# Fifteensquared

## Enigmatic Variations No. 1056: Winter Festival by Kcit

Posted by mc_rapper67 on February 23rd, 2013

My first thoughts on seeing this puzzle were a) not another ‘split clue and decide where to put the answers’, like my last blog, EV1052, and b) that the split grid device was similar to the recent Inquisitor 1264…so a couple of hints of ‘déja vu’?… The preamble says that ‘most’ clues are double clues run together – with the answers to go in either the left or the right half of the grid, and that ‘some’ clues are not double, in which case one entry is unclued and has to be thematically deduced.

After a concentrated 45 mins work on this, I had 15 entries – some from double clues, some single – but no obvious indication of how/where they would fit – left or right. Eventually, I had 1, 2 and 3 down solved, which gave me G/H, R/O and O/G as the letters in positions 1,2,3 and 7,8,9 of 1 Across. First mistake – ‘Winter festival? – the letters H O and G? – so 1A must start ‘HOGMANAY…’ bit late, as that is New Year rather than end of Jan, but in they went.

After a few efforts at fitting other entries around this, and also trying to find four more letters to go with Hogmanay… ‘s Eve?…Morn?… I sheepishly reached for the eraser and started again. What if HOG was the start of the second half of 1A? Then the start must be GRO. GRO___HOG___ – of course – GROUNDHOG DAY – which coincided closely or exactly with the puzzle’s publication date.

The answers I had now tumbled nicely into place, and the crossing letters helped with the others – which left the unclued thematic treatments, which I eventually tracked down as five repeated entries (think of the film, Groundhog Day, where everything repeats itself, day after day) – SNIPE, MARID, PAELLA, PROFILE, MEDIAN – and two names for similar celebrations of the same date in other cultures – CANDLEMAS and IMBOLC - which was my last entry.

I found this an enjoyable challenge, and a clever application of a topical thematic device – nowhere near as gruelling as the Inquisitor 1267 variation on the same theme – which I turned to soon after completing this puzzle.

The combined clues were not overly hard to separate – and it was fairly clear which ones were single clues, just from the relative lengths. I’ll go out on a limb and say this was towards the easier end of the EV clueing difficulty spectrum, and maybe a medium on the thematic difficulty scale.

(I just have one quibble: with the use of ‘most’ and ‘some’ in the preamble. In EV 1055, the preamble referred to ‘most’ of the clues having a thematic characteristic – which turned out to be 35 out of 38 clues – whereas here 11 out of 18 clues were double clues – and 7 of 18 were single/unclued/thematic. Maybe ‘the majority of’, or ‘just over half’ would have been a more accurate description?)

In the parsing below, I have given the full clue, with a ‘/’ to indicate the split – then the broken down clue, and an indication of whether it is for the left [I] or right [II] half of the grid…

Across
Clue No Entry Clue (definition in bold) /
Logic/Parsing
1A GROUNDHOG DAY Unclued (8,3) /
Thematic deduction
6A
Warning device prepared with curious/ broken stones – poor horse gets sharp blow (6) /
6A RIPRAP [I] broken stones – poor horse gets sharp blow (6) /
RIP (an inferior horse) + RAP (sharp blow)
6A ALARUM [II] Warning device prepared with curious (6) /
ALA (French, á la – prepared with) + RUM (odd, curious)
7A
Ethiopian baboon back in a valley – good/ part of Ethiopia – a million have located round a river (6) /
7A AMHARA [I] part of Ethiopia – a million have located round a river (6) /
A + M (million) + HA (ha’ – contraction of have), around A + R (river)
7A GELADA [II] Ethiopian baboon back in a valley – good (6) /
A + DALE (valley) + G (good) – all reversed
9A
Party line occupying a hole in the ground (6) /
9A DOLINA [I] Party line occupying a hole in the ground (6) /
DO (party) + L (line) + IN (occupying) + A
9A IMBOLC [II] Thematic deduction (6) /
Thematic deduction
10A
Page in a German section recalled criticism (5) /
10A SNIPE [I] Page in a German section recalled criticism (5) /
EIN (indefinite article in German) around P (page), plus S (section) – all reversed (recalled)
10A SNIPE [II] Thematic treatment (5) /
Thematic treatment – repeat of [I]
12A
Girl gets round Queen, showing spirit (5) /
12A MARID [I] Girl gets round Queen, showing spirit (5) /
MAID (girl) around R (regina, queen)
12A MARID [II] Thematic treatment (5) /
Thematic treatment – repeat of [I]
13A
Fail to punish the French aristocrat/ turned plunderer showing form again (6*) /
13A RETOOL [I] turned plunderer showing form again (6) /
LOOTER (plunderer) – turned
13A LET OFF [II] Fail to punish the French aristocrat (6*) /
LE (definite article, in Frence) + TOFF (aristocrat)
16A
Girl’s attitude reflected in demure Scots/ lace, while harbouring a lot of penchant for ancient pipes (6) /
16A MIRIAM [I] Girl’s attitude reflected in demure Scots (6) /
MIM (Scottish, prim, demure) around AIR (attitude), reflected
16A TIBIAE [II] lace, while harbouring a lot of penchant for ancient pipes (6) /
TIE (lace) around BIA(S) – a lot of bias, or penchant for
17A
Everyone’s laid back after time out from preparation of meat stew (6) /
17A PAELLA [I] Everyone’s laid back after time out from preparation of meat stew (6) /
PA(T)E (preparation of meat, without T – time), plus LLA (all, or everyone, laid back)
17A PAELLA [II] Thematic treatment (6) /
Thematic treatment – repeat of [I]
18A
Gets ready to pray ships will carry new/ tanning area – take top off? Take clothes off! (6) /
18A KNEELS [I] Gets ready to pray ships will carry new (6) /
KEELS (barges, or boats – poetic) around (carrying) N (new)
18A UNDECK [II] tanning area – take top off? Take clothes off! (6) /
(S)UNDECK – tanning area – without first letter (taking top off)
Down
Entry Clue (definition in bold) /
Logic/Parsing
1D
Gas highly excited, like a weird/ old relative said – range active getting recipe for one (9) /
1D GRANDSIRE [I] old relative said – range active getting recipe for one (9) /
anag (i.e. active) of SAID R(A)NGE – swapping one A for R (recipe, Latin abbreviation)
1D HAGGISHLY [II] Gas highly excited, like a weird (9) /
anag (i.e. excited) of GAS HIGHLY
2D
Coloured print showing part of pole of/ wood – edge beginning to uncurl (4) /
2D RIMU [I] wood – edge beginning to uncurl (4) /
RIM (edge) + U (beginning of uncurl)
2D OLEO [II] Coloured print showing part of pole of (4) /
hiden word in (part of) ‘rOLE Of’
3D
Tragic heroine in work by male story-teller curtailed/ celebration – one’s seized by graduate in cloak (7) /
3D OPHELIA [I] Tragic heroine in work by male story-teller curtailed (7) /
OP (work, opus, Latin abbreviation) + HE (male) + LIA(R) – storyteller curtailed
3D GALABIA [II] celebration – one’s seized by graduate in cloak (7) /
GALA (celebration) + BA (graduate) around (seizing) I (one)
4D
Source of poison, not initially rustic beginning to intrigue/ Harry’s adversary, character that’s picked up nothing (5) /
4D URALI [I] Source of poison, not initially rustic beginning to intrigue (5) /
(R)URAL (rustic, not initially) + I (beginning to intrigue)
4D DRACO [II] Harry’s adversary, character that’s picked up nothing (5) /
DRAC (card, or character, ‘picked’ up) = O (nothing, nil)
5D
Describing hearing German car, the French/ are penning one note after another about things olfactory (6) /
5D NARINE [I] are penning one note after another about things olfactory (6) /
N (note) + ARE around (penning) I (one) + N (note)
5D AUDILE [II] Describing hearing German car, the French (6) /
AUDI (German car) + LE (definite article in French, une autre fois!)
8D
Being often high, faced air crashes over Cambodia (9*) /
8D CANDLEMAS [I] Thematic deduction (9) /
Thematic deduction
8D ACID FREAK [II] Being often high, faced air crashes over Cambodia (9*) /
anag (i.e. crashes) of FACED AIR, plus CK (Calvin Klein – designer label, perfume, etc.)
11D
Queen characterised by occupying large building [public image] (7) /
11D PROFILE Queen characterised by occupying large building (public image) (7) /
PILE (large building) around (occupied by) R (queen) + OF (characterised by)
11D PROFILE [II] Thematic treatment (7) /
Thematic treatment – repeat of [I]
12D
Newspapers and TV start to neglect statistical quantity (6) /
12D MEDIAN [I] Newspapers and TV start to neglect statistical quantity (6) /
MEDIA (newspapers and TV) + N (start to Neglect)
12D MEDIAN [II] Thematic treatment (6) /
Thematic treatment – repeat of [I]
14D
Small group struggling there/ with pipes first attempt brought up (5) /
14D THREE [I] Small group struggling there (5) /
anag (i.e. struggling) of THERE
14D TUBED [II] with pipes first attempt brought up (5) /
TUBED = DEBUT (first attempt) brought ‘up’
15D
Mineral reflected splendour, disposing of last of undesirable/ precipitate – fluorine above all (4) /
15D FALL [II] precipitate – fluorine above all (4) /
F (Fluorine, chemical symbol) + ALL
15D TALC [II] Mineral reflected splendour, disposing of last of undesirable (4) /
(E)CLAT (style, splendour) – reflected upwards and missing E – last letter of undesirable

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