Enigmatic Variations 1509 (Hints)
Flow Chart by Ifor
Hints and tips by The Numpties
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Ifor’s crosswords appear in all the outlets for advanced cryptic thematics and you can be sure that he will give you a fair challenge with relatively complex wordplay, a sprinkling of rare words, and something interesting or intriguing to discover and/or highlight in the completed grid. This ‘Flow Chart’ is no exception.
Preamble: Answers are entered normally; the bars associated with seven cells must be shown. All clues contain a misprint. 25 are in wordplay; corrections in clue order spell out part of an attributed remark. The remaining 12, all in across clues, require corrections to the definition which in clue order spell out two surnames – the maker of the remark, and someone who refuted it in a thematic context. Solvers must highlight all occurrences of letters from either surname (none of which appears in the set of 12 across answers). The resulting FLOW CHART must be described under the grid (10 letters, whose last three are the reverse of the first three of one of the surnames). Chambers Dictionary (2016) is recommended.
We realized that to discover two significant names that were going to add to a total of 12 letters, it was going to be important to distinguish between misprints in definitions and misprints in wordplay in the across clues. Colour-coding is our method for this. When we had those names, highlighting would prompt us about the theme since we were to highlight ALL the letters appearing in either surname. (Ifor has given himself quite a challenge since, clearly, the rest of his grid must not contain those letters!) Although there are no bars, we found it useful to use the answer lengths to pencil them in prior to solving; clearly the seven pairs we ink in will become apparent in due course.
9a In playing versus clubs ace at first offered scope in diamonds, perhaps(6)
Ifor uses anagrams and ‘playing’ is one of his indicators. Remember that we are looking for a misprint in the definition or the wordplay. The answer was a word we were not familiar with.
12a Will’s foot mob possibly no good in Chicago, unfortunately (9)
You will probably need to back-solve to produce this answer from the letters that are almost all checked. You need to remove ‘good’ from ‘Chicago possibly’ following a type of ‘mob’.
18a Science posting gold, returning cases of waste from smelting (7)
Three clue elements need to be put together, ‘science’, ‘gold’ and ‘cases’.
19a Drier chapters penned by gentlemen look endless (7)
Again there are three wordplay elements. The definition surprised us; Ifor has used the least familiar of the items this word defines but Chambers will confirm it, of course.
27a Mountain sheep in Scottish wood retreat to the west (6)
The answer, one of those that frequenty appears in crosswords, probably because of its useful vowels, is completely checked in the grid. You will need to remember that we are finding misprints in definition or wordplay, in order to understand the two elements of the wordplay, one of which is heading west.
30a Is a rabble active around parts of castle (7)
We smiled at this solution. We needed a short word for the ‘rabble’ that had to be ‘around’.
35a Packets that bloke put in steamship (5)
The wordplay (putting ‘that bloke’ into the usual abbreviation for ‘steamship’) will give a technical word. Chambers helped us understand how to find the misprint.
1d Sick because gripping tail of venomous snake (6)
Mrs Bradford includes more than 20 six-letter snakes in her Crossword Solver’s Dictionary and this one (new to us) was in there. We know that all the misprints in the down clues come from wordplay. Only one word, here, gives a likely candidate for the misprint.
7d Region of Greece caging in area imprisoning migrant’s woman (6)
The migrant is a travelling person. His woman will need to be ‘imprisoned’ in two letters to give the region of Greece.
8d Bears rising cold with only one left intermittently (9)
We know that we are looking for hints about wordplay devices in Ifor’s clues. Once we had spotted the misprint (we had a likely ‘attributed remark’ at this stage of our solve – look for that!) we needed to consider the words ‘rising’ and ‘only one left’.
13d Intercepts turning aback succeeded four times (9)
The solution is a mathematical term. ‘Succeeded four times’ is an amusing use of an abbreviation.
24d Upset tax collectors pained by every single bloody fine (6)
The solution is one that frequently appears in crosswords (we’ve never met it anywhere else). The abbreviation for tax collectors will be all too familiar. When you spot the misprint, you will know how to relate those upset collectors to the other letters of the solution.
25d Lungfish sag into ground after temperature goes awry (6)
‘Ground’ is another of Ifor’s anagram indicators. Seeing that prompted us about where to look for the misprint and how to create this unfamiliar name for ‘lungfish’.
There were instructions to highlight a set of letters and to put bars in that are associated with seven cells. A familiar ‘flow chart’ appeared for the Numpties as we solved and prompted us about what we were writing below the grid. Don’t forget that!
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