Enigmatic Variations 1464 (Hints)
Brilliant by Chalicea
Hints and tips by The Numpties
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
Chalicea is probably a familiar name. Over the years her crosswords have appeared in most of the thematic cryptic outlets, The Listener, IQ, EV, Magpie, the Crossword Centre, the 3D Calendar series and Crossword Magazine (where she is sometimes Curmudgeon) and 1 Across. She appears regularly in the Telegraph Toughie series, sets a weekly cryptic crossword for the Farmers Guardian and enjoys setting for the NTSPP series and even the Crossnumbers Quarterly. Her crosswords are known to be packed with thematic material and are regarded as relatively gentle, so this one should not be too challenging for our new solvers.
Preamble: A famous physicist whose name appears at 9 described, during a lecture, how another distinguished scientist, whose name (nine cells) must be highlighted, made the BRILLIANT comment paraphrased at 1 down, 44, about 19. What was hypothesised must also be highlighted (6,2,8,4,6). Chambers Dictionary (2016) is recommended.
A quick check of the grid shows that the famous physicist (only seven letters so it can’t be Einstein!) and the other scientist’s comment and the subject of it are all unclued lights, but there is no other device so they should pose no problem. Since those are evidently thematic, it makes sense to try to solve the clues that surround them first. As Halcyon said in his/her comment on Kcit’s crossword last week “It’s probably not a surprise that these puzzles are so much easier if you can spot the theme early”. Remember too that the EV series requires the setter to include the title in the preamble as a hint to the theme. There is an unusually large number of solutions with no unchecked letters – not generally approved of as these solutions might appear without the clue even being attempted – but, of course, those might help solvers to work out the unclued lights.
10a Penguin troops repeatedly seen in Kamchatka’s borders (6)
The wordplay spells this out but you might need Chambers to confirm the unusual word.
15a Spoilt greyhound lacking socially acceptable element (8)
Like Kcit’s clues last week, you need to see beyond the picture of this misbehaving pet and construct the element by following the instructions the wordplay provides.
15a Becomes silent with summons finished (6)
Chalicea hasn’t used many relatively obscure or dated words but that ‘finished’ suggests that this solution is no longer current usage.
32a Bard’s shocking surprises in the sonnets – mostly rude – rewritten (13)
This is one of the solutions you are probably not familiar with. However, we are told that it is Shakespearian and given a prompt about how to discover it.
40a Blackish edible fungus (5)
So often a short clue like this one is a hint that the setter is using two meanings of a word. Mrs Bradford, of course, provides the list we need as she does for the ‘wood’ in the following clue.
3d Hopeless tasks willingly brought up with an arbitrary number hidden (5)
The only difficulty in this clue was working out the word for ‘willingly’ that we had to invert.
12d Sensation over positive pedigree (5)
The solution is an obscure word .
31d With no limits washes vacated rusty place producing potassium products (6)
Hint users have the advantage that Big Dave’s site provides of knowing which part of the clue is the definition. That leaves you with the two mini hints that produce the solution
After two relatively difficult puzzles, hopefully that was an enjoyable romp. The subject matter that has appeared might require a visit to Wikipedia – and don’t forget to highlight the great scientist who is the theme (there are obvious places to look – setters don’t have a lot of choice) and what he, so imaginatively, hypothesised a hundred years ago (yes – this is the anniversary!)
Do please send in your entry and add your comments here and to the setters’ blogs that are appearing on Big Dave’s site on Thursdays and to the detailed Blogs that also appear on Thursdays on fifteen squared.
As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment.
Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.