Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations 1058 Principle by Jaguar

Posted by twencelas on March 8th, 2013


A new setter, I believe, certainly not one I have come across before – Should be interesting then. Twencelas’ third principle “Variety is the spice of the solver”. Do I, perhaps,  detect a scientific mind behind this puzzle?

It’s just over 20 years since I packed away my lasers and left the world of physics behind. My first instincts were that this puzzle was going to have a scientific theme and it was so.

The letters removed from seven clues yielded ORFNMEI – which can be rearranged to Fermion.

I sense at this point the non-scientists would be reaching for Chambers or google.

Chambers states Fermion n.

“one of a group of subatomic particles, such as protons, electrons and neutrons, having half-integral spin and obeying the exclusion principle.”

The exclusion principle being Pauli’s exclusion principle see which to my mind is not the clearest explanation. The better ones may be a little complex for the lay scientist.

Basically no two fermions can have the same 4 quantum numbers

  • Principle, Angular, Magnetic and Spin. gives more info., mostly accurate.

The point to be taken is that fermions have a spin quantum number of one-half which leads me back to the puzzle.

Symmetrically opposite FERMION in the grid start in the square between 3 and 4 is ONEHALF and this I believe is the final transformation to complete the crossword. Spin ONEHALF leaving real words ORATE, HOMINY, ESTER, THWART, LUSTRA, PAILFUL and LOFTERS.


Final grid

Final grid

An amusing puzzle and pleasing for me to be reacquainted with Quantum mechanics – if only briefly. Many thanks Jaguar – there really should be more scientific orientated crosswords. Though whether those of a more literary nature can grasp the science on which this puzzle is based, is debatable. Then I don’t always appreciate the more literary themes.

Just a note on the preamble – I’m not sure how I would have worded it better, but it did confuse me for a while especially with SPINSTATES running in a miniature L shape from 23 down through 30 across. It could be argued that this was a pointer to the final transformation.

And a note on the clues – some really lovely ones – short and very sweet, with good surfaces too. Look forward to your take on the second law of Thermodynamics next – unless my intuition has left me I believe the compiler to be a scientist, or at least someone with a scientific education.


DD double definition, underline definition, * anagram, Rev. reverse

1 Favour suit split by opposing bridge players (7)

Befit (suit) around NE (opposing bridge players) = BENEFIT

6 Old prince ugly like a pig (6)

(o(old) + prince)* = PORCINE – Entry = PINCER
11 Better wit before king (7)

Wag (wit) + ere (before) + r (king) = WAGERER
13 Shrine made of earthenware over base (4)

Rev. Pot (earthenware) + e (base) = TOPE
14 American soldiers embrace women — turning to drink (4)

Rev.[Gis (american soldiers) around w (women)] = SWIG
15 Memory according to tomboy (6)

Rom (memory) + per (according to) = ROMPER
16 Stately uniform marks knight (6)

Sole (uniform) + m  (marks) + n (knight) = SOLEMN
17 Jumbo’s controller clumsy, going back and forth (6)

Rev(ham) + out (forth) = MAHOUT (Elephant driver)
19 Neutering might keep these from being needed! (5)

Hidden neUTERIng = UTERI (Whole clue defines)

21 Coupled once with friend in the mind (8)

ment (coupled (once)) + ally (friend) = MENTALLY
22 Rude channel on radio (6)

Homonym (Course – channel) = COARSE
23 Litter and diamonds in large net (5)

Sean (large net) around d (diamonds) = SEDAN
26 Fellow to scold Roman brother (5)

F(fellow) + rate (scold) = FRATE
27 Mark 1 is incorporated in perfect sermon (6)

Holy(perfect) around mi (mark 1) = HOMILY

R 30 Laurel’s appearing after one in Busted Hearts ? Ah, sadly not — Hardy! (8)

i(one) + stan (Stan Laurel) in (hearts – ah) = RESISTANT = INSTATES
31 Plant extract wanting time initially (5)

Taster (extract) – t(time) = ASTER
33 Cut last pair of lime flowers on stem (6)

race (cut – see Chamberss 5) + me (last pair of lime) = RACEME
34 The locally despised man is cross (6)

th (the locally) + wart (despised man) = THWART
36 Unusually relish god’s brightness (6)

lust (relish (rare)) + re (god) = LUSTRE
37 Once promptly dismissed head surgeon for skin complaint (4)

tit (promptly Chambers 5) + ch (surgeon) = ITCH
F 38 Cracks previously bring about new society (4)

Fet (bring) around n(new) = s (society) = FENTS =NEST
39 Pauli with no funds, somehow — that’s embarrassing (7)

(Pauli + nf)* = PAINFUL
40 Detective inspector jaunty? On the contrary, occasionally shaking with fear (6)

Rev (DI (detective Inspector) + pert (jaunty?)) = TREPID
41 Vandals perhaps game to take short cut (7)

loo (game) + terse (short) – e (cut) = LOOTERS
1 Near sun, discover linen (6)

by (near) + s (sun) + sus(discover) = BYSSUS
N 2 Master in queue for insecticide (6)

dan (master) in line(queue) = LINDANE = NAILED
3 Nest-raider initially got caught in sudden rise of tide (5)

eger( sudden rise of tide) around g (initially got) = EGGER
4 Metal piece in US dollar (7, two words)

Iron (metal) + man (piece) = IRON MAN (informal)
5 Eggy paint ridiculous and unreliable (13)

Tempera (eggy paint) + mental (ridiculous) = TEMPERAMENTAL
7 Imagine fish swallowed (6)

Ide(fish) + ate(swallowed) = IDEATE
8 Ring of petals about gold urn (7)

c(about) or(gold) + olla (urn) = COROLLA
9 English girl making adornment for dress (9)

e(english) + paulette(girl) = EPAULETTE
M 10 Where 4 might work in Sweden to fuse two Swedish metals? (7)

s(sweden) + melt (fuse) + er (Erbium- metal)+ y(Yttrium) =  SMELTERY = RESTYLE
12 Was it responsible for Black Wednesday? Some doubt expressed (3)

DD ERM (Exchange rate mechanism)
18 Dangerous prince originally intending to replace king (5)

Harry (Prince) swapping i (originally intending) for the first r (king) = HAIRY
20 Once believe in moral times — not as fashionable twelve-year-old (9)

ween (believe) in tag (moral) + eras (times) – as = TWEENAGER
22 East supports club trick — that’s the ticket! (5)

c(card) + art (trick) + e (east) = CARTE
E  23 Abstract painters’ oil (7)

(painters)* = PRISTANE = SPIRANT
24 Princess is set to undress for William (and others!) (7)

Di (princess) + s(is) + case(set) = DISCASE
25 Aged actor starts to read Ibsen’s Olaf after demand for silence (7)

hist (demand for silence) + r + i + o (starts to read Ibsen’s Olaf) = HISTRIO
27 Hooks meat and half of fish (6)

Ham (meat) + uli (half of ulicon(fosh) = HAMULI
I 28 Place Greek letter back in position (6)

site(position) around Rev.(Tau(Greek letter) = SITUATE = STATUE
29 Value originally trimmed bone plates (6)

Worth (value) – w (originally trimmed) + os (bone) = ORTHOS
32 Bird writer (5)

35 Daughterless Elizabethan’s to seize girl (3)

Hend (to seize – Spenser) – d (daughter) = HEN



5 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations 1058 Principle by Jaguar”

  1. Chalicea says:

    Thank you, twencelas, I have been looking forward to your blog and it didn’t disappoint. Here’s a bit of inside knowledge confirming your suspicions that Jaguar is a scientist. He is the physicist who sits on the right in the King’s College team in the current series of University Challenge (he does rather well on the literary themes too!) Wasn’t this an impressive first crossword! I do know that there are more to come.

  2. Jaguar says:

    Thanks for the blog and glad you liked the puzzle. I’ll be going into a bit more detail later but for now I just wanted to thank Chalicea and Artix who helped me greatly in compiling this puzzle, particularly in the cluing, and Shark who test-solved this for me. And also, of course, many thanks to the editor for agreeing to publish my first submission.

  3. Jaguar says:

    So yes, my debut and hopefully not sole crossword! I have another lined up, which if it is accepted might hopefully get published some time in 2014, but it’s not been completed yet, let alone accepted! We’ll have to wait and see.

    I spend more time solving (well, trying to) Listeners than EVs and the idea for writing my own crossword come from that puzzle. “I wonder if I can do one of these,” I thought. Then the hunt began for a theme, and some brilliant idea occurred to me of “Pauli’s Exclusion Principle” applying to FERMIONS somehow. Maybe there would be clashes and the resolution would be to “exclude” the letters FERMION? Anyway having decided this it sat in the back of my mind for ages. After all, I’d never be able to finish it, surely?

    That was back in February 2012, and then in July/ August I finally got round to asking Chalicea about this — she’s been helping me learn how to solve Listeners so we’d been in touch for a year or so — and the idea rapidly turned from idle thought into something serious. I think we spent a fortnight or so, with Artix involved too, bashing out ideas for the grid. Clashes/ extra letters or misprints spelling out PAULI EXCLUSION PRINCIPLE wile down clues would all need one letter removed from the set FERMION(S) led to a working grid but it was far too complicated and messy. Gradually things got watered down to the neater version that would get published, including the “Spin” of ONEHALF and only seven special clues, with poor old Pauli and his principle being relegated to appearing in wordplay, a subtle reference in the rubric, and the title – which was probably a bit misleading as it doesn’t immediately have much to do with “spin-1/2″ — at least not at the level of a crossword. If only I could have thought of a better one!

    The cluing lasted for a long time, as I’m still not exactly brilliant at solving these things let alone writing them. Still, most of the clues are mostly my work though Artix supplied about six or so originals, Shark three and Chalicea two – and they all helped tidy up most of the remainder. 4 down is in fact the editor’s own clue and I saw it only on publication.

    During the test-solving Shark suggested that I submit to EV instead of Listener due in part to the faster response time. And it worked out pretty well! First try, first acceptance, with not too many changes to be made from what I sent in originally. So a huge thank you to the Editor for accepting my first-ever submission.

    A few of my favourite clues: 19a which was maybe the second I wrote and survived unchanged through the whole process; 27a, 10d also have nice surface reading I think.

    27d was a fairly nice clue too – which I believe was finalised a few days before the Kate Middleton picture scandal broke (Artix changed my “little girl” to “Princess” a week earlier!). Surprisingly appropriate and lucky coincidence.

    The clue which probably was the biggest pain to write and I seriously wanted to work was 30a “Laurel’s appearing after one in ‘Busted Hearts’? Ah, sadly not — Hardy!” Resistant can just about mean Hardy, and I saw Stan in there and immediately thought of “Laurel and Hardy” and how that might work. I then spent hours trawling through lists of their films before finding “Busted Hearts” which is a 1916 film that stars Oliver Hardy but not Stan Laurel. Hence, eventually, the clue that provides a bit of film history without being too contrived, I hope. Maybe “Is Laurel (without his hat) appearing in…” would have been better, but never mind.

    I actually never spotted “spin states” appearing in the grid and it was completely unintentional. As was the “Dirac” appearing wrapped around nearby. I wonder how many other secret messages related to the theme are lurking accidentally in the grid.

    Until next time! If there is one…


  4. twencelas says:


    Many thanks for the insight into how much effort goes into creating these individual masterpieces.

    I agree 19ac is a lovely clue, so simple yet very funny.
    10dn was the one that I felt gave you away as a scientist – two obscure metallic elements!
    I think you meant 24dn not 27dn – indeed very topical asnd quite perfectly composed
    The 1916 film reference went right over my head, I must admit Buster Keaton would be my choice from that anarchic era of film production.

    I’m sure there will be a next time – It’s refreshing to have some young blood in the advanced cryptic world – of quality too.

  5. Jaguar says:

    It’s a film that’s so obscure I can’t even tell you if it’s survived or not! Looks like it’s a lost film but the title was all I needed.

    I prefer Keaton to Laurel and Hardy but as yet not had the opportunity to use him in a clue. I’ll find an excuse I’m sure.

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