Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations No.1055 – Hot Water by Jacques

Posted by Mister Sting on February 16th, 2013

Mister Sting.

When I was solving this puzzle, I wasn’t sure whether it was my turn to blog or not. I was happy to find out that it was, since I found it a lovely diversion: a pleasant decoration of time, as I think someone* said of music.

I found this a pretty speedy grid fill, although I confess that I used every available cheat, since I’m a bit pressed for time at present. Even without that help, I think there were a fair few clues (8ac, 11ac, 17ac, 28ac…) that should have allowed solvers to establish a toehold.

Certain combinations of letters hinted heavily that the thematic phrase was not in English. To cut to the chase, the missing letters spelled out SI J’ECRIS QUATRE MOTS, J’EN EFFACERAI TROIS (If I write four words, I will delete three of them). This was said by NICOLAS BOILEAU, who can be found in the grid split over three answers (14, 24 and 34 across), the clues to which require appropriate treatment before solving (that is, as per Boileau’s reported habit, the first three of each group of four words is to be deleted).

The titular pun (BOIL EAU – HOT WATER) amuses me greatly.

*That ‘someone’ was Frank Zappa.

(xxx) = definition

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

Please post a comment if the explanations are not clear.

S 1 HANJARS Daggers knight stuck into recoiling prince (7) daggers: N (knight) [stuck into] <[recoiling]RAJAH (prince)
I 8 ICE Cherokee losing heart in reserve (3) reserve: CHEROKEE [losing heart]
J 11 DEMIJOHN Drunk horned in and handled bottle (8) handled bottle: [drunk] HORNEDIN*
E 13 OTTRELITES Sharp weapon’s rebounding stopped by resistance in minerals (10) minerals: <STILETTO (sharp weapon) [rebounding] [stopped by] R (resistance)
14 NICOLAS Without being seen man’s avoided security and broken into several valuable oilcans (7) man: [broken] OILCANS*
C 15 ACKEE African tree found in the West Indies, Alaska and Eastern Spain (5) African tree found in the West Indies: A (Alaska) and E (Eastern) E (Spain)
R 16 CRARE Trading vessel oversight (5) trading vessel: CARE (oversight)
I 17 TIFT A dram in Ayr, perhaps force into teetotaller (4) a dram in Ayr: F (force) into TT (teetotaller)
S 18 PLAINEST Mercury maybe coating one having the least embellishment (8) having the least embellishment: PLANET (Mercury maybe) [coating] I (one)
Q 20 RE-EQUIPS Fits out again, more coming back into Clydeside yards (8, hyphenated) fits out again: PIU (more) [coming back] [into] REES (Clydeside yards)
24 BOIL Apprentice learning to cook and pride is swelling (4) double definition: cook/swelling
U 28 SCOUR Nearly twenty have diarrhoea (5) have diarrhoea: [nearly] SCORE (twenty)
A 29 SCAIL In Edinburgh disperse scientific learning to begin with (5) in Edinburgh disperse: SCI (scientific) L (learning to begin with)
T 30 AILETTE Piece of armour having signs of rust returning on base (7) piece of armour: <TELIA (signs of rust) [returning] on E (base)
R 32 OVERRULERS Those changing legal precedents rearrange our revels (10) those changing legal precedents: [rearrange] OURREVELS*
E 33 DEMOTIST Distinguish, inserting French word, a particular kind of Egyptologist (8) a particular kind of Egyptologist: DIST. (distinguish) [inserting] MOT (French word)
34 EAU To capture winged Pegasus, Bellerophon patiently and regularly waited beside the water (3) water: pEgAsUs [regularly]
M 35 MEDIATE Assistant returned with note intervening (7) intervening: <AIDE (assistant) [returned] with TE (note)
O 1 HOON Drama arising for yob in Christchurch (4) yob in Christchurch: <NOH (drama) [arising]
T 2 ATTIRE Prepare a volley (6) prepare: A TIRE (volley)
S 3 NUTCASE Fruitcake could be almond and odd splashes of claret (7) fruitcake: NUT (could be almond) and CAE (odd splashes of ClArEt)
J 4 JURORS Circulated rumours (…um… not attending) for dozens in court? (6) dozens in court: [circulated] RUMOURS* [UM not attending]
E 5 RELAX Become less rigid and take salmon (5) become less rigid: R (take) LAX (salmon)
N 6 TITANIS North American, prehistoric creature – sloth-eating birds? (7) North American prehistoric creature: AI (sloth) [-eating] TITS (birds)
E 7 EJECT Caught in aeroplane, throw oneself out? (5) throw oneself out: C (caught) in JET (aeroplane)
F 9 CHIEF Child that is outstanding (5) outstanding: CH (child) IE (that is)
F 10 ENFETTER Bind in chains for William and French can be seen invading to take possession (8) bind in chains for William: ET (and French) [can be seen invading] ENTER (to take possession)
A 12 MISSA Fail to attend Mass (5) Mass: MISS (fail to attend)
C 16 CURBSIDE Bruised, dazed and found at the edge of the road in New York? (8) found at the edge of the road in New York: BRUISED* [dazed]
E 18 PULLETS Taking time inside plucks young hens (7) young hens: taking T (time) [inside] PULLS (plucks)
R 19 EROTEMA Uplifting the soul with a kick? This doesn’t require an answer (7) this doesn’t require an answer: <[uplifting] AME (the soul) with TOE (a kick)
A 21 IMARI Porcelain caught up in skirmish (5) porcelain: [caught up in] skIRMIsh
I 22 OCELLI Instrument, the leader of orchestra is rising to the top for simple eyes (6) simple eyes: CELLO (instrument) O (the leader of Orchestra) [is rising to the top]
T 23 GUTROT Cheap alcohol’s run out after good do (6) cheap alcohol: RO (run out) [after] G (good) UT (do)
R 25 OCREA Channel in the fens is put under original cover sheath (5) sheath: EA (channel in the fens) [is put under] OC (original cover)
O 26 LIVOR 54 with right pallidness of colour (5) pallidness of colour: LIV (54) with R (right)
I 27 BIRSE Angus’s stiff hair, brown and fixed short (5) Angus’s stiff hair: BR (brown) and SET (fixed) [short]
S 31 ESNE Ancient slave – ancient indeed! (4) ancient slave: ancient indeed

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