Enigmatic Variations 1503 (Hints)
The Proverbial Way by X-Type
Hints and tips by The Numpties
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
This is X-Type’s fourth EV crossword. His generous cluing style, large number of anagrams and use of familiar language will give a speedy solve to old hands and be a pleasure to solve for newcomers to the advanced thematic cryptics.
Preamble: Solvers must highlight THE PROVERBIAL WAY to the destination in the unclued entry, comprising three phrases (1,7), (1,4) and (5,2,2,2); the WAY is continuous with right-angled turns. Finally the proverb (3,4,2,4,2,5,4,4,10) which is alluded to should be written under the grid. Chambers Dictionary (2016) is recommended.
With only one unclued entry and a proverb to find as well as a WAY to highlight, the Numpties head straight for the clearly indicated anagrams – three long ones begin our grid-fill most helpfully.
14a Keep for oneself, European, northern strong liquor (5)
Three wordplay elements put together gave us a term we didn’t know.
15a Bundles of hay produced using Wisconsin horsepower (5)
We guessed what the Wisconsin part of the clue must be and were rather surprised by the letters for horsepower which Chambers tells us is of German origin.
24a Raises cut poles (7)
A clever little succinct clue – it has two wordplay elements, a word for ‘cut’ and letters for the poles.
27a Fine covering for the soil? Hard to go and put in last of peat (5)
The convention of underlining the definitions in Big Dave’s hints will help with this difficult clue. ‘Hard’ has to ‘go’ from the word for soil covering and, when we add the last of ‘peat’, we have a word for ‘fine’.
35a Decorative piece from the skating arena in Yorkshire: English tango (7)
Chambers justifies the use of a letter for ‘the’, claiming it is a northern English dialect form. I grew up speaking Yorkshire dialect and would certainly never use that letter in front of the word for a skating arena – but we have to bow to the Big Red Book. Complete the decorative piece with letters for English tango.
6d Prank, in the olden days, concerning one king (4)
An unfamiliar word but X-Type spells it out.
7d “M” has a tail orgnised for this monastery leader (9, two words)
Again X-Type spells out for us what we must do to find the title of the monastery leader.
8d Aerial using current power within state distribution system (6)
The abbreviations for current and power go into a word used for what the state distributes to the unemployed.
21d Long ago, heated articles in garden plot (7)
Put a couple of articles into a short word for a garden plot to get this archaic poetic word for heated.
23d Hat fabricated from two types of grain? (6)
The question mark alerts us to the fact that X-Type is giving us a cryptic clue to the hat. He is playing with the idea of ‘two types of grain’ but not putting one of them after the other.
Finding the unclued light prompted us about the proverb and we were given generous indications of the three phrases that illustrated it. Don’t forget to highlight them!
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 fifteensquared.
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.