hiding (5) /
hidden word in taKES A Right
31A N SAUT/SAUTERNE Enter USA surprisingly wise wine (4) /
anag (i.e. surprisingly) of ENTER USA
32A   SALTO/SMALTO Piece of coloured glass almost cracked (5) /
anag (i.e. cracked) of ALMOST
34A   ART/MARTS Vehicle reversed by southern trading places (4) /
MART (tram, reversed) + S (southern)
35A   PEDAL Played roughly cutting end of my plait (5) /
anag (i.e. roughly) of PLA(Y)ED without end of mY
37A D HEPS/HEAPS Loans Loads he apparently has (5) /
HE + AP (abbrev., apparently) + S (contraction of has)
38A   REUNION Island get-together for alumni (7) /
double defn – Réunion being an island in the Indian Ocean
39A O TINTERNE/TINT Colour tune tone television [without volume] during start of Taggart (8) /
T (TV without V – volume) + IN (during) + T (first letter of Taggart)
40A   RITE/WERNERITE Sea snail attached to dam, I extracted rare mineral (5) /
WER (weir, or dam, without I) + NERITE (sea snail)
41A F USED/MUSED Around home counties slob huddled fuddled (4) /
MUD (slob) around SE (South East, or Home Counties)
Clue No Corrected Letter Entry/Derived Answer Clue /
1D   FERNERY/FRY Small fish to be electrocuted in America (7) /
double defn – FRY can be a small fish, as well as to go to the electric chair, in the US)
2D   AVANTI French lawyer against Italian forward (6) /
AV (French, abbr. Avocat, or lawyer) + ANTI (against)
3D T RETIE/RETIME Renewed remit before start of exam to count the minuses minutes again (5) /
anag (i.e. renewed) of REMIT, plus E (first letter of Exam)
4D R HYLA Flog Frog headless groups of animals (4) /
(P)HYLA – groups of animals, missing first letter
5D   OMENTA Folds over pieces to fasten [not good] (6) /
O (over) + MEN (pieces, in chess or draughts) + TA(G) (fasten, without G – good)
6D E WARING/WARMING Boating Beating week having changed margin (6) /
W (week) + anag (i.e. changed) of MARGIN – a WARMING being a colloquialism for a beating
8D   APOSTLE Mark? Stop brewing in malt liquor (7) /
ALE (malt liquor) around anag (i.e. brewing) of POST
9D   BRITONS First half of game with many UK inhabitants (7) /
BRI(DGE) – first half of game – plus TONS – many
10D A IDLERS Set out with the French body of eminent scientists, not American city slickers slackers (6) /
(LA)ID (set out, without LA – US city) + LE (the, in French) + RS (Royal Society)
11D C CIT/DRY Sex Sec is varied without sun (3) /
(SUN)DRY – various – without SUN
14D   DALEKS Mobile enemies in valley near Kyrgyzstan (6) /
DALE (valley) + KS (International Vehicle Registration for Kyrgyzstan)
18D   STOPS/STOEPS Walks about old porches in South Africa (6) /
STEPS (walks) around O (old)
21D   GLUTEI/GLUTAEI Stick around army starting to increase muscles (7) /
GLUE (stick) around TA (Territorial Army), plus I – first letter of Increase
22D   HOTPOT/HOTSPOT Hold on to son with dope in club (7, two words) /
HO (interjection, hold on?) + T (to?) + S (son) + POT (dope)
24D   DROWNED/CROWNED Bird and young Scots hooligan filled with alcoholic liquid (7) /
CROW (bird) + NED (Scottish hooligan)
25D L CARER/CAREER Charge Queen for wife’s life’s progress (6) /
CARE (charge) + ER (Elizabeth Regina, Queen Elizabeth)
27D   EERIE/LEERIE Scottish lamplighter in shelter, finished without pressure (6) /
LEE (shelter) + RI(P)E (finished, without P – pressure)
28D   EIDENT Busy over the border in European short film (6) /
E (European) + IDENT (short film, identifying TV station)
30D   ATTONE Previously together to harmonize (6) /
double (obsolete) defns. ATTONE used to be an adverb – ‘together’; and a verb – ‘to harmonise’
33D E LAIRS Dons Dens are flashily dressed men down under (5) /
double defn.- LAIR being Aussie slang for a flashily dressed man, as well as a den
36D   AUTO Patron stripped in drama (4) /
(F)AUTO(R) – patron, stripped of first & last – auto-da-fe = religious drama
37D   HA/HAWM In this year working men initially lounge about locally (3) /
HA (hoc annum, Latin for ‘this year’) + WM – initial letters of Working Men

3 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations No. 981: Pub Crawl by Shark”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Re 22D, I think it is HO = hold with ‘on’ indicating its position on T = to, as you say, in this down clue.

  2. Tony says:

    Thank you, mc.

    I suspected Pop goes the Weasel was behind this fairly early on but “adaptation” suggested to me that it was going to be something less familiar. In the end, it turned out to be one of the very well known verses. I think “version” would have been a better word to use.

    Also, “to electrocute” would have led to “fry”, I think, and would have made for a fairer clue. “To be electrocuted” led me to think of “fried” for too long.

    Finally, I have never known mud to be called slob.

  3. shark says:

    Thanks mc_rapper67 for a comprehensive blog and I am glad you enjoyed despite it being a challenge (I didnt set out to make it that way).

    I see you spotted the WR above Mandale, this was left out because I thought it was too ambiguous with another R directly below the first A of Mandale. In fact I decided that the highlighting of Mandale was not required at all given the amount to do in the grid, but the editor wanted it added.

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