Enigmatic Variations 1517 (Hints)
Pseudonym by 29
Hints and tips by The Numpties
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Preamble: …except 29 is a false PSEUDONYM. In four entries a segment of 29 is replaced by a word of four letters, making non-words. Taken in order of the replaced segments these other words represent the real PSEUDONYM, to be written below the grid. In 21 clues a letter should be removed before solving – these letters spell out a real example of the use of the false PSEUDONYM. Enumerations give the cells available. Chambers Dictionary (2016) is recommended; 14 down is in Collins; one answer is an abbreviation.
We will have to solve this crossword to find out who the compiler is but are prompted that the solution to 29 will give us a hint. The solution to that unclued light has eleven letters and we learn that it is a false pseudonym that we are going to split into four segments that will appear as segments of four entries in the grid. Those will be replaced by four-letter words ‘making non-words’. This is a typical EV cryptic preamble leaving us mystified, but we see that 21 extra letters in clues are going to give us a real example of the use of the ‘false pseudonym’ (29 across), and we suspect that will help us.
1a Chard seller confusing users with sketch (11)
As usual with the requirement to underline definitions on Big Dave’s site, you will be prompted here about what is required, remembering, of course that 21 of the 30 clues contain an extra letter.
9a Recalled a regret about church aisle displaying marine creatures (7)
We were told that a regret needed to be recalled and we situated that ‘about’ abbreviations for two words in the clue, again, of course, remembering to look for an extra letter.
12a Chat recalled by Henry is about old Stone Age implement (6)
There are three elements to this solution, the recalled ‘chat’ and two abbreviated words.
13a One thrill, when playing, is to involve men in orchestral passage (10)
We back-solved this clue, working out the fairly difficult wordplay (the ‘one thrill’ when playing with an abbreviation for the men involved). Seven letters from crossing clues had suggested to us an unfamiliar musical term.
26a Recalled a male alias for god of death (4)
This name for a god of death is relatively obscure. We needed a couple of ‘recalled’ single letters and two others produced by ‘alias’.
27a Rector and I going round Japan to see Japanese garden design (4)
Again we had to remember that the majority of clues had an extra letter in order to work out the four needed for this term for the garden design.
5d Finnish chasing sources of the raging wind (5)
The definition here was somewhat deceptive. We needed a couple of ‘sources’, followed by a three-letter word for the ‘Finnish’.
6d Victoria’s brother perhaps not assumed to skip a rest (6)
We were amused by this solution. ‘Victoria’ can, of course, be a historial or geographical indictor. We took a word for ‘not assumed’, skipping ‘a’, and completed our solution with a word for ‘rest’ giving us the unfamiliar term that ‘perhaps’ might describe a brother for ‘Victoria’.
15d Italian-American composer not appearing in time, sadly (7)
Our anonymous compiler has been generous here, assuming that we might not be familiar with the Italian-American composer, so spelling out how he will ‘not’ be in ‘time sadly’.
23d Sandy’s left Rover in car – Rover’s upset (4)
Definitely the clue of the day – it is so heart-wrenching. Of course poor Rover is upset (but we recalled what ‘upset’ can mean). Then we again needed to hunt for an extra letter and remember that Sandy, like Mac, Ian, etc. can be a Scottish indicator.
Like the Numpties, you probably found what was spelled by extra letters before you could solve 29. We needed the Internet to explain that, but once we had solved 29, the final step (finding our compiler from ‘words of four letters’) was solved by what had appeared in the grid. Remember that the ‘real pseudonym’ has to he written below the grid.
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