Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations No.1035 – Last One To Join by Kruger

Posted by Mister Sting on September 22nd, 2012

Mister Sting.

First of all, let’s have a rant. The editing was shoddy. Again. There was a missing bar in the grid (making 47ac appear to have 7 letters), ‘for’ was written as ‘fo’ in 7dn, while ‘or’ replaced ‘of’ in 30ac. Only the 7ac mistake was innocuous. I’m sure that the puzzles could be proof read by some enthusiastic amateur if there’s no one willing to do the job properly at the newspaper. At the very least, they could be fixed in the online version. But I digress…

Right. Now that I’ve filled the ‘no spoiler’ bit, wasn’t this an unusual theme?

It took me a while to twig how the clashes were formed, although I’ve seen the technique recently. The thematic words were each simple combinations of ‘extra’ letters from the across and down clues that overlapped in certain squares. Having deciphered GLAS + GOW, EDIN + BURGH came as no surprise, but I was no closer to working out the theme.

For that, the extra letters were essential. Luckily (or perhaps by design) these were quite clearly signposted, and I only once went astray (although I was looking for UNIVERSITY for a while). The letters spell out…


Namely, GLASGOW, EDINBURGH, LIVERPOOL, CAMBRIDGE, BRISTOL and LONDON. The LAST ONE TO JOIN is NOTTINGHAM, which is written diagonally TL-BR through the centre of the grid. In fact, you could have found that even if you hadn’t found the extra letters or figured out the theme.

There were some nice touches in the lights, like the appearance of a vehicle in 18ac. I particularly enjoyed the definition in 34ac. Unfortunately, 11dn appears to be incorrect – the subsidiary indication gives an extra T and only one O. The empty square was unfortunate, but hardly a deal breaker.

(xxx) = definition
[xxx] = (anagram/homophone/container/etc.) indicator
XXX* = anagram
< = reversal
XXX = unused letter(s)
/BUY=extra thematic letter(s)

Please post a comment if the explanations are not clear.

1 HOURGLASS Slim-waisted German girl follows your topless husband in van (6) slim-waisted: G (German) + LASS (girl) [follows] YOUR [topless] + H (husband) [in van]
6 GREEDINESS Eager desire to modify design and steer clear of trivia, primarily (7) eager desire: DESIGNSTEER* [modify; clear of T (trivia, primarily)]
 U 13 BYPATH Believe Irishman reaches hospital in an indirect way (6) indirect way: BUY (believe) + PAT (Irishman) + H (hospital)
15 METRO Underground awaited the arrival of retreating soldiers (5) underground: MET (awaited the arrival of) + <[retreating]OR (soldiers)
16 QUO Jock’s previously said “Question UK’s premier on commonest attribute of devolution” (7) Jock’s previously said: Q (question) + U (UK’s premier) + O (commonest attribute of devOlutiOn)
17 CLUBROOM Apply colour unevenly to brush in meeting place for members (8) meeting place for members: COLOUR [unevenly] + BROOM (brush)
18 SATNAV It helps direct reversing of vehicle after salt left unused (6) it helps direct: <[reversing]VAN (vehicle) [after] SALT [left unused]
19 AGILA Mostly nimble adult member of Daphne’s family (5) member of Daphne’s family: AGILE [mostly](nimble) + A (adult)
21 INTO Enthusiastic about new technology originally placed in satellite (4) enthusiastic about: N + T (Technology originally) [placed in] IO (satellite)
 K 23 TRIER Test light car on surface of road (5) test: TRIKE (light car) + R (surface of Road)
26 VIPS Monarch flees from treacherous individuals (extremely significant characters) (4) extremely significant characters: VIPERS [monarch flees from](treacherous individuals)
 V 28 ARRIERO To achieve recognition, run over man controlling mules (7) man controlling mules: ARRIVE (to achieve recognition) + R (run) + O (over)
29 DELIVERED In heroic exploit, fanciful bird is set free (4) set free: [in] DEED (heroic exploit) LIVER (fanciful bird)
30 KINDA Somewhat informally, more than half or relatives are (5) somewhat informally: KINDRED [more than half of](relatives) + A (are)
31 COTISED Commanding officer’s obliged to conceal front of shield bordered with barrulets (7) bordered with barrulets: CO (commanding officer) TIED (obliged) [to conceal) S (front of Shield)
33 DEWY Weedy middle of green removed and treated – like a lawn on an autumn morning (4) like a lawn on an autumn morning: WEEDY* [middle of grEen removed and treated]
34 PLING Jewellery’s puce at the front, not black! (5) !: BLING (jewellery), P (puce) [at the front, not] B (black)
35 DECAMP Unenthusiastic about leaders of expedition, cubs secretly make off (4) secretly make off: DAMP (unenthusiastic) [about] EC (leaders of Expedition, Cubs)
 E 37 TANGI Drink’s good in North Island maori’s funeral ceremony (5) maori’s funeral ceremony: TEA (drink) + G (good) [in] N (North) I (island)
39 FECHTS Comeback of Sinn Fein introduces genuine fights north of the border (6) fights north of the border:<[comeback]SF (Sinn Fein) [introduces] ECHT (genuine)
43 ITERANCE Repetition of vacuous tirade in foreign country starts to create enmity (8) repetition: TIRADE [vacuous] [in] IRAN (foreign country) + CE (starts to Create Enmity)
 T 45 AIN Scots own American money (3) Scots own: A (American) + TIN (money)
46 ORTOLAN The two leading ornithologists almost kill then capture tailless bird (5) bird: OR (the two leading ORnithologists) + TOP [almost](kill) + LAND (capture)[tailless]
47 MASTODON Animal once stood unsteadily in ship (6) animal once: STOOD* [unsteadily] in MAN (ship)
 S 48 NAME-SON Mass none neglected for, say, Henry VIII (7, hyphenated) say, Henry VIII: MASSNONE* [neglected]
49 JETSAM Crowd outside set about cargo thrown from freighter (6) cargo thrown from freighter: JAM (crowd) [set] SET* [about]
2 ONUS Burden’s acceptable to you and men (4) burden: ON (acceptable) + US (you and me)
3 U-BOAT Cross over American man inside vessel (5, hyphenated) vessel: <(over)TAU (cross) BO (American man)[inside]
4 RYOT Indian peasant farmer’s loose living reported (4) indian peasant: homophone [reported] of RIOT (loose living)
5 GOWPEN At St Andrew hollow members of University take physical education (4) at St Andrew hollow: GOWN (members of University) [take] PE (physical education)
 C 7 RHUS Christchurch usefully provides habitat for plant (4) plant: christchuRCHUSefully [provides habitat for]
8 EMBARRING Equine avoids shameful hindrance (9) hindrance: EMBARRASSING (shameful)[equine avoids]
9 BURGHER Boer grilled meat – it’s hot inside (3) Boer: BURGER (grilled meat) H (hot)[inside]
10 ETOILE Star’s to work hard in eastern Europe (6) star: TOIL (to work hard) [in] E (eastern) E (Europe)
11 SOMATOTYPING Roughly stamping toy with face of tool is a method of classification (12) a method of classification: STAMPINGTOY+O(face of tool!)* [roughly]
12 EQUIVOCATION Formula includes voice not completely disguised in use of dubious vocabulary (12) use of dubious vocabulary: EQUATION (formula) [includes] VOICE* [not completely; disguised]
 H 14 ACARID Subsidy provides cover for cleaner’s tick (6) tick: AID (subsidy) [provides cover for] CHAR (cleaner)
 O 20 GRIND Go outside and perform tedious work (5) perform tedious work: GO + RIND (outside)
22 NIDOR Strong smell close to entrance, we hear (5) strong smell: homophone [we hear] of NIGH DOOR (close to, entrance)
23 THESPIANS Downbeat institute abandoned engaging most of soft actors (9) actors: THESIS (downbeat)[institute abandoned] [engaging] PIANO [most of](soft)
 O 24 I-AND-I International agreement’s first to indicate approval for independence for us in Jamaica (5, hyphenated) us in Jamaica: I (international) + A (Agreement’s first) + NOD (to indicate approval for) + I (independence)
25 DRAWBRIDGE Game doctor putting second of bandages on weak part of nose (5) game: DR (doctor) + A (second of bAndages) + W (weak) + BRIDGE (part of nose)
27 SPOOLING Reeling and deteriorating, oxygen relieves one (5) reeling: SPOILING (deteriorating), O (oxygen) [relieves] I (one)
30 KNEES Rising, try grasping new growths from root of mangrove (6) growths from root of mangrove: <[rising]SEEK (try) [grasping] N (new)
32 TENEBRISM Stupidly, Mister Bean forgets about school of painting (6) school of painting: MISTERBEAN* [stupidly; forgets About]
36 ETALONS Instruments for measuring wavelengths (and other things) assigned to foremost of scientists (5) instruments for measuring wavelength: ET AL (and other things) + ON (assigned to) + S (foremost of Scientists)
38 AN MO Moan about Chinese massage procedure (4, 2 words) Chinese massage procedure: MOAN* [about]
 L 40 CUTE Astute sect’s starting to evolve (4) astute: CULT (sect) + E (starting to Evolve]
 S 41 HOOT Care to inject drug (4) care: SHOOT (to inject drug)
42 SIMA Very nearly shift part of crust (4) part of crust: SIMAL [very nearly](shift)
44 RAE No time to scold Glaswegian girl (3) Glaswegian girl: RATE [no time](to scold)

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