Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations 1041: What’s the Point by Oxymoron

Posted by Dave Hennings on November 2nd, 2012

Dave Hennings.

I noticed last week that the deadline for EV entries moved, with effect from number 1039, from Friday to Thursday. I guess we should be posting our blogs sometime on Friday now, in line with other competitions.

EV 1041In this week’s Oxymoron, we had letters to be omitted from 23 entries to give a quotation, and the middle letters in the extra words of the remaining clues giving thematic words. We were helped by being given the lengths of the answers of the former clue type, rather than the entry lengths. Six unclued entries were also thematic, and a two-word ‘feature’ needed to be found and highlighted.

Despite being able to distinguish the two clue types, I still found this a bit of a tricky solve. Luckily, after about a third of the clues, I deduced VILLENEUVE and VICTORY starting in the top left. The quotation wasn’t the usual “England expects…”, but “Thank God, I have done my duty“, to be found under Last words in the ODQ. The middle letters of extra words in clues spelt out Bucentaure, Gravina and Collingwood.

So the lead players in the Battle of Trafalgar were: Horatio NELSON aboard HMS VICTORY with his second-in-command Cuthbert COLLINGWOOD, with VILLENEUVE aboard the BUCENTAURE and Spanish commander GRAVINA. Other ships involved were HMS TEMERAIRE and ships of the French Navy FOUGUEUX and REDOUTABLE, somewhat confusingly of the French Téméraire class.

And it all took place just off Cape Trafalgar, CABO TRAFALGAR, to be found in south-west Spain and the main SW-NE diagonal of the grid.

Definition in clue and [extra word]
X = letter omitted from entries
YY = central letter(s) omitted from extra word in clues
ABC* = anagram
ABC< = reversal
abCDef = hidden

No Entry Omitted/Middle
Clue and Explanation
1 TAVERT T Bewildered Scots, tense, turn away (6)
T (tense) + AVERT (turn away)
7 PHONIER H More fake honey in pie recipe (7)
HON (honey) in PIE R (recipe)
11 VILLENEUVE See preamble
14 TELERGIC BU Gretel badly [sunburnt] in Cuba is working at a distance (8)
GRETEL* + I (in) + C (Cuba)
15 STEEPER CE Exercises in line [noticeably] become more difficult (7)
PE (exercises) in STEEN (line)
16 LEANT A Inclined section of Tyrolean track (5)
in tyroLEAN Track
17 TEMERAIRE See preamble
18 TRANSEPT N Baroque pattern covering southern part of church (8)
PATTERN* around S (southern); ‘baroque’ is a nice anagram indicator
20 FLANKER K Feminine and comparatively thin rugby player (7)
F (feminine) + LANKER (comparatively thin)
22 MYSORE NT My [centre] provided engineers for an Indian city (6)
MY + SO (provided) + RE (engineers)
24 GOLFERS G Broken legs for Charles and Norman perhaps (7)
(LEGS FOR)*; reference to golfers Sir Bob Charles and Greg Norman
26 OSTLER A [Bad] groom lost out on retiring (6)
LOST* + RE< (on, retiring)
28 RUFFLED UR Agitated pope showed [church] the way (7)
RUFF (pope) + LED (showed the way; pope is another name for the freshwater fish, the ruff
31 MORTGAGEE EG Time to evaluate in rather [unintegrated] building society perhaps (9)
T (time) GAGE (evaluate) in MORE (rather)
35 AERO RA [Operator] of aircraft, aged or retired (4)
AE (aged) + OR<
36 PURLOIN VI Jack left nothing in — Nick [survived]! (7)
PUR (jack) + L (left) + O (nothing) + IN; ‘pur’ is a jack in the old card game, post and pair
37 LIBERATE NA Free ecstasy and speed — politician’s first [lunacy] (8)
E (ecstasy) + RATE (speed) preceded by LIB (politician)
39 REDOUTABLE See preamble
40 COGGIES O Jock’s bowls deceive German that’s seventy (7)
COG (deceive) G (German) IE (that is) S (seventy)
41 DARTER D Badly tarred freshwater diver (6)
No Entry Omitted/Middle
Clue and Explanation
1 AVOSET CO A [homecoming] bird, one very old and determined (6)
A (one) V (very) O (old) + SET (determined)
2 VICTORY See preamble
3 RILLET I A very small brook runs above island hill northwards (6)
R (runs) + I (island) + TELL< (hill)
4 TEEPEE LL Home of brave [Willie], Mark and Jimmy (6)
TEE (mark) + PEE (Jimmy); ‘tee’ is the mark aimed at in quoits or curling and ‘Jimmy’ is short for Cockney rhyming slang, Jimmy Riddle
5 UNTEMPER IN [Drinks] destroy the self-control of secretary embraced by a French king (8)
TEMP (secretary) embraced by UNE (a, French) R (king)
6 HEHE H Explosive male laugh (4, hyphenated)
HE (explosive) + HE (male)
7 PULSAR A Almost beat Arabian star (6)
PULS[E] (beat, almost) + AR (Arabian)
8 OVERALL G A lover composed [elegies], fifty including everything (7)
(A LOVER)* + L (fifty)
9 VIRGER V Griever losing heart upset the caretaker at St Paul’s (6)
10 ERECTOR E European clergyman’s muscle (7)
E (European) RECTOR (clergyman)
12 AINEE WO [Overworked] senior apprentice forgetting transactions (5)
TRAINEE (apprentice) – TR (transactions)
13 BEDFAST D Democrat replacing Liberal in British capital is unable to rise for Morag (7)
BELFAST (British capital) with D (Democrat) replacing L (Liberal)
19 TARO O One of the food-plants that root regularly (4)
regularly in ThAt RoOt
20 FOUGUEUX See preamble
21 NELSON See preamble
23 RENTFREE N Torn apart, unattached squatters live thus (8)
RENT (torn apart) + FREE (unattached)
25 RETICLE O Charlie leaves broken electric grid [exposed] (7)
(ELECTRIC – C (Charlie))*
26 OXALIC D Type of acid [feeding] heavyweight after neat cocaine (6)
ALI (heavyweight) after OX (neat) + C (cocaine)
27 SEMEIA E Division marks in heraldry scattered in area (6)
SEME (scattered, heraldry) I (in) A (area)
29 FERMATA M French mathematician introduces a musical pause (7)
FERMAT (French mathematician) + A
30 DUNCERY Y Stupidity of civil engineer chasing horse on railway (7)
CE (Civil Engineer) after DUN (horse) + RY (railway)
32 DORBUG D Beetle grub mashed by cook (6)
GRUB* next to DO (cook)
33 GRADUS U Greek and Dutch covered by academician’s classical dictionary (6)
GR (Greek) + DU (Dutch) surrounded by A’S (Academician’s)
34 TELLAR T Inform on a right sucker (6)
TELL (inform) A R (right)
38 TORY Y Right-wing attempt to take over (4)
TRY (attempt) taking in O (over)


One Response to “Enigmatic Variations 1041: What’s the Point by Oxymoron”

  1. mc_rapper67 says:

    An enjoyable and educational puzzle and theme – at least to someone who didn’t take in much history at skool. I spotted ‘Trafalgar’ in the diagonal and then spent a while trying to find a right-angled word to make an arrowhead (the point?) at either end, before I thought to check what ‘Cabo’ meant.

    Good point on the change in deadline – although I find it useful to have that Friday evening wind-down from the week finishing off the EV blog – I’m sure it would be a bit more stressful to do that on a Thursday!…

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