Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations No. 1048: Missing Title by Nutmeg

Posted by mc_rapper67 on December 29th, 2012


Another annoyingly misleading editing error in the preamble – which starts: ‘Half of the 24 clued answers…’ but should probably start: ‘Half of the 48 clued answers…’, or ‘Of the 48 clued answers, 24/half…’. Anyway, these 24 need to suffer ‘a related loss’ to form the grid entry. ‘Most’ of these can be construed as an 11D by a character to be found in the grid. Initial letters of the other (24) clues form a partial ‘further explanation’, which needs to be finished off below the grid. Is that clear?! It took a few readings and re-readings before I really got a grip of what was going on…

There are 48 clued answers, plus 11D to be deduced. After some time scanning up and down the initial letters of the across clues  – M S F T Y H E R E C M A S C P I N D E D R… I came up with ‘THE REMAINDER…’ as the most likely phrase: M S F T Y H E R E C M A S C P I N D E D R… followed, after a lot more trial-and-error, by HAVE NEITHER A …

This helped to focus the mind on these clues being entered normally, and the other clues as requiring ‘losses’ from their solutions before entry. The first few of the ‘loss’ clues that I solved were TAPAS, PARSE, MAY TREES – all of which seemed to need to lose two letters. But there wasn’t an obvious common pair of letters. Then I hit on PAYMASTER and EMANCIPATE – whch needed to lose four letters – and, with a few crossing letters from ‘normal’ entries, it became clear that either PA or MA needed to be excluded.

So, the phrase became ‘THE REMAINDER HAVE NEITHER A ‘PA’ NOR A ‘MA’ – with the missing title word as PANORAMA.

Which left the thematic deduction of 11D, and the ‘character’ appearing in the grid. 11D turned out to be MISFORTUNE, which was LADY BRACKNELL’s (top-left to bottom-right) suggestion, in ‘The Importance Of Being Earnest’, for the loss of one parent (a PA or a MA). So ‘most’ of the thematic entries (19) just lost MA or PA, and the remaining 5 have ‘neither a PA NOR A MA’: EMANCIPATE, PAROXYSMAL, PAYMASTER, REPAIRMAN, SMARTYPANTS.

I was planning to do a fancy flashing grid, á la Kenmac, but the demands of the festive season have sapped my energy and time, so here is just a snapshot of the grid with MAs and PAs appended. Maybe next time…



A very enjoyable – and reasonably tough – EV I thought, once I had got my head around the pre-amble, and had worked out those initial letters for the phrase. There was still a fair amount of work to do to winkle out some fairly challenging clues – and I invalidated my original prize entry as I lazily assumed 7A was PAROXYSM, rather than parsing it fully for PAROXYSMAL, which induced a paroxysm of pain as I slapped my forehead…d’oh!

 Thanks to Nutmeg, and to all the EV setters this year – and here’s hoping for a gremlin-free 2013… (;+>)

Clue No Full answer/ Initial Entry Clue (definition in bold) /
1A PALLADIUM LLADIUM Metal statue affording protection (7) /
double defn – palladium being a metallic elemant and, with capital, a statue of Pallas, supposedly protecting the city of Troy
7A PAROXYSMAL ROXYSL Substitute’s stabbed by a pain of sudden onset (6) /
PROXYs (substitute’s) around (stabbed by) A, plus MAL (pain)
12A AIRMAN AIRN Flier’s display piece (4) /
AIR (display) + MAN (piece, e.g. on chess or draughts board)
13A T PERUSAL Turn over safe in partner’s study (7) /
PAL (partner) around ERUS (sure, or safe, turned over)
14A IN DEMAND IN DEND Yes, police finally going for chap much sought after (6, 2 words) /
INDE(E)D (yes) losing E (last letter of police), replaced by MAN (chap)
15A H TACTIC Housing act to check interminable manoeuvre (6) /
TIC(K) (check, unfinishing, or interminably) around (housing) ACT
17A E STAYS Enhanced figure hoped for from these guys? (5) /
&lit-ish/double defn – STAYS can be stiffeners on a corset (for an enhanced figure) or guy ropes (on a tent)
18A R EARNS Reportedly more than one water vessel pulls in (5) /
homophone – EARNS (pulls in) sounds like URNS (water vessels)
19A E BRNO European city disheartened old boxer (4) /
BR(U)NO (Frank, former boxer, losing middle letter – heart)
20A TREPAN TREN Cut a disc or record in sequence, one being lost (4) /
TRA(I)N (sequence, losing I – one) around EP (extended play record)
21A M ORCHARD Many coxes may be found here keeping fish in order (7) /
ORD (order) keeping CHAR (fish) – ‘coxes’ referring to Cox’s Orange Pippins – apples
24A A IONIC Antiphrastic republican departs from ancient Greece (5) /
I(R)ONIC (antiphrastic) with R (republican) departing
25A PARSE RSE Spare buckles break down (3) /
anag (i.e. buckles) of SPARE
27A TAPAS TAS Cooked pasta snacks (3) /
anag (i.e. cooked) of PASTA
29A PAUSE USE Put a stop to what groper does when speaking (3) /
homophone – PAUSE – put a stop to, PAWS – what a groper does
30A I TRYST Irritate model, missing one appointment made for earlier time (5) /
TRY (irritate) + S(I)T (model, pose, losing I – one)
32A N SCHOLAR No ignoramus installs central heating in old garret (7) /
SOLAR (garret, or upper room) ‘installing’ CH (central heating)
33A D UTAH Destination of Young People as a home primarily (4) /
UT (as) + A + H (home, initially) – UTAH, or more specifically Salt Lake City, being the initial destination of the Mormon pioneers, led by Brigham Young
35A E TREK Extended journey hiker takes, not entirely westward (4) /
reversed (westward) hidden word in ‘hiKER Takes’
39A SPARRED SRRED Disputed issue half-heartedly, standard rule adopted (5) /
SE(E)D (issue, losing half its heart), around PAR standard0 + R (rule)
40A R ENTER Record loss of clubs in middle of New York (5) /
(C)ENTER (middle, American, or New York spelling) losing C – clubs
41A EMANCIPATE ENCITE Free from restraint as short panties came off (6) /
anag (i.e. off) of PANTIE(S) CAME – panties ‘short’ of last letter
42A H OUTEAT Have more food than drink feeding away from home (6) /
OUT (away from home) around (fed by) TEA (drink)
43A STOMACHER STOCHER Actress/singer put on a most exotic covering for bosom (7) /
STOMA (anag, i.e. exotic, of A MOST) + CHER (actress/singer)
44A CARPAL CARL Nearly everything gets stuck on fish bone (4) /
CARP (fish) + AL(L) – nearly everything
45A A ASSESS Ancient Roman coins bearing head of stern judge (6) /
ASSES (roman coins) + S (first letter of stern)
46A PANTHENOL NTHENOL One hydrant knocked over in plant upset stable form of acid (7) /
PANT—-L (anag, i.e. upset, of PLANT) around HENO (one + H – hydrant, knocked over
Clue No Full answer/ Initial Entry Clue (definition in bold) /
2D V LANTS Varieties of sand eels turn obliquely head to tail (5) /
(S)LANT – turn obliquely – with first letter (head) going to end (tail)
3D E AIDANCE Excellent measure gives support (7) /
AI (A-1, excellent) + DANCE (a ‘measure’ can be a type of dance, esp. a slow, stately one)
4D N DREYS Nests deserted old ones no good (5) /
D (deserted) + (G)REYS – old, grey-haired ones, without initial G – good
5D UNDERPART UNDERRT No place for sack – leave section below (7) /
(PL)UNDER (sack, ransack, without PL – place) + PART (leave, depart)
6D PAMPEAN MPEAN Song of thanksgiving about politician with plain origin (5) /
PAEAN (song of thanksgiving or triumph) around MP (politician) – PAMPEAN meaning from the pampas, or plains
7D E RETROD Elevated room where monks slept went over the same ground (6) /
DORTER (monastic dormitory), elevated
8D R ORANGISH Injured organ is hot and reddish-yellow (8) /
ORANG – anag (i.e.injured) of ORGAN, plus IS + H (hot)
9D PAYMASTER YSTER He’ll fund the elderly gathering wild fruit in parish (5) /
PAR (parish) around YE (the, old), itself around MAST (wild fruit on the forest floor)
10D T SAIKEIS Tokyo’s garden features monkeys, old president admitted (7) /
SAIS (sai monkeys) around IKE (Eisenhower, old president)
11D (thematic) MISFORTUNE See preamble (10) /
thematic deduction
16D CONCERT PARTY CONCERT RTY Troupers somewhat left out after former king cuts court (10, 2 words) /
CT (court) around ONCE (former) + R (rex, king), plus PART(L)Y – somewhat, without L – left
20D TOMATO TOTO Extremely round lustreless fruit (4) /
TOO (extremely) around MAT (lustreless, dull)
22D H HUSH Hands over one editorial for purpose of concealing information (4) /
HH (hands) around US (objective case of ‘we’, in royal and/or editorial use)
23D AFTERMATHS AFTERTHS What may follow weeks of teaching in a prosperous High School (8) /
A + FAT (prosperous) + HS (high school), around TERM (weeks of teaching)
26D SMARTYPANTS SRTYNTS Clever Dick’s run gasping into ruin of St Mary’s (7) /
SMARTY—-S (anag, i.e. ruin, of ST MARY’S) around PANT (run, gasping)
28D SPACED OUT SCED OUT Dazed expert departs in jet (7, 2 words) /
SPOUT (jet) around ACE (expert) + D (departs)
29D ULSTERMAN ULSTERN Provincial males turn nasty (7) /
anag (i.e. nasty) of MALES TURN
31D MAY TREES Y TREES Sources of blossom same yet different bordering river (6, 2 words) /
MAY T-EES (anag, i.e. different, of SAME YET) around (bordering) R (river)
34D E ARCOS Esteemed philosopher stands after taking final three bows in Rome (5) /
SOCRA(TES) – esteemed philosopher without final three letters, and ‘standing’
36D REPAIRMAN REIRN Fitter, one calling up about 2? (5) /
RE—-MAN (namer, one calling, up), around PAIR (two)
37D R ANTAE Runs away from storm and enters initially through these (5) /
(R)ANT (storm, without R – runs, cricketing abbreviation) + AE (initial letters of And Enters)
38D A REALO Advocate of green policies, non-smoker quits New Orleans (5) /
anag (i.e. new) of ORLEA(NS) without NS (non-smoker)


One Response to “Enigmatic Variations No. 1048: Missing Title by Nutmeg”

  1. Wil Ransome says:

    I thought this was really good. A lovely idea well executed.

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