Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations 983 Lost and Found by Piccadilly

Posted by twencelas on September 17th, 2011


All clues are normal this week! Surely not in an EV – Ah but all answers are modified, that’s more like it and there are some blank squares to boot, exhibiting horizontal symmetry . Much more interesting, so what can be lost and then found?


A lot of anagrams in this weeks clues, whether straight or compound led to quite a lot of answers cold-solved (i.e. without reference to the grid). Now to make some sense of the entry method:


  • The second letter of 1 across was also the second letter of 1 down and the third letter of 1 across was the second letter of 2 down.
  • The length of 1 across was 15 and the grid allowed 13 characters, 1 down was 8 and the grid allowed 6 character
  • The second letter of 3 down was the 5th letter of 1 across
Based on the above, I took a bit of a punt and removed the first letter from each answer in the top left hand corner and everything seemed to fit to a point. The same worked in the top right by removing the last letter of 1 across. So it appeared that each answer needed to lose its first and last letter. This met the instruction in the preamble of “In a consistent way”.
My first clue as to where the blank squares lay came from the bottom right answer UGLY or GL to be entered across 4 squares, as 25 down and 32 down cross checked G and L respectively the first 2 squares of 39 across were blank. Adding the horizontal symmetry and the 2nd and 3rd letters of 38 across (ERO) also had to be blank. Repeating similar logic built up the final grid illustrating the Greek symbol OMEGA (?) in the lower half of the grid and an ALPHA ‘A’ in the upper half of the grid (The Capital Greek Alpha and Omega that is).

Final Grid

So what was lost and found – The beginning and end was lost off each clue and the beginning and end of the Greek alphabet is found in the final grid.
All in all a lovely puzzle, without too much head scratching on the clues, but plenty of fun finding the entry method for them. My belief of what these puzzles are all about – Thanks Piccadilly.
* Anagram
Rev. reverse


1 Green rigging vote: insist on car (15)

(voteinsistoncar)* = CONSERVATIONIST

11 Complete set of books found in republic, once (6)

NT (set of books – new testament) in EIRE (Republic) = ENTIRE

12 Tube made of tin Greek character left about (7)

Can (Tin) + Nu (Greek character) + L (left) + A (about) = CANNULA

13 Any fellow raised in Cameroon and Namibia initially? (7)

Initial letters = AFRICAN

14 Lace caught in hemline mostly unravelled (7)

(c + hemlin)* = MECHLIN

15 Raise room in hospital at the back (8)

Rear (raise) + ward (hospital room) = REARWARD

16 Pleasant smell, unusually nice nose, lacking nothing (7)

(nicenose-o)* = INCENSE

17 Circulate a drug in a newspaper (8)

(adrugina)* = GUARDIAN

18 Regularly urge tabloid ‘Try revealing truth’ (7)


19 Chapel event: hundreds collecting ordinal (8)

Hidden chapel EVENT Hundreds = ELEVENTH

21 Rig lad set up vibrated (8)

(ladsetup)* = PULSATED

26 Constituent is an unreasoning adherent of a faction (8)

Part (constituent) + is + an = PARTISAN

30 Form pairs holding lines for supports (7)

LL (lines) in pairs = PILLARS

33 Showing selfishness, work in renovated cities (8)

Go (work) in (cities)* = EGOISTIC

34 Tricks harmful, used incorrectly (7)

Ill (harmful) + (used)* = ILLUDES

35 Lola, not maid, spilled sherry (11)

(lolanotmaid) = AMONTILLADO

36 Handcuff chap supplying cocaine in festival (7)

Man (chap) + c (cocaine) in ale (festival) = MANACLE

37 Colt leaves stable on NZ stock farm (7)

Statis (stable) – C (colt) = On = STATION

38 Brave man gets new bird (5)

Hero (brave man) + n (new) = HERON

39 Weird guy swallowing lamprey’s head is disquieting (4)

(guy)* around l (lamprey’s head) = UGLY

40 Senior officer has a rifle:  I march nervously (15,hyphenated,)

(has a rifleImarch)* = AIR-CHIEF-MARSHAL


1 Imprisoned and suffered monetary penalty after swindle (8)

Con (swindle) + fined (suffered monetary penalty) = CONFINED

2 Interact strangely following onset of inferiority complex (9)

(I + interact) = INTRICATE

3 Queen Charlotte’s first to wear whitish closely-woven linen (7)

Er (queen) + c in pale (whitish) = PERCALE

4 Newspaper succeeded in appeal to find musician (8)

Organ (newspaper) + s (succeeded) in IT (appeal) = ORGANIST

5 What’s evangelist holding up? Holy scriptures ( 6)

Rev. hidden whATS EVAngelist) = AVESTA

6 Forbidden to behold altar frontal (6)

Tabu (forbidden) + La (to behold) = TABULA

7 Cutting act upset American TV goddess (7)

(American tv – act)* = MINERVA

8 Cape on island will supply building material (8)

C (Cape) + on + Crete (island) = CONCRETE

9 Holiday home abroad is invaded by 90 violent evildoers (8)

Villa (Holiday home) + n (90) in is = VILLAINS

10 It drives gases through bottles, traps air circulating containing oxygen (9)

(traps air + O)* = ASPIRATOR

20 Magic carpet leaving outskirts of Constantinople broke historical edict (9)

(magic carpet – ce)* = PRAGMATIC

22 Cold chisel son dropped spoiled electrotype plate (6)

C (cold) + (chisel –s)* = CLICHE

23 King unwell: boy has energy to find amusements to relieve boredom (8, 2 words)

K (king) + ill (unwell) + tim (boy) + e (energy) = KILL TIME

24 Mother unfortunately  retracted obeisance (6)

Rev (Ma (mother) + Alas (unfortunately)) = SALAAM

25 No moon? Might hold one, a versatile aid to travelling at night (9)

(might hold one a – moon)* = HEADLIGHT

27 Heartless rockers? No; performing, they sing sentimentally (8)

(rocers (heartless rockers) + no)* = CROONERS

28 White wine gets rector excited (5)

Asti (white wine) + R (rector) = ASTIR

29 Lecturer into exercising? If so, fat gradually becomes less(8, 2 words)

(l + if so fat)* = TAILS OFF

31 Nun left in charge (5)

L (left) in care (charge) = CLARE

32 Piece of ricotta in Palermo damaged tooth (8)

(Palermo + r(piece of ricotta))* = PREMOLAR

3 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations 983 Lost and Found by Piccadilly”

  1. Tony says:

    Thanks, twencelas.

    This was slow going for me until I hit on the way of entering the words. The one problem here is that there does not seem to be general agreement on what is horizontal and what is vertical symmetry. The definition depends on whom you ask. Or is there a supreme authority on this who can be consulted?

  2. twencelas says:

    I have done a bit of maths in my time and do agree the preamble was a little bit ambiguous to say the least, and possibly downright wrong.
    The accepted term to apply to a 2D shape, is that if an image exhibits horizontal symmetry then a “mirror” line (or axis) can be drawn horizontally through the image (e.g. ‘C’ or ‘D’) and likewise vertical symmetry is exhibited when a vertical line is drawn through the image to the same effect (e.g. A or Omega here). Chemists/ Crystallographers use the terms frequently in 3D, referring to molecules, and probably deserve to be the accepted authority.
    The preamble stated symmetric horizontally, which is n’t a term of symmetry I’m aware of, but could mean symmetric along the horizon or “vertically symmetric”, to use the accepted mathematical term or be “plane” wrong (excuse the pun). Certainly not as precise as the clueing.

  3. Jack says:

    Really enjoyed puzzle, didn’t put paper down till I’d finished it.

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