EV 1466 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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EV 1466 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1466 (Hints)

All That by Poat

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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Poat has been setting thematic cryptic crosswords since 1989 and is a distinguished setter of Listener crosswords. His work has appeared in the IQ and Magpie series and this is his fourth EV crossword.

Preamble: The two unclued entries comprise a duo and an alternative rendering; ALL THAT must be completed  by filling the empty cell. Four of the duo’s works, treated in accordance with the rendering, appear symmetrically in the grid, and must be highlighted along with the completion (34 cells in total). Chambers Dictionary (2016) is recommended.

When you have completed the crossword and look back at the preamble, you will see that Poat told us exactly what to do, but in a cryptic way that will make sense as we unravel the meaning. We are told that those two long lights will hold a ‘duo’, and that duo ‘rendered’ in an alternative way. Four of the ‘works’ (we guess songs, shows or some form of artistic creation) will be treated according to that ‘rendering’. A further instruction tells us to ‘complete’ ALL THAT with a single letter.


5a          Crested heron likewise stifling audible cry (7)
We managed to work out the name of this bird when we had a few letters in place to suggest it. The name was a new one to us. A word for ‘likewise’ surrounds a ‘heard’ word for the cry this bird might make.

10a         Hum about one line for organ’s opening (5)
We constructed this solution from the wordplay. Like so many of Poat’s clues, the wordplay gives a fine little mental  picture that is deceptive as this is not a musical organ that is humming.

20a        Wedding‘s odds on: it comes before first sign of labour (7)
There are four mini components to this solution. ‘It’ for crossword compilers is so often ‘charisma’ or ‘sex appeal’. The word we entered is not one we usually use for ‘wedding’.

22a         Chancellor of the Exchequer’s restrained by unaltered austerity (7)
A brief way of saying ‘unaltered’ restrains the Chancellor and produces a rare word for austerity.

31a         Customary stipulation for powerful orator? (5)
The question mark at the end of this clue tells us that Poat is indulging in a touch of humour here. One wonders what a powerful orator might tell the technicians.


1d           Sect member holding a very small knife (4)
We were a little bit puzzled here. The solution often appears in crosswords (I haven’t met it anywhere else) but we had to work out that ‘holding’ might mean ‘not using’.

2d           Grimalkin snapped upset by whip (6)
What a lovely use of the name for the witch’s female cat in Macbeth. No wonder she snapped!

6d           Bamboo instrument as used to grip nut (5)
Another new word for us but we know the two-letter word that refers to a space (or a nut) in the printing world and that had to be ‘gripped’ by a Latin word for ‘as’.

8d           Charred reportedly but far from hot (4)
We needed Chambers to confirm that the obvious solution could also be pronounced in a way that said ‘charred’..

9d           Irish family head minimised carbohydrate, eating nothing (5)
This is another rare word that we only meet in crosswords but Poat has generously broken it down. We see that ‘nothing’ has to go into a ‘minimised’ version of carbohydrate.

12d          Animé studio publishing works with bad puns edited out (6)
Again Poat has given a generous subtractive anagram clue since the solution is not in Chambers and, as the name of a studio, might not be known to us.

17d          Local chav unexpectedly means to pen classical number (8, 2 words)
Another clue that produces a smile if we imagine some city berk attempting to write something in Beethoven’s style, but that isn’t the only type of ‘classical number’.

19d          Sleeper’s over running water locally, a cause of nausea? (7, 2 words)
The local word for ‘water’ is another compiler’s staple. We needed to put a word for ‘sleepers’ in front of it and, indeed, the result can be most unpleasant especially if you are attempting to sleep on board ship.

23d          Once cut pipe down for Angus’s snuff (6)
An old word for ‘cut’ and a Scottish solution here.

24d          Hooklets caught on hip within sleeveless tunic (6)
We constructed the unusual word for ‘hooklets from three clue elements, the ‘caught’, ‘hip’ and the ‘tunic’ with its sleeves missing.

25d          Ulcer from foul air around high place (5)
As usual, we resorted to Bradford for our word for an ulcer. Just time to order a copy before Christmas if you still don’t possess this invaluable aid.

The works were familiar to us but not the duo that created them and we needed to visit Google. ‘Rendering’ that duo to produce the other long unclued light and the manner in which we were to ‘treat’ the works, produced a smile and we had no trouble filling the empty cell when we saw the letters around it that were prompting us. 

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7 comments on “EV 1466 (Hints)

  1. Many thanks to Poat for a cheerful puzzle that balanced some new-to-me words (and I nearly worked for the Oxford English Dictionary once …) with fair clues and a good theme once I’d tuned in. As always I concentrated on getting crossing letters for those two long clueless answers and that paid dividends quite quickly so this was one of my speedier solves (I’m usually a bit of a slowcoach). Have a go!

  2. If anyone’s looking for another September-level EV, I recommend diving into this one. It’s a (relatively) quick solve with a fresh and inspired theme. Looking forward to doing more puzzles by Poat!

  3. Very enjoyable and I learned a few new words along the way. I wasn’t familiar with the duo but once I had twigged the letter that needed to go in the empty cell I used Google to find them and their works. I managed to complete the puzzle in one sitting which is good going for me!

  4. Thanks Poat. Enjoyed the puzzle. What do we do on Boxing Day? Will Sunday telegraph be published? Is there any way those of us sheltering can download the next EV? Am happy to pay!! Thanks Liz

    1. Yes, Liz. Apparently there is going to be a Sunday Telegraph on December 27th with six pages of puzzles to keep us all happy. I hope they alleviate the isolation and frustration of those of us sheltering.

  5. I found this hard work but satisfying nonetheless. Some of the clues seemed a good deal more taxing than usual but no complaints. 7d is rather clever [clue].
    The first part of the end-game [identifying the duo and the alternative rendering] was easy enough and there are lists of their works readily available on Wiki, etc. The complication I created for myself arose from the presence of another of their works in the area around the blank cell if one puts the right [ie wrong] letter in said cell! This also requires one not to realise what the title is all about!!
    Once these errors were realised the rest was relatively straightforward. I wasn’t aware of just how many well known works this duo were responsible for – so that’s a bonus.

    Many thanks Poat and The Numpties. The hints on the endgame were as helpful as the hints on the clues.

  6. Yep, enjoyed this one. I recognised the songs once discovered, but I had never heard of the duo. I thought there was going to be a horrible amount of grid staring, but thank goodness there wasn’t. Thanks Poat and thanks The Numpties

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