Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations No. 1052: Mixed Doubles II by Kruger

Posted by mc_rapper67 on January 26th, 2013


Did anybody get a really tough jigsaw for Xmas – the kind that you start and then realise you’ve bitten off a bit more than you can chew, with everything else that’s going on at Xmas, and it sits around being worked away at through most of January? I didn’t…but this puzzle, which came out on 12th night, as the decorations were being taken down, more than made up for it – certainly the hardest EV I remember having to blog for a while. Got there in the end, and hugely satisfying, but a tough workout!

The premise – and the preamble – was simple enough: Each clue was actually 2 clues woven together, with the four constituent parts – two definitions, two sets of wordplay – appearing in any order. To add to the mix, punctuation can be ‘misleading’, so wasn’t going to help with the splitting up of the clues.

So, we have a series of tasks: work out the split into the constituent parts; solve the resulting clues; then fit them in where they will go (the ‘jigsaw’, although each word can only really go in one of two places).

In itself, that would have been a reasonable EV challenge, but Kruger adds a twist to the tale: eight answers must be ‘thematically repaired’ before entry. But in what way? More later…

Where to start? I scanned the clues for a while looking for definitions or wordplay that might jump out – definitions that obviously fitted the enumeration; anagrams or abbreviations or combinations of words that looked like they went together. It took a few passes, but some answers started to drop out, which helped to pin down the other clue of the pair – FLEA and HATE; COIR and BOLO; ANTI-WAR and BEWITCH; EAST and <something>. The penny started to drop with FIREPLACE and <something> – which implied that FIREPLACE and FLEA probably started at the top left – but then neither COIR or BOLO would fit at 6D.

And so on – as more answers were winkled out, more clashes became apparent – so the key was going to be what ‘thematically repaired’ meant. I tried to see if pairs of answers could be split into sub-words and re-paired: FIRE + PLACE swapping with <some> and <thing> – but that seemed too complicated. I then tried ‘re-pairing’ pairs of letters – so if the IR of FIREPLACE was swapped to become RI then ROOT would fit at 2D – but the possibles at 3D/27D didn’t have a corresponding ‘I’. I then decided that maybe ‘repaired’ meant just jumble up those 8 answers to fit the clashes – but it wasn’t obvious what letters went in the unchecked cells – e.g. the L and one E of FIREPLACE needed to go in unchecked cells – but which ones?

By this time my working copy was in such a sorry state that I started again, with a clean copy, and ignored any clashes – just putting in letters where it seemed that they must match, leaving those clashing and unchecked cells – and somehow it jumped out at me – the middle of (F)IREPLAC(E) became (F)REPLICA(E), (A)PIAR(Y) became (A)PAIR(Y) etc. – so parts of the 8 words were anagrammised to give words related to doubles or pairs – REPLICA, PAIR, TWICE, TWIN, COUPLE, DUAL, MATCH, CLONE.

Wow – I certainly needed the extra week that we seem to have recently been granted on the prize submission dates for EVs.

All in all – a serious workout, at the harder end of the EV scale, for me at least. Once untangled some those clues were still pretty hard to get, and the denouement was long and drawn out! Thanks to Kruger, and I hope my fellow solvers enjoyed it as much as I did (in the end!?). From the title I guess that Kruger has produced a similar puzzle in the past – MIXED DOUBLES I? – but I couldn’t find any evidence within the 15×15 site. I just hope it isn’t my turn to blog when MIXED DOUBLES III comes out…


(Flashing grid thanks to ‘kenmac’ – by jove, I think he’s got it…at last!) 

Clue No Original answer Entry Clue (definition in bold) /
1: 36A     Well-supplied,/ brave (concealing resentment by Poland) /retired colonel excitedly and oddly lied to finally see /location of conflagration (9: 9) /
1A FIREPLACE F(REPLICA)E Brave (concealing resentment by Poland) / location of conflagration (9) /
FACE (brave, face up to) around IRE (resentment) + PL (Poland)
36A LOCUPLETE L(COUPLE)TE Well-supplied, / retired colonel excitedly and oddly lied to finally see (9) /
LOC (retired Col.) + UP (excited) + LET (odd letters of ‘LiEd To’) + E (last letter of ‘see’)
11: 35A     He prefers his own company /chief /to lend (we’re told to Republican) /rupees held in hand (5: 5) /
11A   LONER He prefers his own company / to lend (we’re told to Republican) (5) /
LONE (homophone, i.e. ‘we’re told’, of LOAN, lend) + R (Republican)
35A   FIRST chief / rupees held in hand (5) /
FIST (hand) holding R (rupees)
12: 34A     Guatemalan, concealing current /injury, /lied about /old age once (4: 4) /
12A   MAIM Guatemalan, concealing current / injury, (4) /
MAM (South American Indian of Guatemala) around I (current)
34A   EILD lied about / old age once (4) /
anag (i.e. about) of IDLE
13: 33A     Lament /Pacific islander forgetting South Australia /- a huge expanse /like Iowa (4:4) /
13A   ASIA - a huge expanse / like Iowa (4) /
AS (like) + IA (Iowa)
33A   MOAN Lament / Pacific islander forgetting South Australia (4) /
(SA)MOAN (Pacific Islander) without SA (South Australia)
14: 32A     Life /in Barcelona – any /prospect when son leaves /bread? (4: 4) /
14A   VITA Life / prospect when son leaves (4) /
VI(S)TA (prospect) without S (son)
32A   NAAN in Barcelona – any / bread? (4) /
hidden word in ‘BarceloNA ANy’
15: 29A     To charm /Sadat, possibly capturing leaders of terrorist insurgents, /complain about partners /opposing conflict (7, hyphenated: 7) /
15A ANTI-WAR A(TWIN)AR Sadat, possibly capturing leaders of terrorist insurgents, / opposing conflict (7, hyphenated) /
ANWAR (Sadat, former Egyptian president) around (capturing) TI (first letters of Terrorist Insurgents
29A BEWITCH B(TWICE)H To charm / complain about partners (7) /
BITCH (complain) around E+W (partners in bridge)
16: 28A     Practical /transsexual, not very /passive /female. enters dwelling – husband leaves (5: 5, 2 words) /
16A   INERT transsexual, not very / passive (5) /
IN(V)ERT (transsexual) without V (very)
28A   OF USE Practical / female. enters dwelling – husband leaves (5, 2 words) /
(H)OUSE (dwelling) with H (husband) leaving, and F (female) entering
17: 26A     In short, suffer pain when extremely /sticky substance /is caught in wine /delivered (6: 6) /
17A   VISCIN sticky substance / is caught in wine (6) /
VIN (wine) around IS + C (caught)
26A   THROWN In short, suffer pain when extremely / delivered (6) /
THRO(E) (suffer pain, short of one letter0 + WN (extreme letters of WheN)
18: 25A     Transported lady in /extremely cold, /soft and slow /lorry out of Cuba (6: 6) /
18A   ARCTIC extremely cold, / lorry out of Cuba (6) /
ARTIC (articulated lorry) around (out of) C (Cuba)
25A   LYDIAN Transported lady in / soft and slow (6) /
anag (i.e. transported) of LADY IN
19: 24A     I encounter most of constabulary in my /path – environmentalists, primarily, are shaking /American climber /lacking prudence (8: 8) /
19A   IMPOLICY I encounter most of constabulary in my / lacking prudence (8) /
I + MY around (encountering) POLIC(E) (most of constabulary)
24A   HEARTPEA path – environmentalists, primarily, are shaking / American climber (8) /
anag (i.e. shaking) of PATH + E (first letter of environmentalists) + ARE
  Original answer Entry Clue (definition in bold) /
1: 31D     Intensely dislike /insect /from originally open country – /male devours bread from Laos (4: 4) /
1A   FLEA insect / from originally open country – (4) /
F (first letter of from) + LEA (meadow, open country)
31A   HATE Intensely dislike / male devours bread from Laos (4) /
HE (male) around (devouring) AT (Laotian currency unit)
2: 30D     Encourage /each quiet /card player /to have sex in Australia (4: 4) /
2A   ROOT Encourage / to have sex in Australia (4) /
double defn. to ROOT (for) can mean to encourage, to ROOT is an Australian term for having sex.
30A   EAST each quiet / card player (4) /
EA (each, abbreviation) + ST (St! Interjection – hust, be quiet)
3: 27D     Base person, worthy of media coverage /(dreadful chore), /drives into water /a brownish-yellow colour (5: 5) /
3A   ENEWS Base person, worthy of media coverage / drives into water (5) /
E (base, mathematics) + NEWS (someone worthy of media coverage)
27A   OCHRE (dreadful chore), / a brownish-yellow colour (5) /
anag (i.e, dreadful) of CHORE
4: 22D     Dictator covers up mostly hostile /process for cleaning /dance – /essentially imprisoning tense stars (7: 7) /
4A   PERICON Dictator covers up mostly hostile / dance – (7) /
PERON (dictator) around IC(Y) – most of ICY, or hostile
22A   STRIGIL process for cleaning / essentially imprisoning tense stars (7) /
S (middle letter, or essence, of impriSoning) + T (tense) + RIGIL (stars, constellation)
5: 21D     Cross /man ostracised /popular hospital – that is /madness to Will (7:7) /
5A   INSANIE popular hospital – that is / madness to Will (7) /
IN (popular) + SAN (hospital, sanatorium) + IE (id est, that is)
21A   CATTABU Cross / man ostracised (7) /
CAT (man, slang) + TABU (ostracised)
6: 29D     Singers giving Henry /punch /leads to brawl and outrageous lack of /fibre (4: 4) /
6A   COIR Singers giving Henry / fibre (4) /
C(H)OIR (singers) giving (up) H – Henry, unit of inductance
29A   BOLO punch / leads to brawl and outrageous lack of (4) /
first letters of (leads to) Brawl and Outrageous Lack Of
7: 24D     Where relative of Dumbledore lives, /Michael gets hurt – losing, initially, lots /of blood. /Anonymous private investigator’s starting to accuse railway (6: 6) /
7A APIARY A(PAIR)Y Where relative of Dumbledore lives, / Anonymous private investigator’s starting to accuse railway (6) /
A (anonymous) + PI (Private Investigator) + A (first letter of accuse) + RY (railway)
24A   HAEMIC Michael gets hurt – losing, initially, lots / of blood. (6) /
anage (i.e. gets hurt) of MICHAE(L) – without first letter of Lots
8: 23D     In church, praise /lame man – /eccentricity in way of walking end in unusually /lively behaviour (6: 6) /
8A   GAIETY eccentricity in way of walking end in unusually / lively behaviour (6) /
GAIT (way of walking) around E (maths, the eccentricity of a conic section), plus Y – last letter of unusually
23A CLAUDE C(DUAL)E In church, praise / lame man – (6) /
CE (Church of England) around LAUD (praise)
9: 20D     To harden surface of /market, after a few weeks /fool’s to improvise on /London street (7: 7) /
9A   NITRIDE To harden surface of / fool’s to improvise on (7) /
NIT (fool) + RIDE (to improvise on a subject)
20A   MAYFAIR market, after a few weeks / London street (7) /
MAY (a month, or a few weeks) + FAIR (market)
10: 17D     Outrage! /Drunken Scots chairman loses voice /correcting once vile /guard (8: 8) /
10A WATCHMAN W(MATCH)AN Drunken Scots chairman loses voice / guard (8) /
WAT (drunken, Scottish) + CH(AIR)MAN losing AIR – voice
17A VIOLENCE VI(CLONE)E Outrage! / correcting once vile (8) /
anag (i.e. correcting) of ONCE VILE

3 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations No. 1052: Mixed Doubles II by Kruger”

  1. Tony says:

    Thanks, mc. I never thought of MAIM as a noun and hence injury. Some indication that it was an archaic use in the clue would have saved me some time!

  2. Kruger says:

    I’m pleased you got there in the end, mc_rapper, and thanks for the blog. The original Mixed Doubles was EV302 back in 1998 so version 3 is scheduled for about 2028.

  3. Anthony Green says:

    I think mny head hurts now lol. Great write-up though :) PS always get a bloody jigsaw at Xmas

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