EV 1467 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

EV 1467 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1467 (Hints)

The Flavour of the Month by Gos

Hints and tips by The Numpties

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Gos is a familiar name to Listener solvers where he has compiled ten over the last 24 years. This is his fourth puzzle in the Enigmatic Variations series.

Preamble: The puzzle’s theme is a literary work, considered the first of its kind and which might cryptically be called THE FLAVOUR OF THE MONTH. Four entries are the names of protagonists and are clued only by wordplay. The title of the work must be entered in the grid in the available space as a representation of the eventual outcome. The circled letters in the completed grid may be arranged to form the creator of the work. Chambers Dictionary (2016) is recommended.

An examination of this non-symmetrical grid suggests to us at once where we will ultimately put the title of this literary work. We count 13 circled cells and store that information for midway through our solve when we will have a chance of spotting an author. Four entries are ‘clued by wordplay only’. We mark six relatively short clues as potential candidates – even 1a, which has very few words for a 12-letter entry.


8a          Shore worker in Wellington uncertain husband and wife are docked (7)
This NZ word might be one you have never used. We were given an anagram indicator and three elements from which to create our word.

10a         The first person to wander around in New Zealand? (5)
There’s a type of clue called an &lit. in which the definition and wordplay both lead to the same solution. In this case the ? at the end of the clue prompts us that something is happening.

13a        Parisian in with European ballet member (7)
Solvers of this level of cryptic crossword generally have knowledge of the basic elements of European languages (German ‘ein’, ‘der’, Italian ‘Ciao’, ‘il’, and French words for ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘wine’ etc.) Gos counts on this.

15a         Became fast runner in Shawfield (4)
This is one of the solutions you are probably not familiar with. We needed to find that Shawfield is a dogtrack and confirm that the unusual word was relevant.

17a         Minority which might be construed as 45? (6)
We were puzzled here but ‘back-solved’ from the word that was appearing in the grid and worked out how that could relate to 45. It is certainly a cryptic clue.

27a         Old tale to expound to auditor(4)
We are told that this word is no longer current and that it is a homophone.

29a         As with wheel of car loth to change (7)
Gos gives a generous clue to produce a word we didn’t know.

32a         Physician’s supporter a misguided Saint following King Edward (8)
As in clue 29, the solution is very obscure but you can construct the word from King Edward’s abbreviation followed by ‘a saint’ (‘misguided’)


1d           Soldier from region is married in Aberdeen (4)
We are told that the word is a regional or dialect word and that it is constructed using a Scots word for ‘married’.

3d          Age-worn steps: short supply in old Arizona (4)
As in the above clue, we have an indicator for an archaic word and a prompt that a US word for ‘supply’ is shortened to produce that old word. We needed to hunt around in Chambers to convince ourselves that this defined ‘steps’ and not just one of them.

4d           Suit of old appearance to Ian (6)
A double definition clue using an archaic and a Scots word.

9d         No longer mouldy with age (4)
Again we have an indicator for an archaic word but it is one you probably often use in combination with another word.

11d        A whole equivalent grade covered by Italian soccer club (7)
I don’t know much about Italian soccer but this is probably the first club that springs to mind for all of us. You can guess at the two letter abbreviation that has to go into it to get the ‘whole’.

Sorting out the circled letters was our way to crack this puzzle and the title was immediately obvious. We had three potential character names and we have read this classic but needed Wikipedia to remind us, and confirm that they were its protagonists and to give us the other one. Of course, when you have that breakthrough, the puzzle is relatively gentle. 

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.

Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

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.

9 comments on “EV 1467 (Hints)

  1. Another excellent accessible puzzle in the EV series. I targeted crossing letters for 1A and some possible answers for what I think was a generous opener soon started to appear. A few more solves in same part of the puzzle soon narrowed the field and a quick Google led to the fairly familiar theme. Personally I quite like the challenge of an early theme-spot and get grumpy when it requires an obscure or tortuous endgame. Others differ, but if you’re made like me have a go at this one, and enjoy.

  2. Made heavy use of Chambers, but I’m getting pretty fast at flipping through that big red book, so the solve went fairly quickly. Managed to solve it before going to bed Saturday night (that’s the advantage of being in a different time zone and SNL being a rerun).
    Never read the “literary work,” but I’m certainly intrigued now!

  3. Fastest EV solve so far. 1d and 3d gave me 2 strong possibilities for generic character names and 1a narrowed it down to a quick check in Wiki. The letter count more or less confirmed the author and title so it was just the clues to deal with. These were by no means the easiest but there was nothing particularly impenetrable even tho’ the obscurity/archaeism count was quite high.
    A nice way to pass a cold Sunday evening until MoTD2.

    Thanks to Gos and the Numpties

  4. When we looked at the hints and saw that we had 2 NZ references in the first clues hinted we decided we had to give it a go. Slowly but surely we did get it all sorted.
    Thanks Gos and The Numpties.

  5. I worked steadily through this puzzle helped by being familiar with the literary work. When it came to entering the work in the grid I thought the answer was obvious but on reflection wondered if I’d misinterpreted the instruction ‘representation of the eventual outcome’.
    Thanks to Gos for an enjoyable puzzle and to the Numpties for the hints.

  6. Yes, we, the Numpties, were not sure what it meant either but I believe you don’t need to worry about that – put the obvious in the space left for it. I understand that will be fine.

  7. Got the theme very early which hooked me into the puzzle. I too prefer to get the theme early which makes the process more interesting to me anyway,
    However a lot of archaic words and very frustratingly finishing was an issue, It left an answer or 2 with unchecked letters which could be argued to have more than one solution, hopefully I picked the least archaic!
    Fun until the last few letters

Comments are closed.