Posted by Hihoba on June 27th, 2012
Struggled with this one Nimrod. Bit of a quiz if you ask me!
We had to find four items which are members of an extensive list “each unique in the same way” (Huh?).
Then “The coincidentally very apt key event should be named under the grid to record the uniqueness of the discovery” (Huh? again)
In addition letters giving the event are ignored in six pieces of wordplay (I wasn’t sure on an initial reading whether this meant that they were extra letters or missing letters).
The clues to another group of four, related to the first four, lacked a common definition, and they had “unorthodox wordplay involving a substitution”.
Other clues were normal (but difficult!). All in all I found this a four (Ba thought a five!) on the Nimrod/Henderson scale.
To start with the six clues with the letter “ignored” in the wordplay – this turned out to mean that the letter was not included in the wordplay and appeared in the answer out of thin air.
|Ignored letter clues giving the “event”|
|1 Down||The least number kicking about autumn leaves (7)||QUANTUM||Q||The least number: [AUTUMN]* (leaves? Couldn’t find any reason for this word.)|
|7 Across||More than one backing Ed M & co (3)||PLU||U||More than one (PLU(ral): L(abour) P(arty) – Ed M(illiband) is leader of . . . – not my favourite clue!!|
|8 Down||Liquid still sent for analysis (5)||UNSET||U||Liquid still: [SENT]*|
|24 Down||During kinky stuff, only one performing lifted feet (7)||MOLOSSI||I||Feet (3 long syllables): SM round SOLO all reversed|
|42 Across||A grand new line (3)||ZAG||Z||A new line: A +G(rand)|
|29 Down||Stuck in cooler character following bishop in Brahms and Liszt (5)||FRANZ||Z||(Franz) Liszt: R is the character following B(ishop) in Brahms in FAN (cooler). Fiendish!|
So the event was a QUIZ. The letters Q, U, I and Z are in the four corners of the grid.
Having soved most of the normal clues and filled in most of the grid, the oddly clued set of four turned out to be countries (the common definition of the rubric): CROATIA, MONGOLIA, ECUADOR and PAKISTAN.
For the next bit I (Hi) am indebted to Ho who spotted that the capital cities of these four countries begin with the letters Q, U, I and Z. They are QUITO (Ecuador), ULAN BATOR (Mongolia), ISLAMABAD (Pakistan) and ZAGREB (Croatia). They can be found by starting at each corner, moving anti-clockwise one square and then moving diagonally. These are the four items to be highlighted in the grid (shown below).
The clues for the countries involve the “substitution” mentioned in the rubric and we have to substitute the name of the capital city for the capital letter of the country.
|43 Across||Who should you try to catch? Ring copper in court having acquired gold (7)||ECUADOR||QUITO||QUITOCUADOR||IT (who should you try to catch in children’s game – though usually “it” was the catcher in my childhood) + O (ring) + CU (copper) in QUAD (court) + OR (gold)|
|25 Across||Labouring a lot on a cast (8)||MONGOLIA||ULAN BATOR||ULANBATORONGOLIA||[LABOURING A LOT ON A]*|
|7Down||One’s taking fast steps to grab a coffin with a name on it (8)||PAKISTAN||ISLAMABAD||ISLAMABADAKISTAN||I’S (one’s) + LAMBADA (fast steps) round A + KIST (coffin) + A N(ame)|
|2 Across||Brother described by a big 7dn general getting about (7)||CROATIA||ZAGREB||ZAGREBROATIA||BRO(ther) in A GREAT (big) all in ZIA (Pakistani (7dn) general)|
The only unique feature I could discover was that these are the only capital cities with those four first (capital) letters. So I am still at a loss as to what to write under the grid. Is it as simple as QUIZ? Was there some momentous evening event that we missed? What was the discovery?
We aren’t sure, and look forward to your comments and to clarification from Nimrod.
|9||Typed addresses covering a range (5)||URALS||Range: U(niversal) R(esource) L(ocator)S (web addresses) round A|
|11||Long period of time with Navy (5)||YEARN||Long: YEAR + N(avy)|
|12||Take in help for crime novelist (4)||AIRD||Crime novelist (Catherine Aird – pseudonym of Kinn Hamilton McIntosh): R(take) in AID|
|13||Top academic’s not following positive argument (3)||PRO||Positive argument: PROF minus F(ollowing)|
|14||Bad Aussie poet unusually excluded from outspoken raving (5)||ONKUS||Bad Aussie: [OU(t)S(po)K(e)N]* (outspoken minus poet)|
|15||Report from the county circuits (4)||NOTS||Logic circuits: sounds like Notts.|
|16||Reducer of noise from social (50 times) (5)||DOLBY||Noise reduction system: DO (social) + L (50) + BY (times)|
|17||Kill American formality (3)||ICE||Double meaning: formality and kill (American)|
|18||Homer’s accepted Queen of the Underworld (4)||CORA||Kore and hence Cora are names for the young Persephone who later married Hades and became Queen of the Underworld: COR (= Homer – 11 bushels) + A(ccepted)|
|19||Black garments Arab women wear down to Marseilles (4)||ABAS||Black garments Arab women wear: A BAS (down in French)|
|21||Only partially articulated computing array (3)||ULA||Computing array (Uncommitted Logic Array): in articULAted|
|22||A perverse feature of coat of arms written by baronet (8, 2 words)||AT BOTTOM||Basically: A + [MOTTO (feature of coat of arms) + B(arone)T] reversed|
|28||Accepted having too much back trouble (3)||ADO||Trouble: A(ccepted) + O(ver)D(ose) reversed|
|30||Beat builder silly after lie’s forced out (4)||DRUB||Beat: [BU(il)D(e)R]* (builder minus lie)|
|32||Great steeplechaser drops circuit and a former title (4)||NEMN||Former title (to name (obs)): oNE MaN was a great steeplechaser – remove O (circuit) and A|
|33||Spoke dirty to Bard (3)||RAY||Double meaning: spoke and Shakespearian for dirty|
|34||Crisply brief encounters embezzlement cases (5)||TERSE||Crisply brief: hidden in encounTERS Embezzlement|
|35||Breton Saint miles from Swedish city (4)||MALO||Breton Saint: MAL(m)O|
|37||A part of siege, no ordinary ex- Taoiseach (5)||AHERN||Ex-Taoiseach (Bertie Ahern): A + HERON minus O(rdinary). A siege is the collective noun for herons.|
|38||Throwing weight about, cut head of lager lout (3)||OIK||Lout: [KI(l)O]*|
|39||Rock bed, moving son to right medical history (4)||ILLS||Medical history: SILL with S moved to right|
|40||Spiced drink Georgia upset saturating back of tabloid (5)||NEGUS||Spiced drink: GE in SUN all reversed|
|41||Jumps strange visitor in timeless fun (5)||JETES||Jumps: ET (strange visitor) in JES(t)|
|2||I’ll fill register in on account of S Americans (8)||CRIOLLOS||S Americans: I in ROLL (register) all in ‘COS (because – on account of)|
|3||Medals won just after depressing Government a trifle (7, 2 words)||OLD SONG||A trifle: GOLDS (medals won) + ON (just after) with G(overnment) depressed|
|4||Exactly 60 mins to get in the groove (6)||THROAT||Groove: HR in TO A “T” (exactly)|
|5||Writer visits Hollywood, Beverly Hills etc for images (5)||IDOLA||Images: I (writer) DO (visits) LA|
|6||How close place is lost to refuse (4)||DENY||Refuse: DENSITY (how close – a poor definition!) minus SIT (place)|
|10||Pub employee doesn’t need binge trade (3)||ART||Trade: BARTENDER minus BENDER (binge)|
|11||Young lout sticking up old black chap (5)||YOBBO||Young lout: O(ld) B(lack) BOY (chap) reversed|
|18||Heart’s not in Dating Agency – sickly sweet (8, 2 words)||CANDY EGG||Sickly sweet: [D(atin)G AGENCY]*|
|20||Quarrelled ominously about wingers missing sitter (8)||MODELLER||Sitter: hidden reversed in quarRELLED OMinously|
|23||Bats are ignored by agitated immoderate oppressed workers (7)||TOMMIED||Oppressed (verb) workers: [IMMOD(era)TE]*|
|26||SA men angering US with one (5)||OUENS||SA men (plural of ou): [US ONE]*|
|27||Appropriately placed units mobilised south of India (6, 2 words)||IN SITU||Appropriately placed: I + [UNITS]*|
|31||Club bouncers use freely for turning out wild stallion? (5)||BRONC||Wild stallion? (not in Chambers or Collins, but in Merriam-Webster online): Club seems to be a word indicating anagram of BOUNCERS minus USE|
|34||Over powering of Resistance by Yank that bears fruit (4)||TRUG||That bears fruit (a basket): TUG (yank) round R(esitance)|
|36||Rest for Milton’s high voice (3)||ALT||Double meaning: high voice and rest for Milton.|