Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations 1021: Blown Off Course by Jaques

Posted by Dave Hennings on June 16th, 2012

Dave Hennings.

I started this puzzle only a couple of days shy of this blog being due, so I was beginning to panic. The clues sounded relatively straightforward, with only seven misprints to be found. But then one word needed changing leaving new words, and four words had to be highlighted. The last two steps had me a bit worried … and rightly so!!

At least the clues were on the easy side, and the misprints popped up one by one by one … by one by one by one. Very satisfying, except that I only had six misprints — S S U L Y E. Well it’s easy to see here what the missing letter probably was, but in my scrawly writing on my print-out, the third S took a bit of time to reveal itself. Ulysses it was, but which misprint had I missed? It turned out to be in 12dn where ‘slender architectural item’ seemed a good enough description of CAULICULUS, but should have been ‘slender architectural stem‘! In defence of Jaques, his definitions here generally tended to be straight from Chambers, and I missed its use of ‘stems’.

The grid was finished, and I wondered which Ulysses the puzzle was about: Homer’s or James Joyce’s. Not that it really mattered, I’ve not read the Iliad or Ulysses. ‘Being blown off course’ seemed to refer to the Odyssey, but I was just guessing. I suppose I could have done a bit of Googling, but I generally try and solve EV endgames without that assistance. However, I didn’t really fancy reading both works just to solve a crossword.

EV 1021The first step was to try and find an entry that could be replaced by another word while still ‘leaving only real words’. I wondered whether that meant that every checked letter in the replaced word would be changed to a new letter, resulting in all new words. In theory, one or more letters could stay the same, and sadly the preamble left that option open … in fact I didn’t particularly like the wording that was used in there. I glanced around the grid, but, besides seeing ‘plumpy’, nothing looked like an obvious word to be replaced.

If only I had The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations 7th edition, but all I possess is the 3rd and 5th. Looking up James Joyce quotations would, I assume, have revealed all. (Time for an upgrade, I think, or, at the very least, try to leave myself time to go into a bookshop in future!) Using a pencil, I covered up each of the across entries in turn, looking for possible alternative down words. Pessimistically, I expected this exercise to be fruitless, so I was more than happy to cover up 35ac HOOK SHOT and find that EMS, FLOUR, CREEPS, BAHT, CHAP and THICKENS were alternatives. Unfortunately, four of these had other options.

I had L/M/N/R/S – U – ? – D/L/P – H/I/L/R/T – ? – A/I – N. After a few minutes staring, I finally decided to use an automated cheat, and up popped MULLIGAN a few minutes later. In golf, that is a second attempt off the first tee if your first ball has gone out of bounds or is just plain awful … in the case of this puzzle, a HOOK SHOT. This explained the phrase in the preamble about having ‘a second attempt’ at one of the entries. It also explained the reference to Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable which is specific about a Mulligan relating to a shot off the first tee; Chambers has it as following any bad shot. (For non-golfer’s, a mulligan is only used in a fun game of golf, and is not a part of a normal game. And no, golf is usually not fun!)

Some Googling was required for me to learn that Malachi “Buck” Mulligan is a character in Joyce’s Ulysses, and the novel’s famous (!) first sentence is “Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.” All that was required was to highlight the first four words in the grid, and I was done.

Thanks to Jaques for an interesting puzzle and for making me add ODQ7 to my list of necessary purchases.

Solving time: 1½ hours for the grid, and about 45 minutes for the endgame.

Definition in clue
X = head/tail letters missing from entry
ABC* = anagram
ABC< = reversal
abCDef = hidden

No Entry Correct
Clue and Explanation
1 SPARSE Second characteristic break down is thin on the ground (6)
S (second) + PARSE (characteristic break down); I have trouble with the last bit in justifying it as an accurate indication of the transitive verb ‘parse’
6 AWASH One lotion inundated (5)
A + WASH (lotion)
10 HABITUAL Coin and map, essentially, buried in different locations in ill-gotten gains — it’s customary (8)
BIT (coin) + A (mAp essentially) in HAUL (ill-gotten gains); ie BIT between A-U and A between U-L
11 ADAW Ed’s to subdue a simpleton once (4)
A + DAW (simpleton); Ed is Edmund Spenser
13 STATELY Greatly impressive gallery’s inside done with artistic dexterity (7)
TATE (gallery) in SLY (done with artistic dexterity)
14 ERADIATE Shoot out like a ray in area with tide at sea (8)
16 PLUM Essentially vapid hat choice (4)
P (vaPid essentially) + LUM (hat)
18 ENROOT Implant firmly? No tore out! (6)
20 PALAESTRA Gym trick having a large amount of water to drink on the way back (9)
(ART (trick) SEA (large amount of water) LAP (to drink))<
23 MATACHINI S Maniac hit wildly, it’s sword-dancers that were marked masked (9)
25 DECAFF Confronted returning force, maybe an instant without stimulus (6)
FACED< (confronted) + F (force); reference to instant coffee
27 URIC In relation to gold area’s wiped out of a waste product (4)
AURIC (in relation to gold) – A (area)
29 BLUEBUCK Extinct beast‘s solid comeback in bulk unexpectedly (8)
CUBE< (solid) in BULK*
32 GALLEON S Large whip ship driving back convict before Christmas returns (7)
LAG< (convict) + NOEL< (Christmas)
34 ARUM A peculiar flower (4)
A + RUM (peculiar)
35 HOOK SHOOT Shook uncontrollably in vehement attempt to score a couple of points? (8, 2 words)
SHOOK* in HOT (vehement); reference to basketball
36 LYSIS Two thirds of family’s lost with relative breaking down (5)
LY (famiLY with two-thirds lost) + SIS (relative)
37 ESTOPS Legally hinders letter about the most important position (6)
ESS (letter) about TOP (the most important)
No Entry Correct
Clue and Explanation
1 SHLEPPED Dragged help out having raced around (8)
HELP* with SPED (raced) around it
2 PARR Fishy one arrived after penny(4)
ARR (arrived) after P (penny)
3 RIND U Road going around wearing crest crust (4)
RD (road) around IN (wearing)
4 STRIPE Street search in Scotland for colourful band (6)
ST (street) + RIPE (search, Scottish)
5 MATTE L Duel Dull — note — comes after raising of cap (5)
TE (note) after TAM< (hat)
6 ALA Dahlia’s oddly missing a side sepal (3)
odd letters of dAhLiA
7 ADENOVIRUS Savage heartless vile dinosaur, it attacks the windpipe (10)
(VE (VilE (heartless) + DINOSAUR)*
8 SALLOW Broad-leaved tree is one with timber like teak not reaching a high level (6)
SAL (one (ie tree) with timber like teak) + LOW (not reaching high level)
9 HWYL Divinely inspired speech arising in early whodunnit (4)
reversed in earLY WHodunnit
12 CAULICULUS S Slender architectural item stem is a stone like concretion, acceptable one should be installed separately (10)
CALCULUS (styone-like concretion) with U (acceptable) and I (one) inserted in different places; strictly speaking, I think ‘stone like’ should be hyphenated
13 SAYST Y Pauses with time moving on? You sat say in the past (5)
STAYS (pauses) with T advanced
15 PRAHU Universal instrument spinning around sailing-boat (5)
(U (universal) HARP (instrument))<
17 MAMAS Anglo-Saxon language comes first for old genteel mothers (5)
AS (Anglo-Saxon) preceded by MAM (language)
19 THICKETS In New Year, Vietnamese, country bumpkin, finally burns dense masses of greenery (8)
HICK (country bumpkin) in TET (Vietnamese new year) + S (burnS, finally); probably too many commas here!
21 TABUN Ban new organic compound (5)
TABU (ban) + N (new)
22 DENARY E Reject injecting argon using tin ten basically (6)
AR (Argon) injected in DENY (reject)
24 CREEKS Americans from Florida tidal estuaries (6)
2 meanings
26 FLOOR Ceiling’s about the end of level — going up to find this? (5)
& lit; (ROOF (ceiling) about L (end of leveL))<
28 EGAL And other people need a touch of grandiloquence for time to be Shakespeare’s equal (4)
ET AL (and other people) with T (time) replaced by G (touch of Grandiloquence)
30 BAST Where to find sap or short club? (4)
BAST[O] (short club, specifically the ace)
31 CHOP In China a sealed document is cut into small pieces (4)
2 meanings
33 EHS Woman turning up shows signs of hesitation (3)
SHE< (woman)


2 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations 1021: Blown Off Course by Jaques”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Appropriate day for the blog, Dave, as today is Bloomsday. All the action in Joyce’s Ulysses takes place on 16 June 1904.

  2. Dave Hennings says:

    Thanks, NMS. Stephen Fry tweeted me earlier and told me. Might give it a go on hols this year … or maybe Homer!

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