EV 1545 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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EV 1545 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1545 (Hints)

Subject, Verb, Object by Gaston

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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This will be Gaston’s 25th crossword in the Enigmatic Variations series. Solvers will remember his puzzle where we drew a map of the jumps in the Grand National, then his final puzzle after the EV Ladies’ Month where he included geographic features in ‘The South American One’ and his ‘Quest’ that took us back to Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author. With such a range of topics, there is no guessing what his theme might be.

Preamble: Five thematically connected short sentences are made up, in order, of a SUBJECT (unclued), a VERB (clued normally but not entered in the grid) and an OBJECT (entered in the grid in the place of the verb). Thus, GASTON SWALLOWED SNAILS would entail GASTON being an unclued entry, SWALLOWED being clued normally but not entered in the grid, and SNAILS being entered in SWALLOWED’s place. Enumeration reflects grid entry. Solvers must highlight the thematic link in the completed grid. Chambers Dictionary (2016) is recommended.

Full marks to Gaston for a compilation where there is no fiddly gimmick. Everything is in the grid. We hunt for five unclued lights which are going to be filled by the SUBJECTs of these five ‘short sentences’ and note that five VERBs are going to be clued but that, in their place, we will be entering five OBJECTs. Our sympathy goes out to GASTON because of his unorthodox (somewhat French) diet.


6a          Chaps of that kind, not including acceptable, honest New Yorker, maybe (6)
The word we needed was a US slang term for that honest fellow. We used an obvious word for ‘chaps’ followed by a four-letter word for ‘of that kind’ with a letter for ‘acceptable’ removed.

15a        Discharged but became stable without money (3)
Here we needed to refer carefully to the preamble which told us that ‘enumeration reflects grid entry’. We had little doubt about what the clue spelled out for us – a word for ‘sacked’ or ‘discharged’ which needed the abbreviation for ‘money’ removed from a term for ‘became stable’.

16a        Flavour of fish seen around river (5)
There are so many fish that appear in crosswords. Here we used a three-letter one that circled perhaps the best-known Italian river.

21a         Suppress timeless furore (4)
We realised that we needed to remove ‘time’ from a five-letter term for ‘furore’ to produce a word for ‘suppress’.

22a         Fabric to strengthen and use once (6)
An old word for ‘use’ completes this rare word for a fabric.

25a         Heartless lecher rejected rugs (6)
After removing the ‘heart’ of the lecher, we had to ‘reject’ him to produce an unusual word for the rugs.

35a         Exhausted capital with banks withdrawing (5, two words)
We needed to remove the ‘banks’ from a different type of capital (not a financial term) to give us this two-word term for ‘exhausted’.


1d            Endless overindulgence creating unpleasant pile (4)
We removed a letter from a term for ‘overindulgence’ to create this word for the pile.

3d           Diseased old rogue pale and sour (8)
The underlining here prompts that we need an old way of spelling the word for ‘diseased’.

9d           Medicinal plants I kept in special phials (7)
‘Special’ here is telling us what to do with the ‘phials’.

24d          Record fellow whale (7)
We put together a word for ‘record’ and the usual crossword term for a ‘fellow’ to produce a rather unusual word for the whale.

The Numpty who was solving this smiled when he recognised the theme of this crossword. What to look for as the thematic link was obvious and, of course, it appeared in one of the most likely places.

Do remember to highlight those letters and 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.

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2 comments on “EV 1545 (Hints)

  1. Terrific fun once the penny dropped. It looked somewhat intimidating at first, requiring a strategy of just bunging in whatever answers were easily obtained – but not verbs. A couple of candidate “subjects” eventually emerged and were confirmed by Wiki, which thus supplied the others. A satisfying endgame.
    Many thanks to Gaston and The Numpties.

  2. Nice and fairly clued. The five I was head scratching over , of course, ended up being the swappy ones. The only real hold up was from not reading Mr Numpires hint for 3d. What was lovely was that the endgame wasn’t something I was familiar with and found it very charming. I also had a little saunter with Biggles, as the bottom right hand unclued was the first I solved.

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