EV 1516 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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EV 1516

Enigmatic Variations 1516

Fear by Chalicea

Setter’s Blog



Extra letters give SHADE HIS RANK NAME AND FILM TITLE; ADMIRAL Isoroku YAMAMOTO, in the film TORA! TORA! TORA! said, “[I fear] WE HAVE [only] AWAKENED A SLEEPING GIANT”.

It was the line in the dramatic film Tora Tora Tora that prompted me to create this grid. The ODQ claims that this was a line used in the film, though there is no evidence that Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto ever actually said the words “I fear we have only awakened a sleeping giant”. Quoted in the ODQ (under the correct spelling of his name – the flawed one in the film lines obliged me to rewrite half the grid) are his words “A military man can scarcely pride himself on having ‘smitten a sleeping enemy’; in fact, to have it pointed out is more a matter of shame.”

Yamamoto died in 1943 and thus did not witness the dropping of the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the events which revealed the ultimate vengeance of the sleeping giant or enemy.

We talk about that attack on Pearl Harbor a lot: how the US had frustrated Japan until that seemed to be the only way out for them; how it was the event that probably changed the direction of the dreadful war that was underway; and how the Japanese attack fell short, failing to eliminate the aircraft carriers that were away from Pearl Harbor on manoeuvres, or to return in a third wave and smash the oil reserves of the Harbor – had they done so, the ultimate outcome might have been different. Yamamoto later expressed his regret that that had not taken place.

It was a gripping theme for me and one I had to attempt. My first grid was symmetrical but symmetry had to go when I had to re-compile. The 80th anniversary of the attack on Hawaii was December 7th 2021. My in-laws were deeply involved in wartime intelligence work and the Los Alamos project and they said, many years ago “It is time to move on.” But I permitted myself one last look.


A full review of this puzzle can be seen over on fifteensquared.


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