Capital by Vismut
Extra wordplay letters give PERCY H FAWCETT DSO, the subject of the book THE LOST CITY OF Z. Extra words are anagrammed capital cities, placed unjumbled in the perimeter.
Who knows why every generation throws up extraordinary people who seem willing to risk their lives pursuing their own particular obsession. In this case it is to find a city which is rumoured to exist somewhere in the Amazon, quite a large place and not particularly near the local shop for supplies, although I guess if you know where to look like the indigenous tribes you can make it work. No doubt they, the tribes that is, already knew if the city existed or not and, if they did, where it was, but this is a white man on the search which would have made it his “discovery” and official of course. Except of course he disappeared, presumably dead in the jungle, but maybe he did find the city and settled down there. Who knows?
Anyway, I digress. With my crossword setter hat on I watch the TV or read the papers in an entirely different way. Headlines with anagram indicators are always interesting and somewhere along the way I must have come across this book or film title which lead me to Colonel PHF. “Lost” is in there and “Z”, a letter that can be spun to form another if in capitals. Ding! Anagrams of capital cities. Of course! Sounds fun from my point of view, but how to get it into a puzzle that leads the solver to the solution without a massive leap of imagination or giving it away too early?
I found to my delight that many, many capital cities form anagrams of other words. Some that didn’t get used in the puzzle made hasten, anther, mole, omnivore, amuser, curse and there are more. So rather than restricting myself to just a few to go around the perimeter I put one in every down clue, some as red herrings, some to complete the grid. With three puzzles to solve already, clues, anagrams of cities, title in the grid, I thought that the solver might like an undemanding gimmick in the across clues to arrive at the main theme of the puzzle Colonel Percy H Fawcett who disappeared whilst searching for, what he called, The Lost City of Z.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this puzzle. I noted that Kenmac referred to he and the other bloggers thriving on feedback on https://www.fifteensquared.net/. I’m fairly sure that most setters feel the same…especially if it is positive….and with a couple of attempts to stop the EV already, I’m guessing the more response these puzzles get on all the blogging sites, the better.
I wish you a happy puzzling New Year
A full review of this puzzle can be seen over on fifteensquared.