Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations 1013: Essentials by Rustic

Posted by Dave Hennings on April 21st, 2012

Dave Hennings.

A seemingly straightforward puzzle this week, but I was sure it wouldn’t turn out to be free of a trick or two.

There were no extra/missing letters/words or misprints in the clues, just five unclued entries and five clued without definition. These latter five were reasonably easy to spot, but unfortunately needed modification before entry. Finally there would be a couple of shapes to find and highlight, representing the essentials of a game. What could be simpler?

Well, most of the grid itself was fairly simple. For me, it was 22dn EYECOCK which gave the game away for the five entries without definition and containing the word COCK which needed moving. The unclued entries were R•ED, ROD•, •EDO, •OER and •DER. It had been easy to deduce that they were ROED, RODE, REDO, DOER and ODER respectively, although exactly why remained to be seen.

Enigmatic Variations 1013On to the endgame, and 12dn SUTTLE, together with the moving (ie shuttled) COCKs, was obviously meant to give the game away … badminton. Indeed, we had SH starting 12ac, UTTL in 12dn and ECOCK at 24ac. Or was the COCK the one at 32ac! We were told the shapes consisted of 10 and 11 contiguous cells, but ‘badminton’ only has 9, so that wasn’t quite right, and anyway the shape spelled out by these cells looked a bit odd.

I looked up SHUTTLECOCK in Chambers, and there it told me that it was “an old game played with battledores”. BATTLEDORE was fairly easy to find in the grid, diagonally in the bottom left. It also helped to finally explain the unclued entries: they were all anagrams of DORE. A bit of trial and error, and I finally spotted the exact cells required for the SHUTTLECOCK.

Googling revealed that the game was known as Battledore and Shuttlecock or Jeu de Volant. Finally, a nice bit of information from Chambers, which Rustic probably couldn’t fit in: not to know a B from a battledore means ‘to be thoroughly ignorant’. All in all, a nicely entertaining puzzle from Rustic.

EV gremlin: 15dn – everything points to the island being spelt Fetlar.

Solving time: About 1¾ hours plus another 20 minutes hunting for the ‘essentials’.

Definition in clue
Thematic entries of battled DOREs
Thematic entries of shuttled COCKs
ABC* = anagram
ABC< = reversal
abCDef = hidden

No Entry Clue and Explanation
1 ROED Unclued; anagram of DORE
6 ZOARIA Splendid Arab needs to sweep inside colony’s cells (6)
ZIA (Arabian name meaning splendour) with OAR (sweep) inside; how long are we going to have to live with Chambers’s first names decision? About one clue …
11 OSSIAN Bone heads — Welsh girl and Gaelic bard! (6)
OS (bone) + SIAN (Welsh girl); heads, as in comes before (although I don’t like the dash)
12 SHIELD Protection is maintained around India (6)
S (is) HELD (maintained) around I (India)
13 DONOR Benefactor put on circuit (5)
DON (put on) + OR (logic circuit)
14 CUISSE Scots stallion’s incomplete piece of armour (6)
CUISSE[R] (stallion, Scottish, incomplete)
17 BATON Staff get rooster finally out of farmyard (5)
BARTON (farmyard) – R (roosteR, finally)
18 KAO Pacific island restored tree (3)
OAK< (tree); restored = brought back; Kao is an island in Tonga
19 DESIGN Plan for soldiers to retreat into cave (6)
GIS< (soldiers) in DEN (cave)
22 ELITE Pick landed in middle of breech (5)
LIT (landed) in EE (middle of brEEch)
24 LECOCK A cornfield weed (6)
defining COCKLE
26 YODELS Phrases sung in a particular form from Hebrew letter by golfer (6)
YOD (Hebrew letter) + ELS (golfer Ernie)
28 DOWSE Look for water and plunge into it (5)
2 meanings
32 COCKAL Pioneering aviator (6)
defining ALCOCK; British aviator Sir John William Alcock
33 CAR Charles’s wagon? (3)
2 meanings; Car = Carolus, Charles
34 ETHOS Right away, others disrupted group’s distinctive character (5)
(OTHERS – R (right))*
39 BALHAM Party brought back meat for borough (6)
LAB< (party) + HAM (meat); Balham is a London borough
40 ALOUD Audibly starts off a lot of unneccessary din (5)
initials of A Lot Of Unnecessary Din
41 CELLAR Race reported for a lot of wine (6)
sounds like SELLER (race)
42 BREEZE Old pest for livestock can be a disturbance (6)
2 meanings
43 KELOID Knight oiled damaged scar tissue (6)
K (knight) + OILED*
44 ARAR Tree planted in middle of Mugabe’s capital (4)
[H]ARAR[E] (middle of hARARe, capital of Mugabe’s Zimbabwe)
No Entry Clue and Explanation
1 RODE Unclued; anagram of DORE
2 ESNE Old domestic slave seen working (4)
3 DIORITE Trio die processing granular rock (7)
4 BARB Trim old racehorse (4)
2 meanings
5 INCAN Description of a South American in jail (5)
IN + CAN (jail)
7 OHIO State has brief success in environs of Ontario (4)
HI[T] (brief success) in OO (environs of OhiO)
8 AISNE First class being brought up in French province (5)
AI (first class) + ENS< (being)
9 ILEAC Alice suffering disorder of lower intestine (5)
10 ADCOCKE Decoration worn on hat (7)
definition of COCKADE
12 SUTTLE Obsolete light is delicate it’s said (6)
sounds like SUBTLE (delicate)
15 SKIO Accordingly keeps most of equipment inside hut on Fetla (4)
KI[T] (most of equipment) in SO (accordingly); Fetlar is a small Shetland island
16 DEL Mathematical operator drew it (3)
2 meanings; del = delineavit (L) = (he or she) drew it
20 GELT Good young sow makes a profit (4)
G (good) + ELT (young sow)
21 REDO Unclued; anagram of DORE
22 EYECOCK Part of squint? (7)
definition of COCKEYE
23 ESCHAR Slough school has organ outside (6)
SCH (school) with EAR (organ) outside
25 COCKLEA Canadian humorist (7)
definition of LEACOCK; Stephen Leacock, English-borm Canadian humorist and teacher
27 DORA Little Dorothy’s act (4)
2 meanings; DORA = Defence of the Realm Act; still no Chambers!
29 SAL Upper crust girl? (3)
2 meanings; the upper part of the earth’s crust
30 BABEE Attractive young thing beginning to enchant member of Persian sect (5)
BABE (attractive young thing) + E (beginning to Enchant)
31 HELLO Greeting moor after leaving books (5)
OTHELLO (moor) = OT (books, Old Testament)
32 COMBE Thoroughly search top of Eden valley (5)
COMB (thoroughly search) + E (top of Eden)
35 THAI Oriental injects sea bream with heroin (4)
H (heroin) in TAI (sea bream)
36 SARK Time to leave bare island (4)
STARK (bare) – T (time)
37 DOER Unclued; anagram of DORE
38 ODER Unclued; anagram of DORE


One Response to “Enigmatic Variations 1013: Essentials by Rustic”

  1. Jean says:

    Vraiment un plaisir de pouvoir lire vos articles, très intéressant comme d’habitude. A très vite pour le prochain article.

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