Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations No.1011 – Title by Piccadilly

Posted by Mister Sting on April 12th, 2012

Mister Sting.

With this sort of DIY grid puzzle, it all depends how easy cold-solving is. So how easy is this going to be? And what’s the puzzle actually called?

In fact, in addition to cold-solving, one has the aid of the grid – in this case, there are only two 4-letter clues and six 7-letter clues. The former, along with a fair portion of the clues, are frankly pretty easy (I’ve spent a lot longer getting this entry ready than I did on the original solve – especially because I lost my original grid and had to do it again).

I could have started in the NE quadrant and attempted a sort of simultaneous solve-and-fill. Instead, given their simplicity, I chose to solve as many of the clues as I could prior to the grid fill, to be as sure as I could be of the grid.

Doing it that way avoided any dramas, and the few trickier (to me, at least) clues fell fairly easily given a few letters).

The last thing to find was the title. It wasn’t hard to spot.


sitting across the vertical bars in the third and tenth rows.

Not a tough solve, this week, just a simple, well-executed idea.

Here’s the grid:

 H  A  M  I  S  H  I  K  U  K  R  I
 S  L  A  N  T  I  N  N  S  I  G  N
 K  O  S            W  N  A  F
 U  N  C  U  R  L  E  V  A  D  N  E
 L  E  A  R  S  O  C  E  L  O  T  C
 L  A  R  E  D  O  T  R  E  S  I  T
 P  L  A  C  E  P  C  Y  N  I  C  S
 A  T  A  R  T  A  R  L  A  M  I  A
 C  A  N  Y  O  N  A  I  D  I  N  G
 I  R  O              L  G  A
 F  I  R  T  R  E  E  A  N  O  A  S
 Y  E  A  N  S  R  S  C  E  R  N  E




There were a couple of editing issues (there is a Telegraph crossword editor, isn’t there?): “Sergeant-at-1aw” shouldn’t have a numeral in it to the best of my knowledge. Also, OCELOT has (6), not (5) characters. The latter is pretty important in a puzzle of this sort, but that’s not Piccadilly’s fault.

(xxx) = definition
[xxx] = (anagram/homophone/container/etc.) indicator
XXX* = anagram
< = reversal
xxx = unused letter(s)
wards=incorrect letter

Please post a comment if the explanations are not clear.

AIDING Changing India, Gandhi’s first in helping (6) helping: [INDIA + G (Gandhi’s first)]* [changing]
ALONE Solitary wail sounded regularly (5) solitary: wAiLsOuNdEd [regularly]
ALTAR For broadcast, modify feature of church (5) feature of church: homonym [for broadcast] of ALTER (modify)
ANOAS Samoan wanting money changed to get oxen (5) oxen: SAmOAN* [wanting Money; changed]
ANTIC Clown, once funny in act (5) clown, once: INACT* [funny]
CANYON Some going in to study ravine (6) ravine: ins. [going in] of ANY (some) in CON (study)
CRAZE Mad race to embrace unknown fad (5) fad: ins. [to embrace] of Z (unknown) in RACE* [mad]
CRYPT Prayer ends in worship at underground chapel (5) underground chapel: CRY (prayer) + PT [ends in worshiP aT]
CYNICS Leaders in ‘Communist Youth News’ invariably criticise stoic philosophers (6) philosophers: Communist Youth News Invariably Criticise Stoic [leaders]
DETOURS Circuitous ways of new route between Germany and  Sweden (7) circuitous ways: ins. [between] of ROUTE* [new] in D (Germany) + S (Sweden)
EVADNE Escape embracing Northern woman (6) woman: ins. [embracing] of N (Northern) in EVADE (escape)
FIR TREE Sack containing bits of timber refills easily — from this? (7, 2 words) semi &lit: ins. of TRE [bits of Timber Refills Easily] [containing] of in FIRE (sack)
HAMISH Scots lad Henry joins Mennonite set (6) Scots lad: H (Henry) + AMISH (Mennonite set)
IGLOO Home in North Italy gets new logo (5) home: I [North Italy] + LOGO* [new]
INFECT Taint of iron and carbon in processed tin (6) taint: ins. of FE (iron) + C (carbon) in TIN* [processed]
INGAN Gardening anthology includes Scottish onion (5) Scottish onion: gardenINGANthology [includes]
INJURE In Japan, river results in damage (6) damage: IN + J (Japan) + URE (river)
INN SIGN Panel outside pub spinning erratically losing power   (7, 2 words) panel outside pub: SpINNING* [losing power; erratically]
INSECT Wretched insignificant person in dissenting body (6) wretched insignificant person: IN + SECT (dissenting body)
KIND Agreeable relations with daughter (4) agreeable: KIN (relations) + D (daughter)
KNAVERY Even Krays, at heart, exploited dishonesty (7) dishonesty: eVENKRAYs* [at heart; exploited]
KUKRI Disgust this country showed over Gurkha’s knife (5) Gurkha’s knife: <[over] IRK (disgust) + UK (this country)
LAMIA Legendary bloodsucker left a note (anonymous) (5) legendary bloodsucker: L (left) + A + MI (note) + A (anonymous)
LAREDO Earl arranged party for American town (6) American town: EARL* [arranged] + DO (party)
LEARS Backing Middle Eastern country — its leader ignored old lessons (5) old lessons: <[backing]iSRAEL (Middle Eastern country)[its leader ignored]
LILAC One in ring climbing tree (5) tree: ins. of I (one) in <[climbing]CALL (ring)
MASCARA Graduate, concealing a blemish, finds cosmetic (7) cosmetic: ins. [concealing] of A SCAR (blemish) in MA (graduate)
NA-DENE In North America and Spain study language (6, hyphenated) language: ins. of DEN (study) in N (North) + A (America) + E (Spain)
NORA Woman is no artist (4) woman: NO + RA (artist)
OCELOT Cat, excited, close to eradicating last of rats (5) cat: CLOsETO* [excited; eradicating last of ratS]
PACIFY Subdue one fellow in smart clothing (6) subdue: ins. [in clothing] of I (one) + F (fellow) in PACY (smart)
PANZER Harshly criticise Zambia concerning overturned tank (6) tank: PAN (harshly criticise) + Z (Zambia) + <[overturned]RE (concerning)
PLACE Find job for programming language expert (5) find job for: PL (programming language) + ACE (expert)
RESIT Half of gauleiters ordered to take exams again (5) take exams again: gauleITERS* [half of; ordered]
SAGAS Heroic tales of commander in special section (5) heroic tales: ins. of AGA (commander) in S (special) + S (section)
SCERNE Distinguish by eye, once screen is adjusted (6) distinguish by eye, once: SCREEN* [adjusted]
SIMILOR Yellow alloy I’m hiding in storage tower right? (7) yellow alloy: ins. [hiding] of IM in SILO (storage tower) + R (right)
SKULL Doctor skilful, if lacking brain (5) brain: SKiLfUL* [doctor; IF lacking]
SLANT Bias of Sergeant-at-law and soldier (5) bias: SL (sergeant-at-law) + ANT (soldier)
STIRS Causes trouble in prisons (5) double definition: causes trouble/prisons
SWALE Son with beer finds a shady place (5) a shady place: S (son) + W (with) + ALE (beer)
TARTAR Two sailors meet a formidable person (6) a formidable person: TAR (sailor) x2
UNCURL Remove roll from our lunch,  removing crusts, and chew (6) remove roll from: oURLUNCh* [removing crusts; chew]
YEANS Gives birth locally? Affirmative, without any nurse, initially (5) gives birth locally: ins. [without] of AN (Any Nurse, initially) in YES (affirmative)

4 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations No.1011 – Title by Piccadilly”

  1. crypticsue says:

    I haven’t done many of these EVs at all and was delighted to finish this one. Lots of new words to learn too – the wordplay for all was very obvious but I needed the Big Red Book to check I wasn’t making them up. Thanks to setter and blogger too.

  2. crypticsue says:

    I just had a thought while out on my walk – if the closing date for this isn’t until Wed 11th, surely this blog should be live after that date. I hope you haven’t reduced my odds of winning the pen by giving away all the answers!

  3. Mister Sting says:

    Hello crypticsue.
    Sorry about the mix up – I didn’t realise that the Telegraph had lengthened the submission window.
    Don’t worry – I have tracked down everyone else who viewed the entry and assassinated them.
    Thanks to Gaufrid for rescheduling.

  4. Chesley says:

    Don’t agree that Piccadilly is entirely blameless for any typos as he will have had the opportunity to proofread his puzzle. However, perhaps he did point out the errors and they were not corrected – I don’t know.

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