EV 1520 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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EV 1520

Enigmatic Variations 1520

Consequences by Stick Insect

Setter’s Blog

Extra words give the start of the quotation IF LAWYERS ARE DISBARRED AND CLERGYMEN DEFROCKED, DOESN’T IT FOLLOW; six entries show the thematic partner to the answer. Other extra words give further pairs.

Looking back at my notes, I see I worked on this puzzle in February and March of 2021, so it was providing some lockdown diversion for me. Unfortunately, I didn’t note where I saw the quotation, so the exact inspiration is now lost in that general lockdown fog. However, I do remember thinking it would be fun to extend the examples in the quote with some new combinations and enjoyed myself coming up with a list of possibilities, most of which made their way into the clues.

I was pleased that I was able to accommodate the quotation examples in the grid symmetrically: obviously it helps that they all begin de- and end -ed, so slotting them together wasn’t hard, and they helpfully have paired up lengths. I thought I should try and maintain the symmetry by having the other pairs of extra words appear in clues to symmetrically placed answers (and the two centrally crossing answers). That gave me some constraint in the clue-writing; no bad thing as it sometimes means a bit more imagination is required.

I confess I was a little concerned that the additional examples weren’t strictly necessary – the puzzle would have worked without them. I hope they both added some additional challenge and some entertainment for those who bothered to pair them up – and for those who merely found them groan-worthy, my apologies: if you think those were bad, as least you were spared some of the other ones I came up with (judges/deluded … enough said).

My thanks as ever to the editor for improvements made and to anyone who’s taken the trouble to comment.

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