Never knowingly undersolved.

Enigmatic Variations 1061: Not Quite All There by Warbler

Posted by Dave Hennings on March 30th, 2013

Dave Hennings.

For the second month running, I have a crossword that hasn’t got any extra/missing letters/words or misprints. Instead, just eleven words in the perimeter and central row to identify, and something to write under the grid.

I found the puzzle pretty straightforward. As the grid was nearing completion, ECDYSIS in the top left corner of the perimeter gave the game away. Each word in turn contained successive pairs of letters of the alphabet: AB, CD, EF, etc.

EV 1061The full perimeter and central row are:

Word Defined by in Clue
SLAB stone 29ac
ECDYSIS casting off 17ac
REEF rocks 30ac
GHAT mountain pass 26ac
HIJAR exodus 24dn
FRECKLE spot 21dn
HYMNAL songbook 10dn
SYNCOPE elision 6dn
HURST wood 25dn
DUVET quilt 22ac
CORYZA cold 16dn

Of course, two pairs, QR and WX were missing. I wondered if we were required to find the only words containing those letters, especially since SPQR is a well-known abbreviation. However, WX isn’t contained in any word or abbreviation that I could identify, so I surmised that just the letter pairings were required under the grid.

An entertaining puzzle from Warbler, and an ideal outing for a newcomer to the EV.

Solving time: under 2 hours.

EV gremlin: 18ac should be numbered 19ac.

Definition in clue
Hidden definition Thematic definition hidden in clue
ABC* = anagram
ABC< = reversal
abCDef = hidden

No Entry Clue and Explanation
9 ERUPT Break through in European game training (5)
E (European) + RU (game, Rugby Union) + PT (Training, Physical)
11 KRAUT German king has right to seize gold (5)
K (king) + RT (right) holding AU (gold)
12 APRIL FISH No finales for his first play sadly. Just a hoax (9, hyphenated)
13 ARARS Trees in middle of park areas short of water (5)
AR (middle of pARk) + AREAS – EA (water)
14 STAMNOI Shattered nearly all of monastic Greek jars (7)
15 LORICAE Fifty or one hundred aged leather corslets (7)
L (fifty) OR I (one) C (hundred) AE (aged)
17 TATU [Casting off] mark of status? (4)
hidden in sTATUs
18 BAD HAIR I had bra torn; that’s descriptive of the sort of day that gets worse (7, 2 words)
(I HAD BRA)*; my favourite clue!
20 RED ARMY Railway surrounding badly armed Communist forces (7, 2 words)
RY (railway) around ARMED*
22 POSS Local way to wash [quilt] can be briefly practicable (4)
2 meanings; poss short for possible (practicable)
25 AERATOR What puts C02 inside regressive sheep-rot areas? (7)
in sheep-ROT AREAs reversed; ‘inside’ seems to do double-duty here as part of the definition and the containment indicator
26 HOT SPOT Edmund’s named [mountain pass] location where trouble might flare up (7, 2 words)
HOT (named, Spenser) + SPOT (location)
27 STALE Water bird used as decoy (5)
2 meanings; first meaning is urine
29 EPIDERMIS Deep rim is reshaped to form outer [stone] covering (9)
30 PIOYE Up North crude firework [rocks] grandchild in confused state (5)
OY (grandchild) in PIE (confused state)
31 FLACK US press agent voiced adverse criticism(5)
sounds like FLAK (adverse criticism)
No Entry Clue and Explanation
1 DRY ROT Doctor — conservative reflected degeneration (6, 2 words)
DR (doctor) + TORY< (Conservative)
2 YUGA Leaders of Yavatmal, Gorakhpur and Asansol preserve universal Hindu age (4)
YGA (first letters of Yavatmal Gorakhpur Asansol) holding U (universal)
3 SPIRITUAL Religious trip cut short by series of oft repeated actions (9)
SPI[N] (trip, cut short) + RITUAL (series of often repeated actions)
4 SUPRATEMPORAL Transcending time Pasteur sorted out member’s examination (13)
PASTEUR* + MP (member) + ORAL (examination)
5 EPITRACHELION Stole painting mounted in impressive empty house; one in Western half of London (13)
ART< (painting) in EPIC (impressive) + HE (empty HousE) + I (one) in LON (western half of LONdon)
6 EKLAND With difficulty manage endless real estate [elision] for Seller’s former spouse (6)
EK[E] (manage with difficulty, endless) + LAND (real estate); Britt Ekland once married to Peter Sellers, second of four wives
7 GAINSAYS Disputes profits involving state (8)
GAINS (profits) including SAY (state)
8 HUSOS Heads of humanitarian union appeal to rescue sturgeons (5)
HU (first letters of Humanitarian Union) + SOS (appeal to rescue)
10 ERSE Gaelic section of [songbook] covers Eastertide (4)
in covERS Eastertide
16 THROATILY In consequence of [cold] Italy floundered in a guttural way (9)
THRO (in consequence of) + ITALY*
18 ADDITION Extra person departs to India in a roundabout way (8)
(D (departs) TO INDIA)*
21 RUPEES [Spot] Asian bread completely encircled by birds (6)
UP (completely) surrounded by REES (birds); bread = money
23 SOLACE Comfort female alone at church (6)
SOLA (feminine form of alone) + CE (church)
24 TOPIC Subject to sanctimonious Catholic [exodus] (5)
TO + PI (sanctimonious) + C (catholic)
25 ATMS Weapons situated close to Belgium start to scorch [wood] (4)
AT (situated) M (last letter of belgiuM) + S (first letter of Scorch)
28 AMAH Nursemaid takes warm bath regularly (4)
regular letters of wArM bAtH


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