Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations 1017: Epilogue by Oxymoron

Posted by Dave Hennings on May 19th, 2012

Dave Hennings.

I blogged the last EV Oxymoron puzzle, with its Humphrey Bogart and Sir Isaac Newton theme. That was great fun, so hopefully more of the same here. Single letters were to be dropped from across answers, spelling out part of an Epilogue, and that would indicate how down entries were to be entered.

As usual with an Oxymoron puzzle, a lot of the clues were fairly tricky, and the completed grid was probably in excess of three hours to complete. I normally try and solve most of the grid before trying to suss out any message or quotation revealed by the clues or entries. Luckily, it wasn’t rocket science to work out that the down entries had to lose their first and last letters, and it wasn’t brain surgery to get the quotation (OK, after solving about three-quarters of the clues):

All service ranks the same with God —
With God, whose puppets, best and worst,
Are we: there is no last nor first.

This is from the epilogue of Robert Browning’s Pippa Passes. Browning himself appeared at 11dn, topped and tailed. With ••BERT•R•WNIN• in place it was relatively easy to see the poet, but I still needed the ODQ to identify the poem.

A solid puzzle from Oxymoron, with a readily identifiable treatment of the downs (unlike some puzzles recently). Not that I’m complaining!

EV gremlin: ‘Italalian’ at 23ac should be ‘Italian’.

Definition in clue
X = letter dropped from across enties and head/tail letters missing from down entries
ABC* = anagram
ABC< = reversal
abCDef = hidden

EV 1017

No Entry Omitted
Clue and Explanation
1 RHIPIDATE T Fan-shaped joint I had installed in Standard (9)
HIP (joint) I’D (I had) in RATE (standard)
7 TANNAH H Bombay’s Nick Brown? No! (6)
TAN (brown) + NAH (no); ‘nick’ as in prison
12 INCURABLE E Enclose sort of TV containing alternate components of UART terminal (9)
IN (enclose) CABLE (sort of TV) containing UR (alternate letters of UaRt)
13 BLUEBIRD R Unhappy time for a nest builder (8)
BLUE (unhappy) BIRD (time, as in prison sentence)
14 SPAEMAN E Fortune teller taking $100 from astronaut (7)
SPACEMAN (astronaut) – C ($100)
15 ETAERIO I Such as a strawberry tree swaying across a Spanish river (7)
TREE* across A + RIO (Spanish for river)
16 RISOLUTO S Gentleman turned over unruly lout with boldness (8)
SIR< (gentleman) + O (over) + LOUT*
18 RETAILING N Soldiers poorly after the flogging (9)
RE (soldiers) + AILING (poorly) after T (the)
20 TRIPOD O A stand made by trustee at independent school (6)
TR (trustee) + I (independent) + POD (school)
23 LIPPIER L Comparatively saucy Italalian painter presented to the queen (7)
LIPPI (Italian painter) + ER (queen); there were two Italian painters called Lippi, father and son; coincidentally (but who knows with Oxymoron), the father was the subject of a Browning poem
25 GALERE A Convict going back to Spain engineers a situation that’s not pleasant (6)
LAG< (convict) + E (Spain) + RE (engineers)
27 RESTATE S Repeat the words on stage (7)
RE (on) + STATE (stage)
29 NICEST T City in France, quiet and most friendly (6)
NICE (city in France) + ST (quiet)
31 GOLDFINCH N Small island on Dee circled by game bird (9)
INCH (small island) on (ie after) D (dee) circled by GOLF (game)
33 WARRIORS O Fighters with sharp edge protecting old king (8)
W (with) + ARRIS (sharp edge) around O (old) R (king)
34 VITREUM R Six months penning a translation of True Humour (7)
VI (six) M (months) about TRUE*
36 NIFTILY F Yankee settled $5 bill, returning quickly (7)
(Y (yankee) + LIT (settled) + FIN (Fiver, ie $5))<
37 ENCEINTE I Hospital department takes in awfully nice European with child (8)
ENT (hospital department: Ear, Nose & Throat) holding NICE* + E (European); with child = pregnant
38 INITIATOR R Fashionable spoiler’s not very explosive (9)
IN (fashionable) VITIATOR (spoiler) – V (very)
39 NOOSED S Informer keeping ordinary date caught in a trap (6)
NOSE (informer) holding O (ordinary) + D (date)
40 STEVENSON T Events troubled very good northern writer (9)
EVENTS* + SO (very good) + N (northern)
No Entry Clue and Explanation
2 SHELTER BELT Husband in Bell Street cultivated a line of trees (11, 2 words)
H (husband) in (BELL STREET)*
3 SITUATE Model worried about university place (7)
SIT (model) ATE (worried) about U (university)
4 SPLEEN Pip to learn about programming language before November (6)
SEE (to learn) about PL (programming language) + N (November)
5 AIRBRIDGE Ireland steps in to shorten transport link (9)
IR (Ireland) in ABRIDGE (to shorten)
6 MANDRILL Primate to add strength to the correct procedure (8)
MAN (to add strength to) + DRILL (correct procedure)
7 STUPORS Some rest up or seek semiconscious states (7)
in reST UP OR Seek
8 PARALIPSIS “Slip up by one of the troops” is a figure of speech (10)
SLIP* by PARA (one of the troops) + IS
9 UNAMUSING One local in the morning taking drugs is not funny (9)
UN (one, local word) + AM (in the morning) + USING (taking drugs)
10 MALNOURISHMENT This menu left Norma suffering a lack of proper food (14)
17 PIG IRON One US soldier accommodated by tart heading for Newcastle’s rough bars (7, 2 words)
I (one) GI (US soldier) in PRO (tart, ie prostitute) + N (heading, ie first letter, for Newcastle)
19 INEXECUTION Failure to perform? Exit and continue informally without tenor (11)
(EXIT CONTINUE – T (tenor))*
21 SPHAERITES Some salts steer a ship at sea (10)
22 ALLEGRO Everyone and I have run inside rather quickly (7)
ALL (evryone) + EGO (I) with R (run) inside
24 EXTORTION Blackmail examined by wrong institute with no backing (9)
EX (examined) + TORT (wrong) + I (institute) + NO<
26 PENDICLER Prince led astray the land tenant (9)
28 CLOSETED Hidden detective turned, following secretly (8)
DET< (detective) after CLOSE (secretly)
30 CEILIDH One German that is supporting line dancing and singing get-together (7)
I (one) DH (das heisst, German for that is) supporting CEIL (line, verb)
32 SIENESE Old Thai has space for a married Italian city dweller (7)
SIAMESE (old Thai) with A M (married) replaced by EN (space)
35 STERNA Area under back bones (6)
A (area) under (ie after, down clue) STERN (back)


4 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations 1017: Epilogue by Oxymoron”

  1. Tony says:

    Thank you, Dave. I think this puzzle was a nod towards the anniversary of the royal wedding and Pippa Middleton. I’m not keen on November giving an N; it’s not a standard abbreviation, is it?

  2. Dave Hennings says:

    Thanks for the comment, Tony. I didn’t clock any royal wedding connection, but you may be right. Regarding N for November, Chambers has, under November², “(in international radio communication) a code word for the letter n“. Why it isn’t also mentioned under N or n is beyond me!


  3. nmsindy says:

    I think N = November is quite fair. Actually I think it’s not really an abbreviation but in a way the reverse of an abbreviation ie a code word for the letter N as Dave H has explained. You see it used in the daily cryptics I think.

  4. Matthew says:

    Even though I use Chambers mainly for solving crosswords, I accept that it is not a crossword dictionary. If I look up N in Chambers, I should expect to find what N can mean, not what can mean N.

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