Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations No. 1,004: A Trip Out by Warbler

Posted by mc_rapper67 on February 18th, 2012


What delights does Warbler have in store for us with A TRIP OUT? A magical mystery tour? A druggy ‘trip’? Or maybe a wildlife safari – is that ‘OUT’ an anagrind, with TAPIR as A TRIP ‘out’?

The preamble asks the solver to find an extra letter in the wordplay of all but two clues – leading to a quotation, thus leading in turn to 8 entries around the perimeter, and a hidden author, ‘aptly’ displayed… All standard EV devices, although that ‘all but two’ was enough to introduce an element of uncertainty and double checking of clue parsing.

3D & 5D were quite ‘gettable’ early on, and seemed a good place to start – yielding lots of crossing letters. No complaints with the general (excellent) standard of clueing, and a few interestingly obscure words – ARSHIN, WRAXLE, CAUL(D) – which had me thumbing through Chambers to confirm.

The extra letters eventually fell out to give ‘ON WITH THE DANCE, LET JOY BE UNCONFINED’ – confirmed by a quick scan in ODG, once I could see ‘JOY’ and ‘UNCONFINED’, as I was familiar with the phrase, but not the source. Which was Lord Byron, and the quote is from ‘The Eve of Waterloo’.

So, in the end, we were ‘tripping the light fantastic’. Around the perimeter I spotted CHARLESTON first, and then more dances – helped by those two Js in the unchecked letter phrase – JIG; BEBOP; VALETA; TWIST; MINUET; JIVE; SALSA.

I found the 5 letters of BYRON – with two possibilties for the N – but struggled with the phrase ‘aptly displayed’ in the preamble. I looked for some way to involve ‘joy’, or maybe I needed some of the other Bs, Ys, R, etc. in the grid, joined up to make an ‘apt’ shape? In the end, I guessed that it was as displayed below, for my submitted entry. I think I have now twigged that I guessed right – the ‘ON’ has to be next to the first two letters of ‘SALSA’, to chime with the thematic phrase – ‘on’ with ‘the dance.’


I’m not sure if there was any significance of timing involved with the theme – was it the final of Strictly, that week? Anyway, to sum up: a very enjoyable EV from Warbler – ticked plenty of boxes on construction; extra letters; quotation; perimieter entries; and a hidden word! And nearly ‘trip’ped me up with that choice of Ns at the end!

(Presumably out of Warbler’s control, there were a couple of minor gremlins: ‘invered’, rather than ‘inverted’ in 15A; and an incorrect enumeration at 27A, which should have been 9 (or 5-4?), rather than 8.)

Clue No Extra Letter Entry Clue (definition in bold/
Logic/Parsing – extra letters in (B)rackets
8A O ARSHIN Measure swirling rain engulfing most of shop (6) /
anag (i.e. swirling) of RAIN, around SH(O) – most of shop
10A n/a INDRI Mammal’s home found by deserted ruin oddly (5) /
IN (at home) + D (deserted) + RI (odd letters of RuIn)
11A N TABU It is forbidden for drug head to miss last of treatment (4) /
TAB (drug, tablet) + (N)U (nut, or head, without T – last of treatment)
12A W OHMS Leaders of scientific milieu who worked out SI units (4) /
anag (i.e. worked out) of (W)HO + SM (first letters of Scientific Milieu)
14A I TEREBRATE Soak returned drunk, with a sting in the tail perhaps (9) /
TER (ret, or soak, backwards) + EBR(I)ATE (drunk, intoxicated)
15A T LLAMA Cloth cap completely invered (5) /
(T)AM (o’shanter, hat) + ALL (completely) – then inverted (gremlin – invered?)
16A H FOY Boat carrying fine parting gift (3) /
(H)OY (boat) around F (fine)
17A T AERY Spiritual rector quits main channel (4) /
A(T)ERY = ARTERY without R – rector
18A H HOSANNA Girl embraces old style expression glorifying God (7) /
HANNA(H) (girl) around OS (old style)
20A E VOCODER Repaired old covered device for producing synthetic speech (7) /
anag (i.e. repaired) of O (old) + COV(E)RED
22A D CAUL Net in Scottish weir (4) /
double defn, of sorts – CAUL = net, CAUL(D) = Scottish weir, or dam
25A A GAR Pike is silver with a touch of red (3) /
(A)G (Argentum, silver) + A + R (first letter of Red)
26A N ROOPS Leaving Spain Spooner abandoned hoarse sounds (5) /
anag (i.e. abandoned) of SPOO(N)R -Spooner without E – Spain
27A C ORANG-UTAN Weirdly almost all nature can go ape (8, hyphenated) /
anag (i.e. weirdly) of NATUR (most of Nature) + (C)AN GO (gremlin – 9 letters, or 5-4)
29A E DAGO In Madrid James takes part in groundage operation (4) /
hidden word in grounDAG(E) Operations. ‘Dago’ being a (mis)pronounciation of Diego, Spanish for ‘James’
31A L ATOC American fool trips over skunk (4) /
A (American) + TO(L)C (clot, or fool, tripping over)
32A E ENVOI In translation even I love author’s last words (5) /
anag (i.e. in translation) of EV(E)N I + O (love)
33A T PURDAH Placed dagger behind top of rood screen (6) /
PU(T) (placed) + R (top of Rood) + DAH – dagger
Clue No Extra Letter Entry Clue (definition in bold/
Logic/Parsing – extra letters in (B)rackets
1D n/a WRAXLE In Falmouth grapple with bottom of anchor pin (6) /
W (with) + R (last letter of anchoR) + AXLE (pin)
2D J SHUT Locked end of hatch juts out (4) /
anag (i.e. out) of H (last letter of hatcH) + (J)UTS
3D O TIME AND AGAIN Don’t imagine AA’s constituent parts are changing repeatedly (12, 3 words) /
anag (i.e. constituent parts are changing) of D(O)NT IMAGINE AA
4D Y ISH Scot’s issue is good-looking except for daughter (3) /
ISH(Y) – DISHY (good looking) less D (daughter)
5D B NIMBOSTRATUS Rainbringer sadly burst boats after game (12) /
NIM (game) followed by anag (i.e. sadly) of BOATS (B)URST
6D E EDGAR Poe’s unsettling – agreed? (5) /
anag (i.e. unsettling) of AGRE(E)D
7D U TRITON Spin including current time of satellite (6) /
T(U)RN (spin) including I (current) + T (time) + O (of)
9D N NORTHER Norwegian bird maintains height in gale (7) /
NOR (Norwegian) + TER(N) (bird) around H (height)
13D C MARC Scotsman drinks most of vineyard brandy (4) /
MAC (Scotsman) around (C)R – most of ‘cru’ – vineyard
16D O FORETOP Troop of engineers initially assembled nautical platform (7) /
anag (i.e. assembled) of TROOP (O)F plus E (first of engineers)
19D N NAOS Bread distributed round very large temple (4) /
NA(N) (bread) around OS (outsize, very large)
21D F OARING None succeeding in rowing (6) /
O (none) + (F)ARING (succeeding)
23D I UPROAR University academician involved in earlier outcry (6) /
U (university) + PR(I)OR (earlier) around A (Academician)
24D N NAEVI Tipping over middle of spanner damaged vein causing pigmented spots (5) /
NA (middle letters of spANner, turned up) plus (N)EVI – anag (i.e. damaged) of VEIN
28D E NARE Old breathing hole’s close to last of ice (4) /
N(E)AR (close) + E (last letter of icE)
30D D GEO Nearly all of druse found in creek in Orkney (3) /
GEO(D) = nearly all of GEODE – or ‘druse’, a geological term

4 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations No. 1,004: A Trip Out by Warbler”

  1. Dave Hennings says:

    Good blog as usual, mc, and a neat puzzle from Warbler. However, I think there’s an extra gremlin at work: in 24dn, AN aren’t the middle letters of spANner. Not that I can guess what it was meant to be.

  2. mc_rapper67 says:

    Thanks Dave – and good point on 24D.

    Can’t remember what my solving process was, but as I blogged it I put AN(N) as the middle letters of spANNer, with the N as the extra letter…but then there was also an extra N in the agaram of VEI(N) – so I changed it to AN –> NA, and promptly forgot to mention it!

    I think I gave Warbler/the editor the benefit of the doubt by subconsciously reading it as ‘some of the middle-ish letters’ of spANner…

  3. Tony says:

    Thanks, mc. I don’t see what the shading is meant to represent, unless it’s the arms in some disco dance. Nice puzzle though.

  4. Michael says:

    I thought some of the clues were a little far-fetched, for example “faring” for “succeding” (I thought succeeding was faring well) or tablet for drug.
    27A was also marked as being 8 long, and I didn’t count so didn’t get it. Apart from that, I don’t get any joy when I’m constantly reaching for the dictionary – so I guess it’s back to “Sun Quickie” for me!

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