Enigmatic Variations 1522
Consequences by Eclogue
UPDATE: Setter’s Blog now added
Extra letters give THE SECOND BOOK OF THE OLD TESTAMENT (Exodus); further information gives CHAPTER 21, VERSE(s) 23-25; perimeter answers are replaced by equivalents in accordance with this source (as per ODQ7).
Hello again EV Blog-readers (we know you’re out there somewhere, even if you aren’t the most forthcoming bunch). The setting partnership that is Eclogue return from the excesses of Christmas with a puzzle of Consequence(s) being our 12th contribution to the Enigmatic Variations series, published on 16 January 2022.
If you are looking for Dickensian prose or sparkling insight into the construction of our Old Testament outing, we fear you may be disappointed as what the tale of this puzzle lacks in mystery, it similarly fails to make up for in intrigue. We can promise a brief twist in the tale, but those scholarly types among you will probably have seen that one coming as well.
Biblical stories are always a good source of crossword themes. Some tend to be more generic, or about the story itself, rather than quoting passages within the good book. There are a couple of link words however, that are the grist of many a puzzle compiler and those are IS and FOR. Both can generate substitution in that “X is Y” (as seen in the recent DisGUisE EV), or “X for Y” as used here. From there it is a short step to do something thematic, whether it be a “letter for a letter”, a “word for a word”, a “clue for a clue” – well, you get the idea.
This particular section of the Bible is of course all about old-fashioned retribution and not in a good way by modern standards, so we would be sticking to treating the text solely as a thematic device rather than anything further.
In the original construction, the circles surrounding the split word CHAPTER were not included, but editorial suggestions included the need to provide additional clarity to the “…21 VERSE TWENTYFOUR etc” we had already included, so the circles were reinstated.
Using clue numbers as line references was an added bonus. There was no original intention to make it so, but once it looked likely that the possibility may occur, it took very little manipulation to ensure that the outlier to the main quotation was indeed appropriately labelled and that 4+21=25 was also available.
Our editor did note the coincidence of an identically titled puzzle in the pipeline during the review processes, but we felt it remained the most appropriate one to run with (as indeed it was for EV 1520 too, although the themes were very different).
And now, the (not so) unexpected twist. The Numpties of this parish struggled with some of the latter substitutions used in the selected text. This was due in part to their recall towards the more modern accepted version of today’s bible, rather than the King James or other versions. Unlike modern works of literature, a Bible presented in English is of course only a translation of the original texts, and with translation comes variation, sometimes enigmatic, other times less so. Fortunately, the source material was specifically quoted within (and indeed originally taken from) ODQ7, which reference was duly inserted into the preamble to avoid any additional wild goose chases.
Until next time, take care,
A full review of this puzzle can be seen over on fifteensquared.