Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations 991 To Horse by MynoT

Posted by twencelas on November 12th, 2011


So some clues with extra letters this week, these will reveal a quotation and an anagram of the author. Then the other clues must be modified before entry.  What can be so difficult about that?


Quite a lot was the answer – maybe it was the cold I had at the time, but this was a war of attrition against a host of medium to hard clues. So many abbreviations and non standard ones, at that, were used, that my Chambers (2008) took a battering.

Also, as I would find out the modified answers formed the perimeter of the squares of each quarter of the 12 x 12 grid and there were no long answers to enter to give the sense of progress either (A maximum length of 6 was to be entered). My grid slowly progressed quarter by quarter from the inside out, as it were.

Anyway, to cut to the chase – The extra letters spelt out LORD RONALD SAID and an anagram of the author Stephen Leacock (I must admit that the solution below has an A where there should be an E – any ideas please for 7 down). I’ve convinced myself it’s the resident Telegrah Gremlin who’d also dropped the length of 18 and put the wrong length in for 20. {See comment from Phi below}

The remainder of the quotation being “nothing; he flung himself from the room, flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions.”. Not an author I had encountered before, though in the ODQ his quotation “The landlady of a boarding-house is a parallelogram—that is, an oblong figure, which cannot be described, but which is equal to anything.” amused me. Now there’s an idea for a grid!

So to modify the normal clues required the removal of anagrams of RODE to fit in with the quotation (rode madly off). And that was that – A hard slog with my favourite ingredient missing at the end – something revealed in the grid. I’d say probably the longest I’ve spent on an EV for some time, maybe it was very difficult or maybe paracetamol lowers the IQ but it was a tough one.


* Anagram, Rev Reverse, DD Double Definition

Underline = definition in clue


1 Rod desired Brahms and Liszt at sea (6)

(roddesired)* = DISORDERED became DISRED

5 Ravishing place falling short of America (6)

Pl (Place) + under (falling short) = o (of) + us (America) = PLUDEROUS became PLUNUS

9 Chlorine could be seen around landscape (5)

L        (seen)* around Cl (Chlorine) = SCENE

11 Accumulate a farm thus (5)

O       A + mas (farm) + so (thus) = AMASS

13 Jolly upset about number intended (5)

R       Rm(jolly as in royal marine) + eat (upset) around n (number)  = MEANT

14 Wooden Rex danced badly (6)

D        (r+danced)* = CEDARN

15 Half a cigarette causes illness (3)

R       Marlboro – boro = MAL (Product placement in the EV and for cigarettes!)

16 Put out of countenance once till gloomy (5)

O       Dor  (Put out of countenance) + ear (till once)     = DREAR

17 For Edmund it was long and gray having a long stem (5)

N       Leng (Spenserian word for long) + gy (Grey) = LEGGY

19 City University to revere a nationalist South American (6)

EC (City) + u (university) + adore (revere) + a + n (nationalist) = ECUADOREAN became ECUAAN

21 Liberal Democracy, perhaps, has style right in theory (6)

Mode (style) + r (right) + at(in) + ism (theory) = MODERATISM became MATISM

23 Horsing around deforms her state in first year (6)

(Deformsher)* = FRESHERDOM became FRESHM

26 Place Australian fish in front of Queen’s married sons. Plates with fish? On the contrary (6)

Pl (place) + a(Australian) + cod(fish) + er (queens) + m (married) + s (sons) = PLACODERMS became PLACMS

30 New York’s basic life-form, a business graduate, drinks water (5)

A       A + mba (business graduate) around ea (water) = AMEBA

33 Spud’s to change (5)

L        T (To) + alter (change) = TATER

34 Distinctive doctrine is 16 without a lecturer (5)

D       Dismal – a – l (lecturer)  = ISM

35 Police officer imprisons nasty drunken ruler (6)

S        DS (police officer) around (nasty)* = DYNAST

36 Special charter for Scottish bird (5)

A        S (Special) + Carta (Charter) = SCART

37 Young maiden in New York beginning to manipulate character (5)

I         NY (New York) + m (beginning to manipulate) + phi (Character) = NYMPH

38 Inhabitant of ancient kingdom introduces a new Scottish lament (5)

D        Mede (Inhabitant of Medea) around a + n (new) = MEANE

39 Terribly dangerous to conceal lecturer affected by fatal horse disease (6)

(dangerous+l)* = GLANDEROUS became GLANUS

40 Lone welder could become idler (6)

(lonewelder)* = NE’ER DO WELL became NEWELL


 1 Unable to speak French for the golden insect (6)

Dumb + le Dore (Golden in French?) = DUMBLEDORE entered DUMBLE

2 River is dry in Iowa (5)

A        Sere (Dry) in IA (Iowa) = ISERE

3 Deny spirit returned after recreation (5)

C        Rec (recreation) + Rev(Gin)(spirit) = RENIG

4 A solid figure, at end of yearactive male doctor’s becoming drunk (6)

Dec (end o year) + a (active) + he(male) + dr (doctor) + on (Chambers has this as on the way to being drunk) = DECAHEDRON became DECAHN

5 Some bark softly at rubbish bin, for example, by river with source in mountain (6)

P (soft) + hell (rubbish bin as in any place of misery, I think) + Oder(river) + m (source of mountain) = PHELLODERM became PHELLM

6 Sweet Indian is clothed by Dutch (5)

C       Clad (Clothed) = Du (Dutch) = LADDU (Not in Chambers)

7 Openings in Northumbria accompanied by ram? Not one (5)

E      NE (Northumbria) + Aries (Ram) – i (one)  = NARES

8 Swedish soprano possibly orders most (6)

(ordersmost)* = SODERSTROM became SSTROM

10 Violin at French city is instrument of punishment (6)

E        Gue (Violin) after Caen (French city) = CANGUE

12 Traps when exchanging rook for bishop? Cobblers (as some say)! (5)

E        Snares (Traps) swapping r for b = SNABS (Scottish for cobblers)

18 Return intense dislike for Japanese of lowest class [should be 3]

H       Rev (Hate) = ETA

20 Idiot requests (5)

K        DD Asks (request) = ASS [should be 3]

22 Jewel thief takes postal order from constable (6)

L        Policeman – po (postal order) = ICEMAN

23 Criminally I forged a new time making cheque seem older (6)

(iforgeda + n + t)* = FOREDATING entered FATING

24 Immediately available in Rupees and yen all round Spain (5)

N       R(rupees) + and + y (yen) around e (spain) = READY

25 Uncertainties about poem navy produced for experimental artists … (6)

Mists (uncertainties) around ode (poem) + rn( service as in navy) = MODERNISTS entered MNISTS

26 … of a style rebelling against them in modest porn, perhaps (6)

(modestporn)* = POSTMODERN entered POSTMN

27 Associated with priests, sister introduces expert relating to dowry (6)

Sr (sister) around Ace (expert) + Dotal (related to dowry) = SACERDOTAL entered SACEAL

28 Origins of eastern mother eating trifle (5)

O       E(eastern_ + ma (mother) around toy (trifle) = ETYMA

29 Winfrey maybe gets executed before magistrate in boat (5)

P        Oprah (Winfrey perhaps) – O as in executed (beheaded!) + up (before magistrate) = PRAHU

31 Scot observed bird (5)

S        Mac (Scot) + Saw (observed) = MACAW

32 Elderly rustic neighbour’son hill (5)

T        Bor (rustic neighbour – East Anglian) + Tel (hill) = BOREL

2 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations 991 To Horse by MynoT”

  1. Phi says:

    Northumbria is NE (for North-East). Otherwise ‘Openings’ has to do somewhat uncomfortable double duty as definition and part of wordplay.

  2. twencelas says:

    Many Thanks Phi – as Northumbria is where I live, I have absolutely no excuse for not seeing it.

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