Enigmatic Variations 1585 (Hints)
Proclamation by Chalicea
Hints and tips by Phibs
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My fellow blogger needs no introduction, but suffice to say that we can expect fair clues, plenty of thematic material, and a challenge likely to be more entertaining than arduous.
Preamble: One word which, together with the surname of the author of the work, must be highlighted in the completed grid, is twice missing from a PROCLAMATION that circles the perimeter of the grid starting in the top left cell. Chambers Dictionary (2016) is recommended.
Only one way to proceed here: solve the clues, fill the grid, and then set about the endgame.
15a Rejected glazed fabric – cold, containing metallic element (5)
It is the French term for a fabric with a highly glazed finish which must have a single-letter abbreviation tacked on before the combination is ‘rejected’ in the sense of ‘thrown back’.
23a Euphoric stimulant: Gulf resident drops last half (3)
The Gulf resident would have been well placed to attend the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
1d Cavalryman, a soldier at first, quitting set of dances (6)
The seven-letter set of dances here inevitably puts me in mind of Joyce Grenfell’s Old Time Dancing (“Stately as a galleon, I sail across the floor”) and the ‘dear old’ quadrille in which she was swung round and round by Mrs Tiverton (‘light on her feet, in spite / Of turning the scale at fourteen stone, and being of medium height’).
15d More huggable copper with designated driver and lecherous look, we hear (8)
A 2+2+4 charade, the third element being an approximate soundalike for a lecherous look.
18d Having unsupported member of agricultural establishment containing highland cattle yard (7)
The ‘agricultural establishment’ is a very familiar four-letter word which should enable you to get the solution even if you don’t know the term which some north of the border apply to an enclosure wherein cattle are overwintered.
28d Docked old bloodhound consuming heart of rotten bit of tongue (5)
Probably the toughest clue in the puzzle, with the ‘heart of rotten’ being consumed by the first three letters of an obsolete four-letter term for a leash also applied to the bloodhound or ????-hound, a dog which hunters would keep on just such a leash.
Definitions in clues are underlined
Having filled the grid, I decided that identifying the text around the perimeter might be a better option than looking for the hidden words, although either method would have worked out. The start of the ‘proclamation’ (which runs clockwise from the NW corner) has a lot of letters missing, but among the last twelve letters there are only two gaps, and you may find (as I did) that identifying the last couple of words quickly sets you on the right track. Having established the quotation and author, finding the words by looking in the grid for a specific letter from each will give rapid results. If you decide to search for the hidden words first, bear in mind that when a puzzle has a message round the perimeter it’s often tricky to conceal words inside the grid horizontally or vertically, so an oblique view is likely to be required.
A very straightforward grid fill and a nice unequivocal finale.
Phibs Toughness Rating : 🥾 (Suitable for all solvers, including those new to themed puzzles)
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