Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations No.1059 – Down Under by Chalicea

Posted by Mister Sting on March 16th, 2013

Mister Sting.

‘Down Under’? Is it – finally – a ‘Neighbours’ themed EV? Will the clues include phrases such as ‘a bit of a barbie’ and ‘Ramsay Street’?

In short, no. Scott and Charlene will have to wait for another day (soon, my pretties!)

‘Down Under’ had nothing to do with Australia at all. In fact, contrary to that country’s easy-going reputation, this was a toughie.

A fair proportion of the grid could be filled by the regular slog. Eventually, that allowed the instructions to be revealed:


Luckily, the first of these instructions was revealed quite early on, so I wasn’t too troubled about the lack of fit between 17ac and 3dn.

The two stations (running horizontally near the top and the bottom of the grid) turned out to be ST PANCRAS and SANGATTE, although I only know the latter from the refugee camp (which apparently closed as long ago as 2002).

I was held up at the next stage for longer than I should have been. The train runs diagonally NE-SW between the stations through the clashes, the resolution of which presents two alternatives: EUROSTAR or PENDOLINO. I assume that the former is the ‘correct train’, but I am perhaps prevented by my lack of interest in trains from seeing the relevance of the latter. Still, they tilt and stuff, which is neat.

Anyway, it’s Eurostar that goes DOWN UNDER through the Channel Tunnel. Apparently, proposals for a tunnel under La Manche have been around since at least 1802. Amusingly, one of the attempts encountered problems in part due to “concerns about hordes of undesirable tourists who would disrupt English habits of living”. The English, of course, would never be so unrefined as to disrupt the habits of living of other peoples.

Just a quick thing, so as not to end on a criticism:  however you spin it,  7 dn’s ‘two thirds’ is wrong. It should be either ‘three fifths’ (if it’s LUNCH) or ‘three eighths’ (for LUNCHEON). Fortunately, this slight error was harmless where it fell.

There were some fiendishly misleading misprints, even when one knew which letter to look for (I’m looking at you, 28ac!). I imagine that ‘Shakespeare’s duke where ‘duke’=’fist’ (in 35ac) will have had more than a few people scratching their heads, but perhaps I am underestimating my fellow EVers.

None of this was unfair, however – just (and, at times, very) challenging – so thanks very much to Chalicea.

(xxx) = definition

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

Please post a comment if the explanations are not clear.

 R 1 ADONIS Trouble and offence about boy shamed by Aphrodite and Persephone (6) boy shared by Aphrodite and Persephone: ADO (trouble) and <SIN (offence)[about]
 E 5 CATALO Moggy on its own, not once detached product of mixed kind (6) product of mixed kine: CAT (moggy) ALONE (on its own) NE (not once) [detached]
 S 10 PAN Seize back place producing malt (3) place producing salt: <NAP (seize) [back]
 O 11 ASCUS Ill-formed sac – unserviceable cell holding spares (5) cell holding spores: [ill-formed] SAC* US (unserviceable)
 L 13 BATEAU Club by river sight boat used in Canadian rivers (6) light boat used in Canadian rivers: BAT (club) by EAU (river)
 V 14 ELUENT Solvent used for lacing the Spanish tun, stirred and distributed around Spain (6) solvent used for laving: EL (the Spanish) TUN* [stirred] and [distributed around] E (Spain)
 E 15 ELS Litters US railroads (3) letters: US railroads
 C 17 URE Catastrophically rue wild battle once (3) wild cattle [once]: [catastrophically] RUE*
 L 19 ECU Good money in the past century in the European Union (3) gold money in the past: C (century) in the EU (European Union)
 A 20 DE FACTO Fat co-ed dancing reel though perhaps no in manner established by authority (7, 2 words) real though perhaps no in manner established by authority: FATCOED* [dancing]
 S 21 TREND Political Ewing may show this transaction before the close (5) political swing may show this: TR (transaction) before END (the close)
 H 23 OFFIE Group of staff lacking custom initially stop selling drinks (5) shop selling drinks: OFFICE (group of staff) lacking C (Custom initially)
 E 25 FLEUR In Paris one may flourish in bid uniting old and new Dutch currencies (5) [in Paris] one may flourish in bed: uniting FL (old…) and EUR (new Dutch currencies)
 S 28 LEASE Pick up fallen earl when dumped in one of London’s rivers (5) pick up fallen ears: AS (when) dumped in LEE (one of London’s rivers)
 C 30 NEONATE Not earlier one embracing extremes of adjustment, resent addition to the family (7) recent addition to the family: NE (not earlier) ONE [embracing] AT (extremes of AdjustmenT)
 O 33 IMP Skimped, twice trimmed, short in the past (3) shoot [in the past]: SKIMPED [twice trimmed]
 L 34 AMI Perhaps cover note given to assured at first (3) perhaps lover: MI (note) [given to] A (Assured at first)
 O 35 NIE Shakespeare’s duke lost fine old net far away (3) [old] not far away: NIEF (Shakespeare’s duke) [lost] F (fine)
 U 36 CORRAL Young child’s toy with rand invested in place of dirhams, for example (6) place of Durhams, for example: CORAL (young child’s toy) with R (rand) [invested in]
 R 37 ANGLOS Fishes with rod, dropping bit of eel for old baits (6) Brits: ANGLES (fishes with rod) [dropping] E (bit of eel) for O (old)
 T 38 ARSIS Musical life essential to religion in Persia (5) musical lift: pARSISm [essential to] (religion in Persia)
 W 39 GAT Later passage? Final section of raga (3) water passage: final section of raga
 O 40 NAWABS Lards cooked swan with couple of bits of bacon (6) lords: [cooked] [SWAN with BA]* (couple of bits of BAcon)
 S 41 DOUSES To perform exercises, strikes a nail, for example (6) strikes a sail, for example: DO (to perform) USES (exercises)
 T 1 AS BEST ONE CAN A canteen boss unusually as ideal as an ace can be (12, 4 words) as ideal as an act can be: ACANTEENBOSS* (unusually)
 A 2 OPTS Mike’s choice to stop out (4) makes choice: STOP* [out]
 T 3 INANE Short of win? That’s boxing, Grannie! (5) short of wit: IE (that’s) [boxing] NAN (grannie)
 I 4 SCURRY Nap singular old quarry (6) nip: S (singular) CURRY (old quarry)
 O 5 CREE Soften by shaking grass cut on cape (4) soften by soaking: REED (grass) [cut] [on] C (cape)
 N 6 TSUGA Capriciously tugs a plait (5) a plant: [capriciously] TUGS*
 S 7 LUNATE Two thirds of midday meal consumed in form resembling a pickle (6) in form resembling a sickle: LUNCH (two thirds [see above] of midday meal) ATE (consumed)
 A 8 OSTEOGENESES Subtly sees to having ordinary pieces of DNA in processes of formation of stopes, for example (12) processes of formation of stapes, for example: [subtly] SEESTO* having O (ordinary) GENES (pieces of DNA) [in]
 N 9 TALER Obsolete coif of sadly late rector (5) obsolete coin: [sadly] LATE* R (rector)
 D 12 CERCI Take back pair from circus for auditions at the end (5) additions at the end: <REC (take) [back] CI (pair from CIrcus)
 C 16 TUNE Panto, perhaps, time and fun with no initial limit and energy (4) canto, perhaps: T (time) and FUN [with no initial limit] and E (energy)
 O 18 OFFS Stinkers in the USA, upper class types lacking leader (4) stonkers in the USA: TOFFS (upper class types) [lacking leader]
 R 22 DUAD Rare pain mostly owing to publicity (4) [rare] pair: [mostly] DUE (owing) to AD (publicity)
 R 24 FETA Female menial worker daily product (4) dairy product: F (female) ETA (menial worker)
 E 25 FEDORA Non-standard till supplied gold with abandon initially (6) non-standard tile: FED (supplied) OR (gold) with A (Abandon initially)
 C 26 LOIRS Relatives of mine struck oil close to middle of Dorset (5) relatives of mice: [struck] OIL* close to RS (middle of doRSet)
 T 27 REMAND For a second time, commix number in confused dream (6) for a second time, commit: N (number) in [confused] DREAM*
 T 29 SPIRT Shook up returning excursion groups (5) shoot up: <[returning] TRIPS (excursion groups)
 R 31 NORIA Notating set of buckets raising Australian metal (5) rotating set of buckets: <[raising] A (Australian) IRON (metal)
 A 32 DINGO Shabby and dirty-looking bottomless old chest in Perth (5) cheat in Perth: DINGY (shabby and dirty-looking) [bottomless] O (old)
 I 34 ALAS Better expression when the French admitted (4) bitter expression: AS (when) LA (the French) [admitted]
 N 35 ALTS Elevated tomes accepted by elitist regularly (4) Elevated tones: A (accepted) by eLiTiSt [regularly]

2 Responses to “Enigmatic Variations No.1059 – Down Under by Chalicea”

  1. Chalicea says:

    Dear Mr Sting,
    Thank you, thank you! I am so happy not to be ‘relatively easy’ this time. I followed a long thread on the Answerbank where solvers were troubled by Sangatte which was indeed where would-be immigrants in the refugee camp were persistently attempting to break through the wire into the station or jump from the bridge onto moving trains (it is, of course, where the tunnel surfaces). I assumed it would be a familiar name to solvers and that ‘Gare du Nord’ was giving too much away. Of course, these puzzles are compiled years before they appear and the issue is now less relevant.
    Yes, I don’t think a pendolino has made it to the UK yet and I was surprised to learn that a few peple had opted for that!

  2. Tom Johnson says:

    Virgin trains on the West Coast mainline from Euston are called Pendolino.

    No worries on my part about Sangatte appearing in the puzzle.

    On an entirely different tack though is the more troubling expectation in some puzzle magazines which I proof-read that we solvers “north of the Great Wen” are expected to know that Ebbsfleet is a station on the Eurostar network! My only assocation with this placename is seeing the name as a football team in the Conference.

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