Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations No.1043 – Dark by Chalicea

Posted by Mister Sting on November 17th, 2012

Mister Sting.

An ominous title to this EV. Will Chalicea leave me in the Dark?

I needn’t have worried. It’s a straightforward (which is not to say unenjoyable) solve, and the message is steadily revealed. It reads:


1 and 20 dn read SOLAR ECLIPSE, so I’m looking for something that will show that in the grid.

As has happened a few times recently, the steady solving comes to an abrupt halt at this point, and I have to put down the puzzle and return to it later.

However, fresh eyes spot the solution quickly. An O and M are to be inverted such that the centre of the grid reads:


A period of lightness on a dark Sunday. Thank you, Chalicea.

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

Please post a comment if the explanations are not clear.

I 1 SWAT Second ambush it may be fatal for some aerial intruders? (4) it may be fatal for some aerial intruders: S (second) WAIT (ambush)
N 5 PREPARE Train standard groom outside (7) train: PAR (standard) PREEN (groom) outside
V 11 OATERS People who express choice hosting American Wild West films (6) Wild West films: VOTERS hosting A (American)
E 13 APEX Tip: imitate one with previous marital experience (4) tip: APE (imitate) EX (one with previous marital experience)
R 14 ACCOLADE Embrace pilot fixing old car inside (8) embrace: ACE [fixing] OLDCAR* inside
T 15 AVERT Prevent pub not closing before time (5) prevent: TAVERN [not closing] before T (time)
T 16 RHIME Hermit revised archaic verse (5) archaic verse: HERMIT* [revised]
W 17 REN Tiny bird to chase once (3) to chase once: WREN (tiny bird)
O 18 SUNGAZER Lizard, cold and wet holding newt’s head with fixed look (8) lizard: SOUR (cold and wet) holding N (Newt’s head) with GAZE (fixed look)
L 20 ERATO Source of inspiration
ragged later on (5)
source of inspiration: [ragged] LATER* O (on)
E 21 ONCUS Single oath cut short. It’s bad in Perth (5) bad in Perth: ONE (single) CUSS (oath) [cut short]
T 22 BOHEA Branch office to warm up low-grade tea (5) low-grade tea: BO (branch office) HEAT (to warm up)
T 24 THOSE All of them entertain in half-built tent (5) all of them: HOST (entertain) in TE (half-built TEnt)
E 26 LIVE A LIE Suppress a shameful truth about very unpleasant trimmed mealies (8, 3 words) suppress a shameful truth: [about] <VILE (very unpleasant) [trimmed] MEALIES
R 27 RAM Warship to equip with weapons after start of refit (3) warship: ARM (to equip with weapons) after R (start of Refit)
S 29 SIDHA Hasids have embraced one who has attained perfection (5) one who has attained perfection: haSIDSHA
T 31 TIMBÓ Insecticide optimal essentially with parasitic maggot (5) insecticide: opTIMal [essentially] with BOT (parasitic maggot)
O 32 PLOSIONS Consonantal sounds soon spoilt when clipped and transposed (8) consonantal sounds: SOONSPOILT* [clipped and transposed]
S 33 SLIM Attractively thin girl about to drink head of lager (4) attractively thin: <MISS (girl) [about] to drink L (head of lager)
H 34 TATLER Old gossip that the French relished originally (6) old gossip: THAT LE (the French) R (Relished originally)
O 35 EYE-SHOT Brood pursued by fire as far as one can make out (7, hyphenated) as far as one can make out: EYE (brood) pursued by SHOOT (fire)
W 36 IURE With Cable’s protection, united by Right (4) by right: ins. of [with protection of] U (united) in WIRE (cable)
O 2 ATHENA Curse boundlessly venal
goddess (6)
goddess: OATH (curse) [boundlessly] VENAL
N 3 TETRATHEISMS Beliefs maybe started with something apart from God, somehow? (12) beliefs: [maybe] STARTEDSOMETHING* [apart from GOD* [somehow]]
E 4 BRAT Badly behaved child cut short life (4) badly behaved child: [cut short] BREATH
A 6 RACH Worthless and ultimately foolish streak (4) streak: RACA (worthless) and H (ultimately foolisH)
N 7 ELOIGN Dubiously beginning to go on-line to get away from it all (as it were) (6) to get away from it all (as it were): [dubiously] [G (beginning to Go) + ONLINE]*
D 8 PALMA CHRISTI Clumsy pharmacist idly clipped castor oil plant (12, two words) castor oil plant: [clumsy] PHARMACISTIDLY* [clipped]
T 9 REDRESSABLE Drab treeless. unkempt, capable of being remedied (11) capable of being remedied: DRABTREELESS
W 10 EXEDRAE Columned recesses were axed erroneously (7) columned recesses: WEREAXED* [erroneously]
E 12 ADVERBIALLY Devising a verb ideally in a lexically modifying manner (11) in a lexically modifying manner: [devising] AVERBIDEALLY
N 16 RUMAL Headcloth to spread sickness (5) headcloth: RUN (to spread) MAL (sickness)
T 19 NORIA Irrigation system not protecting drowned valley (5) irrigation system: NOT protecting RIA (drowned valley)
Y 23 EADISH He is confused about 24-hour rotation for old country pasturage (6) old country pasturage: HEIS* [confused] about <DAY (24-hour) [rotation]
D 25 ORMOLU Metallic ware, gold on recast mould (6) metallic ware: OR (gold) on [recast] MOULD*
O 28 MOIRÉ Watered heathland keeping iodine in earth (5) watered: MOOR (heathland) keeping I (iodine) in E (earth)
W 30 HOBO Homeless person who died after returning (4) homeless person: WHO <OB (died) [after returning]
N 31 TSAR Despot drowning head of Stasi in small lake (4) despot: [drowning] S (head of Stasi) in TARN (small lake)

One Response to “Enigmatic Variations No.1043 – Dark by Chalicea”

  1. Chalicea says:

    Thank you for your blog Mr Sting. I have read one or two where you ‘damned by faint praise’ and was afraid you would find this too easy. I believe the editor scheduled this one for this date as there was an eclipse somewhere in the other hemisphere on that date or thereabouts. I would have had to have waited a long time for the next significant one in our hemisphere.

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