Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations No. 1036: Approximate & Appropriate by Moordon

Posted by mc_rapper67 on September 29th, 2012


‘And’, so it goes on – if you read last week’s rant from Mister Sting… This week’s preamble tells us to replace ‘parts of’ 14 clue answers – as ‘forms’ of 26A. All very well but, unless I am much mistaken, it was 14 cells/squares, involving 21 CLUES. Which sort of detracts from what was actually, in my opinion, just 28D as an EV puzzle.

I had never heard of the phrase at 26a, describing the theme, but after some fairly intense effort at solving some interesting, challenging, and downright excellent clues, I eventually got there.

Several Down answers turned out to have the letters/word ‘AND’ in them, and several (occasionally clashing) Acrosses had ET (Latin, and also French, for ‘and’) – or ‘&’ – which a little e-Chambers-ing helped to reveal as a ‘Tironian Sign’. The rough outline of these replacements then made an ‘approximate’ shape of an ‘&’ – which is also ‘appropriate’ to the theme. The preamble did say this was ‘optional’, so I’m not sure if we were supposed to put ‘&’s in each cell and/or highlight the whole ‘&’ – so I did both, to be sure, to be sure.

This does trigger a memory of a recent-ish Indy Inquisitior along the same lines, which may have helped in my subconcscious twigging of the theme.

Apologies but, with a busy week and late out tonight (Friday before deadline), I haven’t been able to give this the full blogging treatment, or diagram with flashing lights, a-la kenmac - and there may be the odd typo - but I thought it was an excellent ‘mid-difficulty’ EV with about the ‘right’ level of clueing and thematic interpretation. Thank-you Moordon.


Clue No Thematic answer Entry Clue (definition in bold) /
1A   ASKED Sought missing cocaine in barrel (5) /
ASKED (sought) = CASKED (in barrel) without C (cocaine)
7A   ENWRAP New supply associated with strike cover (6) /
ENW (anag – i.e. supple-ly – of NEW) plus (associated with) RAP (strike)
11A   CONSORT Hang out with Tory type (7) /
CON (Tory, Conservative) + SORT (type)

Excellent West Indian cricketer (5) /
double defn/&lit-ish – Dwane Bravo is an (excellent) current West Indian Cricketer

14A LAPPET LAPP& Sort of moth cherished by chum from the east (6) /
LAP (PAL, or chum, turned round – from the East) + PET (cherished, favourite)
15A ETOILES &OILES Grease in summers abroad showing French stars (7) /
ETES (summers, abroad – Ete = French for summer) around OIL (grease)
16A   STRUT Rod runs into expressions of impatience on the way back (5) /
STUT (tuts, expressions of impatience, reversed – on the way back) around R (runs, cricketing abbreviation)
17A SEETHE SE&HE View article and get angry (6) /
SEE (view) + THE (definite article)
19A AIGRETTE AIGR&TE Eat tiger nuts and fatty savoury (8) /
anag (i.e. nuts) of EAT TIGER
21A   FRITH Underwood frequently hit out (5) /
FR (frequently) + ITH (anag – i.e. out – of HIT)
22A MINUET MINU& Dance a little time, last couple switching places (6) /
MINUET (dance) = MINUTE (a little time) with the last couple of letters switched
25A   SOUSES Pickles showing sign of distress about employment (6) /
SOS (international sign of distress) around USE (employment)
(Thanks to Querulous for comment below, as I had SOURES – URE being an obsolete form of USE…)
27A   FOEHNS Frozen hands regularly in Alpine winds (6) /
alternate letters (regularly_ from FrOzEn HaNdS
29A ETTLES &TLES Leader going away decides on aims for Scotland (6) /
ETTLES (Scottish intents, or aims) = SETTLES (decides) without leading letter
31A LANCET LANC& Sharp instrument coming from famous Knight? Look out! (6) /
LANCET (small, sharp surgical instrument) = LANCEloT (famous knight) without LO (look, interjection)
33A PRETENCE PR&TENCE Show in PE centre abandoned (8) /
anag (i.e.abandoned) of PE CENTRE
35A   ANNOY Loudspeaker system with no end of clout could do this (5) /
A proper &lit (?!). TANNOY (loudspeaker system) without T (end of clouT) – could ANNOY one
37A BETCHA B&TCHA I wager Macbeth playing with male cast (6) /
&lit-ish again – I wager = betcha, and also anag (i.e. playing) of (M)ACBETH – with M (male) cast away
40A PLACETS PLAC&S Royal permits parking on castle ground (7) /
P (parking) + anag (i.e. ground) of CASTLE
42A SHEETY SHE&Y Bashful about letter put over as a single page? (6) /
SHY (bashful) around EET (tee, phonetic representation of letter T)
44A   ELCHI Turkish ambassador upset Chile (5) /
anag (i.e. upset) of CHILE
45A   OCARINA Love stars getting wind instrument like flute (7) /
O (love, score of zero) + CARINA (constellation, or stars)
46A   SEVERS SW river changing directions, finally splits (6) /
SEVERS (cuts, or splits) = SEVERN (river in the SW, with final letter S for N – changing directions)
47A   TIDDY Very small, slightly drunk lecturer dropped (5) /
TIDDY (very small) = TIDD(L)Y (slightly drunk) without L – lecturer
Clue No Thematic answer Entry Clue (definition in bold) /
1D   ACES Archers oddly winning points (4) /
Odd letters of ArChErS
2D   SOLTI Two notes for knighted conductor (5) /
&lit-ish – SOL & TI are two notes in the Sol-Fa notation, and Sir George Solti is a noted, and knighted, conductor
3D   KNAR Knot in place seen from below (4) /
KNAR (knot, in wood) = RANK (place, or status) upwards, or from below
4D   DOP Durban tot in party beginning in playpen (3) /
DO (party) + P (beginning of Playpen) – DOP being South African (Durban) for a tot (of drink)
5D BRAND BR& Mark and Jo take in group (5) /
R (Latin recipe – take) in BAND (group), plus a double defn: to mark, or brand something; and comedienne Jo Brand
6D STANDEES ST&EES Democrat in Senates abused those without a seat (8) /
anag (i.e. abused) of SENATES, around D (Democrat)
7D ELAND EL& Dash to back of beyond for antelope (5) /
ELAN (dash) + D (‘back’ letter of beyonD)
8D   WRIER Rather twisted wire needing further twist? Right (5) /
WRIE – anag (i.e. needing further twist) of WIRE – plus R (right)
9D   AVERTS Wards off birds around borders of Rabat (6) /
AVES (Latin, birds) around RT (bordering letters of RabaT)
10D   POSTHASTE Express, Mail and Sun engulfed in animosity (9) /
POST (mail) + HATE (animosity) around S (sun)
12D   SPURN Reject note supporting premier league side? Not entirely (5) /
SPUR (not entirely Spurs – football team) supported by N (note)
13D   BOH The two tons dropped bring startling expression (3) /
BOH = BO(T)H – the two – dropping T – tons. BOH being an interjection, maybe used by Bomer Bimpson (;+>)
17D STANDING ST&ING Sort of committee unsettled after leading trio sacked (8) /
STANDING (committee) = (OUT)STANDING (usettled) without first trio of letters
18D   LIEGE Subject for a Belgian city (5) /
double defn. liege meaning subject, of a lord, or king; and Liège being a city in Belgium
19D   ANTELOPES Animals to be destroyed? Please not! (9) /
anag (i.e. destroyed) of PLEASE NOT
20D MONANDRY MON&RY Custom of only having one partner stunned Normandy (8) /
anag (i.e. stunned) og NORMANDY
21D   FUST Touring America, feet smell mouldy (4) /
FT (feet) around (touring) US (America)
23D   IRONY Hard leg in Iran ending in calamity (5) /
IR (Iran) + ON (leg side in cricket) + Y (end letter of calamitY) – IRON-Y used here as the adjectival form of IRON
24D UNHAND UNH& Peacekeepers with influence let go (6) /
UN (United Nations, peacekeepers) + HAND (influence, control)
27D   FAILLE Nice girl pins a soft silk (6) /
FILLE (French for girl,i.e. in Nice) around (pinning) A
28D   SPOT ON Exactly how page 3 models have to turn up? (6, 2 words) /
&lit-ish – SPOT ON (exactly) = NO TOPS ‘turned up’, which is how Page 3 girls ‘dress’ for work.
30D LEANDER LE&ER Legendary Greek name in editorial (7) /
LEADER (editorial article) around N (name)
32D   CACHE Store of money reported (5) /
homophone – CACHE (store) and CASH (money) sound the same when spoken, or reported
34D   CHYND Having caught his deer losing tail, poet’s cut up (5) /
C (caught, in cricket) + HYND(E) – poetic deer, hynde, or hind, losing its tail – combine to hive another poetic/obsolete word for sliced, or cut up.
36D   NANDI Cutting head, Indian slaughtered bear (5) /
anag (i.e. slaughtered) of (I)NDIAN – cutting first letter off – NANDI BEAR being a giant spotted hyena.
38D CANDID C&ID Frank’s container’s carried out (6) /
CAN (container) + DID (carried out)
39D   AWAY Advanced on track without hesitation (4) /
A (advanced) + WAY (track) – without hesitation as in ‘right away’
41D SANDS S&S Desert tract remains timeless (5) /
S(T)ANDS – remains, without T – time
42D SCAND SC& Made out once in devious candidature (5) /
hidden word in ‘deviouS CANDidature’ – SCAND being an obsolere contraction of SCANNED, or made out
43D   HAT Balmoral perhaps one loathes? Not the Queen! (3) /
HAT (Scottish bonnet, balmoral) = HAT(ER) – one who loathes – withour ER (Elizabeth Regina, the Queen)

6 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations No. 1036: Approximate & Appropriate by Moordon”

  1. Tony says:

    Thanks, mc. As it’s Tironian, I assume it’s the fact that “et” is Latin for “and” that the compiler was thing of.

  2. mc_rapper67 says:

    Et tu, Antonius?!
    Yes – that probably makes more sense – and as the proud holder of an ‘A’ grade in O Level Latin, albeit XXX-odd years ago, I should have spotted that.
    As I said, a busy week, most of which had been spent on the phone with some French colleagues, which is why my tired brain made that connection first…

  3. Tony says:

    I hate to quibble, mc, but I think it should be “Et tu, Antoni” – vocative case!

  4. mc_rapper67 says:

    Sorry, centurion…‘Romanes eunt domus’ (;+>)

  5. Querulous says:

    Bit late to this one, but thanks to Moordon and mc.

    25A is SOUSES, I think.

  6. mc_rapper67 says:

    Thanks, Querulous – and yes, SOUSES makes much more sense – not sure where SOURES came from, as it isn’t in my eChambers or eCollins…maybe I was a bit SOUSED when I polished off the blog…

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