Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations 1034 Dismissal by Ifor

Posted by twencelas on September 15th, 2012


Back to a long preamble, this week. Four clues with double definitions with one entry different by a thematic entry from the other one. The thematic items can then be described by a phrase 5,4 derived from their collective name. Superfluous letters in other clues to lead to some further statements to modify the final grid – Straight forward – sounds anything but! And an instruction to use a pencil !!! Sacrebleu!

As ever start with the clues, and then look at the preamble as the grid takes shape.  There seemed to be clues of varying difficulty in this puzzle, some were almost too easy and some took some brain wracking/ Chambers thumbing to fully parse.

Anyway the first of the double definitions I came across was 5dn Bethink and ink so BETH was a thematic item – Beth as in Little Women was my first thought. The other 3 were 25dn Megrims, rims (MEG), 9dn Cojones and Cones (JO) and 26dn Amyloid and Loid (AMY) – making a full compliment of little women.

Then to the superfluous letters – these spelled out a simple message – CHOOSE THE FIRST LETTER FROM AN ACROSS ENTRY IN EACH ROW. This is to be used to derive 2 statements which turned out to be:



One refers to the cells according to the preamble and “Each is an inch” would seem to be the one. Each of the 14 x 12 grid squares should be regarded as 1″ squared.

The other instruction is missing a word WIPE THE SLATE CLEAN being the whole instruction. This explains the use of pencil.

The final piece of the jigsaw, indeed the only entry required in the submission (I believe) is the (5,4) phrase defining a single one of the thematic items (Little women) – SMALL LADY – which is defined by Chambers as:

small lady n a size of roofing slate, 14×12in (356×305mm). (The size of the grid)

Thus tying the whole together. And as for the title well “Dismissal” of all the letters

Some nice devices were used in this puzzle, I thought. Though the submission of a blank grid gave me a sense of futility – maybe rightly so. Thanks Ifor for some good fun and a multi-layered end-game, which for me is always a bonus.

Key * Anagram, DD Double definition; Rev. reverse; Definition


C 2 Each web when unravelled holds answer for sectarian (7)
(each web + a)* = WAHABEE
H 7 Audible signal — listen then acknowledge once (6)
Hear (listen) + con (acknowledge – archaic) = EARCON
O 12Back-to-front blades, very crude limits to safety … (9,hyphenated)
Oars (blades) + (very)* + sy (limits to safety) = ARSY VERSY
O 14 … extremely excellent shielding over a very small amount (4)
Too (extremely) in AI (excellent) reversed = IOTA
S 15 Indulges nuisances (4)
DD Pests (nusiances) = PETS
E 16 Double time in animal shelter’s bed (4)
Cote (animal shelter) becomes Cotte (double time) = COTT
T 18 The jail prepared for prophet (6)
(the jail)* = ELIJAH
H 20 Lady’s house beside monument to famous person (6)
Her (lady) + ho (house) + on (beside) = HEROON
E 21 European region — liberal, or still revolutionary? (5)
Rev (l (liberal) + or + yet (still)) = TYROL
F 23Urge through broken fences (7)
In (through) + (fences)* = INCENSE
I 24 Stop wasted time ringing university apartment for Sheila (8, two words)
Ho (stop) + (time)* around uni (university) = HOME UNIT
R 27 Peters out, descending rapidly (5)
(peters)* = STEEP
S 28 Skin of sore gets inflamed discharge (5)
Se (skin of sore) + (gets)* = EGEST
T 32 Russian poets dropping back, penning troubled times (8)
(times)* in Rev. Scat (dropping) = ACMEISTS
L 35 Slight depression returns before much shortened lesson (7)
Rev. Glen (depression) + lecture – ure= NEGLECT
E 36 Vein in lettuce leaves (5)
Cos (lettuce) + tea (leaves) = COSTA
T 39 Forced entry to drain ground (6)
(to drain)* = INROAD
T 41 Smoked in Arbroath until one’s finished turning spread for drying (6)
(until – i)* + ted (spread for drying) = LUNTED
E 42 Republic adopting male independent ruler (4)
Eire (republic) around m (male) = EMIR
R 43 Middle (and not leg) (4)
Nor (and not) + on (leg as in cricket) = NOON
F 45 Defect in telescope; focal length’s marks distorted (4)
(focal – l(length) + m (marks))* = COMA
R 46 Sulphur in acid rain’s damaged sea-squirts (9)
(acid rains = s (sulphur))* = ASCIDIANS
O 47 Traditional place to stay in New York city after its hookers … (6)
Hos (hookers) + troy (city) = HOSTRY
M 48 … and topless models turned heads (7)
(nd + models)* = NODDLES


A 1 Character’s demise overshadowing everyone left out (6)
Death (demise) around al (everyone (all) – l (left)) = DALETH
N 2 Regular worry in play with a twist (5)
A 3 More than one step after acceleration — on the move (5)
A (acceleration) + stair (more than one step) = ASTIR
C 4 Be happy with French (3)
Avec (with French) = AVE
5 Consider writing material (7)
DD Bethink (Consider) + ink (writing material) THEMATIC BETH
R 6 Former sin — this might attract attention (4)
Err (sin) + ‘st (as psst to attract attention) = ERST
O 8 Give little weight to a casual police group from Mexico (6)
A = oz (little weight) + tecs (detectives – casual police) = AZTECS
9 Balls (reproductive structures) (7)
DD Cojones and Cones THEMATIC JO
S 10 Redundant, so site has nothing working (6)
(so site + o)* = OTIOSE
S 11 Some bananas and bread (4)
Hidden banaNAS And = NAAN
E 13 The woman’s case for judge losing later independence? Harsh call (7)
She (the woman) around critic (judge) – I (later independence) = SCRITCH
N 17 Purchaser’s allowance from revenue after tax cut in US abandoned (4)
Rent (revenue) after tax – ax (cut in US) = TRET
T 19 Potato crop tall, originally upright (3)
tal (crop tall) + u (originally upright) = ALU
R 22 Travellers requiring visa, or right to roam (7)
(Visa + or + rt (right))* = VIATORS
25 Lines encircling depressions (7)
DD Rims and Megrims THEMATIC MEG
26 Starchy short film (7)
DD Amyloid and Loid THEMATIC AMY
Y 29 Orcadian’s neat opening that indicates egg inside penguin (6)
Genty (neat – Scottish) + oo (indicates egg inside) = GENTOO
I 30 Black base beneath underground chamber (4)
E (base) after silo (underground chamber) = SLOE
N 31 Truck driver from Detroit clear of all charges backs America (6)
Rev. Net (clear of all charges) + amer (america) = TEAMER
E 33 English prompt to start notional joint currency (3)
E (english) + Cue (Prompt to start) = ECU
A 34 Mad as criminal taking lives, gaining pleasure from cruelty (6)
(mad as + is (lives))* = SADISM
C 37 What Aberdonians might use for packing crates at sea (5)
(crates)* = STRAE
H 38 Articles covering Royal Navy schooners (5)
Thes (articles) around rn (royal navy) = TERNS
R 39 Urge indefinable quality on Christian (4)
It (indefinable quality) + Chr (Christian) = ITCH
O 40 Stranger in Balmoral, not sophisticated, left out (4)
Uncool (not sophisticated) – l (left) = UNCO
W 44 Almost all are in debt, with two days extra (3)
Ow (in debt) + dd (two days) = ODD






One Response to “Enigmatic Variations 1034 Dismissal by Ifor”

  1. Ifor says:

    A belated thanks for the blog. I was waiting to see if any comments appeared – perhaps in the spirit of the puzzle’s endgame any that were made have been erased.


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