Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations 100003 Round Number by Nutmeg (Online 25/12/2011)

Posted by twencelas on January 7th, 2012


Well a crossword published on Christmas day and what a preamble!

  • There are three conflicts to resolve symbolically (historic events).
  • There are historic events to highlight in the completed grid
  • There are 3 letters to be removed from 6 clues before solving which need to be associated to two of the solutions
  • A number then needs to be written under the grid being the distance between some of the above
Have I been overdoing the port?
Anyway, as with all crosswords, start with the clues and then try and make sense of the preamble. Afterall, all bar 6 of the clues are straight, with no extra or missing letters in either the clue or the solutions.
To be honest, the clues were on the wrong side of tricky for me at Christmas time and it took a couple of sittings and half a kilo of salted peanuts to get my head around all of this puzzle.
Firstly the conflicts were easily identified by the word lengths given not matching the spaces in the grid and refer to famous battles
  •  (1ac and 1dn) BALAs rubies and CLAVAted = BALACLAVA (1854)
  • 21ac and 18dn lowesWATER and fLOOdgates = WATERLOO (1815)
  • 29dn and 32 ac cHArge and coSTINGS = HASTINGS (1066)
I replaced these with crossed swords being the OS symbol for a battle site.
Then the two historic events hidden in the grid
  • MAGNA CARTA (1215)
  • FIRE  OF LONDON (1666)
Waterloo and Magna Carta are 600 years apart, as are Hastings and the great fire of London (not the one this year!).
So that leaves Balaclava in 1854 to be associated with the extra letters in 6 clues which turned out to be LEA GUE LEA GUE LEA GUE (or half a league in each of the clues) and the two solutions CHARGE and LIGHT leading to  the 3rd connection to 600 “The Charge of the Light Brigade” immortalised by Alfred Lord Tennyson with the words:
“Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.”
Sent to their deaths by pig-ignorant generals – why do the British feel the need to celebrate such blatant disregard for human life?
Anyway, all in all a very pleasing puzzle and not a mince pie in sight – 600 being the round number.
Underlined – definition in clue
* Anagram
Rev. reverse
DD Double Definition


1 Club-shaped vessel and base coated at sides (8)

Clad (coated) around vat (vessel) + e (base as in logs) = CLAVATED

4 Bringer of refreshment essential to workers and management (7)

Hidden workerS AND MANagement = SANDMAN (a fairy who supposedly puts children to sleep at bedtime by sprinkling sand on their eyes)

10 Secure Arab boy’s release finally in place of trial (6)

E (end of release) in Salem (as in Witch trials) = SALEEM

11 Greek pipes supply UAR oil without leaking (5) LEA

Greek pipes supply UAR oil without king

(uar + oil – r(king))* = AULOI

12 French love? It’s become more costly, Sabbath excluded (4)

Risen (become more costly) – s (Sabbath) = RIEN (French word for nothing)

13 Encompassing goal, made changes? (7)

End in (made)* = AMENDED

14 Formal attire, say, worn by adult in business centre (7, 2 words)

Town (business centre) around eg (say) around a (adult) = TEA GOWN

16 Character responsible for tragic girl’s loss of tongue? (3) GUE

Character responsible for tragic girl’s loss of ton? (3)

Tess (as in Tess of the d’urbervilles) – t (ton) = ESS

17 Young Romans on the spot in Disney film (7)

In (on the spot) in Bambi (Disney film) = BAMBINI

19 Sour bread popular at start of Jazz Age (6)

In (popular) + j (start of jazz) + era (age) = INJERA

21 Sound of cow, Jersey moving east in Lakeland spot (10)

Low (sound of cow) + sweater moving e = LOWESWATER

22 Swallow up last traces of vile potion fearing return of disease (6)

E + n + g (last of vile potion fearing) + Rev(flu) = ENGULF

26 Realised woman’s taken in by rogue (6)

Cad (rogue) around she (woman) = CASHED

30 Allowing leader to leave in middle of storm? (7)

Granting (allowing) – g (leader to leave) = RANTING

32 Estimates of small business scams (8)

Co (small business) + stings (scams) = COSTINGS

33 Orgy almost over, young hooligan’s turned out (7)

Rev(Revel – l (orgy)) + ted (young hooligan) = EVERTED

34 Half bust but staying level? (7)

DD A breast (half a lady’s bust) and ABREAST

35 Die and live shunning society (4)

Exist –s (society) = EXIT

36 Pale ale failing to satisfy contract (5) LEA

Pale failing to satisfy contract


37 Potent ague caught by local resident (no Scots stricken) (6) GUE

Potent a caught by local resident (no Scots stricken)

A + c (caught) + native (minus na (no Scots)) = ACTIVE

38 Being in Italian street, abruptly removes what’s offensive (7)

Ens (being) in Cors () = CENSORS

39 Sound of pipe carrying water works in garden (4)

Homonym of Hose = HOES


1 Red stones from Urals crudely stowed by the inexperienced (11, 2 words)

Babies (inexperienced) around (urals)* = BALAS RUBIES

2 Cause of hissing sound made by Asian cooking pot? (6)

Homonym of Thia (Asian) + pan (pot) = TAIPAN (Snake)

3 Bow, welcoming Spain’s rising star (5)

Rev(Bend (bow)) around e (spain) = DENEB

4 Main exposure it’s taken at the coast? (6, 2 words)

Sea (main) + air (exposure) = SEA AIR (As in you take the sea air)

5 Pungent medicine I’m feeding cat thrown up (6, 2 words)

Rev (Lion (cat)) around im = NIM OIL

6 Dealer regularly docked timber, giving concern in Korea once (6)

DeAlEr (dealer regularly) + wood – d (docked timber) = DAEWOO (Korean company)

7 Tree’s less on top after polling (5)

Balder (less on top) – b (polling as in taking the top off) = ALDER

8 Seniors at sea lacking right perception (6)

(seniors – r)* = NOESIS

9 In friendly spirit, Dutch game historically began here (4)

Nis (friendly spirit) around d (dutch) = NIDS (Pheasant’s nests)

15 Recent report of amphibians abandoning leat (4) – LEA

Recent report of amphibians abandoning t

Newts (amphibians) – t = NEWS

18 They help canal users get loads of fluid (10)

(get loads of)* = FLOODGATES

20 Hostile guerrillas covering up well (4)

Rev Hidden (hostilE GUErillas) = EUGE

23 Type of acid arising in onion (chopped up) (6)

Rev(in) + Rev(cibol(onion) – l (chopped)) = NIOBIC

24 Toilet trimmed with vaguest potty cloths (6) – GUE

Toilet trimmed with vast potty cloths

Loo – o (toilet trimmed) + (vast)* = LOVATS

25 New company taken on for hospital painting (6)

Fresh (new) with co replacing h (hospital) = FRESCO

27 Those opposed to restricting college capers (6)

Antis (those opposed to) around c (college) = ANTICS

28 Plant that is enthralling very close overhead (6)

Ie (that is ) around v (very) after end (close) = ENDIVE

29 Top up fee (6)


31 Online comment cutting with hard effective force (5)

Tweet (as in twitter) – w (with) + h (hard) = TEETH

32 Animal, one sacrificed by spiritual leader (4)

Calif (spiritual leader) – I (one) = CALF

2 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations 100003 Round Number by Nutmeg (Online 25/12/2011)”

  1. Ernie says:

    I had lovats for 24D.

    Lo(o) + vats (vast*)

  2. twencelas says:

    Ernie – So did I otherwise you don’t get FIRE OF LONDON in the diagonal – I’ve updated the post – many thanks

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

− three = 5