Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations 1042 Tempting Fate by Samuel

Posted by twencelas on November 10th, 2012


Seven unclued entries, 18 with extra letters in the wordplay, one clued without definition and quite a convoluted preamble as to how the unclued entries are derived. Would I be tempting fate by saying its sounds straight forward?

The answer is, not at all. A relatively straight forward EV from Samuel with an educational twist, for me anyway.

Nothing overly tricky clue wise with the extra letters yielding THE CURSE OF THE NINTH – which was not something I was familiar with, but with a number of composers fitting into the unclued entries, I soon discovered that it “is the belief that a “ninth symphony” is destined to be a composer’s last; i.e. that he or she will be “fated” to die after writing it, or before completing a “tenth”.” Extracted from the sprinkler of all knowledge Wikipedia. for those interested in more facts about the curse.

Schubert, Vaughan Williams (one member occupying 2 grid entries), Mahler, Bruckner, Dvorak and Beethoven being the 6 members.

The un defined clue proved to be (Alexander) Glazunov, who completed the first movement of his Ninth but worked on it no further for the 26 more years he lived – so he avoided TEMPTING FATE.

That left one further unclued entry to be entered cryptically TENTH SYMPHON (i.e an unfinished tenth symphony). Many thanks Samuel for a fun puzzle with a nice piece of education thrown in.

Key * Anagram, DD Double Definition, Rev. Reverseed, Underline (definition)

T 6 Scots reveal metal mass (4)
  DD Ingot and INGO
  10 Powder uncovered dark carriage (7)
  Dark – dk (uncovered) + aroba (carriage) = ARAROBA
H 14 Dismay friend after accident (5)
  Hap (accident) + pal (friend) = APPAL
E 16 Place between Bury and American university from the east (8)
  Inter (bury) + rev. Yale (American university) = INTERLAY
  17 Run from whitewash in The Open (3)
  Rout (whitewash) – r (run) = OUT
C 18 Frenzied interjections start to exult one from singers (5)
  E (start to exult) + voices (singers) – I (one) = EVOES
  20 Forbid non-smoker’s proclamation ahead of match (5)
  Ban (forbid) + ns (non smoker) = BANNS (as in wedding)
  23 Time traveller deserted wife overcome by Greek character (5, 2 words)
  D (deserted) + rho (greek character) around w (wife) = DR WHO
U 26 US have arranged sign for Hebrews (5)
  (us have)* = SHEVA
R 28 Rave about bay in Shetland … (3)
  (rave)* = VAE
  30 … at the very moment when American inside quits (6, 2 words)
  Evens(quits) around a (American) = EVEN AS
S 32 Strive haphazardly to fix (5)
  (strive)* = RIVET
  33 Softly chatter , chatter (7)
  P (softly) + rattle (chatter) = PRATTLE
  35 Literary heroine without daughter ran inside for ornament (7)
  Bled (ran) – d (daughter) in Emma (literary heroine) = EMBLEMA
E 36 Knowingly empty sheltered strait (4)
  Ky (knowingly empty) + lee (sheltered) = KYLE
  1 French region defaced visa containing old initial of envoy (6)
  (visa)* around o (old) + e (initial of envoy) = SAVOIE
O 2 Criticise Homer assaulting Bart initially (4)
  Cor (homer) + a + b (assaulting bart initially) = CRAB
F 3 Leaders of house abandon future to note high fashion (7, 2 words)
  H + a (Leaders of house abandon ) + fut (future) + to + n (note) = HAUT TON
T 4 Exclamation to startle the two? (3)
  DD Both (the two) BOH
H 5 Colt from farm fled (3)
  Ranch (farm) = c (colt) = RAN
  7 Knight advanced to stab German lacking bygone ceremonial garment (6)
  N (knight) + a (advanced) + prong (stab) – g (german) = NAPRON
  8 Cover missing English peacekeepers on 5 (8)
  Glaze (cover) – e + un (peacekeepers) + o (on) + v (five) = GLAZUNOV
E 9 Bear grudge once obstructed singular young fliers (6)
  Owe (bear grudge) + let (obstructed once) + s (singular) = OWLETS
  11 Christian finally leaving flat has false gods (5)
  Banal (flat) – n (Christian finally) + s (has) = BAALS
  12 Road around loch’s excellent for Cameron (4)
  Way (road) around l (loch) = WALY
  13 European Parliament had epic broadcast about the weather (9)
  Ep (european parliament) + (had epic) * =EPEDAPHIC
  15 Dance about Zambia in a state of confusion (4)
  Hay (dance) around z (zambia) = HAZY
  19 Lynn, perhaps, incorporated town honesty (8)
  Vera (Lynn) + city (incorporated town) = VERACITY
  21 Swindle poor, mostly (4)
  Skint (poor) – t = SKIN
  22 Encourage to listen to cardinal (7)
  Hear (listen) + ten (cardinal) = HEARTEN
N 24 Congested city’s harmful for insect (6)
  Wen (congested city) + evil (harmful) = WEEVIL
I 25 Startle wing on edge (5)
  Ala (wing) + rim (edge) = ALARM
  27 Sergeant-Major’s trapped in ramshackle area rubbed over in the past (6)
  Sm in (area)* = ASMEAR
N 29 Weak people departed slowly at first (4)
  Went (departed) + s (slowly at first) = WETS
  31 Egyptian dancer’s embraced by coal merchant … (4)
  Hidden coALMErchant = ALME
T 33 … according to impudent person (3)
  DD Pert (Impudent person) PER
H 34 Bach composed the basics (3)
  (bach)* = ABC


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five + = 6