EV 1517 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

EV 1517 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1517 (Hints)

Pseudonym by 29

Hints and tips by The Numpties

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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.

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.

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.

4 comments on “EV 1517 (Hints)

  1. Thank you for the hints. I wonder whether you have inadvertently revealed the letter to omit in 6d.

  2. Thanks for a novel and neat puzzle that I got too late after some mountaineering with the Magpie. I didn’t get the until the very end, which gave the puzzle good “legs”, nor did I know about 29. I am tempted to try and get a theological article published using it…

  3. A great sense of satisfaction on finishing this rather complex task. The pseudonym at 29a was clear enough and what was spelled out by the extra letters was there on the same wiki page – so far so good. But solving the 4 altered clues blind was a challenge because I found it difficult to ignore the letters already in the grid. A vague memory of an official enquiry into the agricultural chemical at 3d eventually emerged to crack that one and the rest fell into place. Finding the real pseudonym to identify the setter was then simple.
    Thanks to “29” and the Numpties. I didn’t use the hints but getting today’s toughie done quickly gave me the time to finish this!

  4. Great fun grappling with this one… and smiling satisfaction when resolved. Never heard of 29a but, as we are lucky enough to live in this age, a few keystrokes… wait a few seconds and hey presto! …the answer pops up. A credit to human ingenuity. The simplicity of finding an answer to almost anything – I wish I had a pc and the web 50 years ago!

Comments are closed.