EV 1586 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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EV 1586 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1586 (Hints)

Who Said It? by Vismut

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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This is Vismut’s sixteenth EV crossword and in the five years that she has been setting thematic cryptic crosswords, we have seen them in the IQ, EV, Listener and Magpie series. Solvers were delighted by her ‘Pretty Lights’ EV and know that her crosswords introduce us to activities and scenes from her home area.

Preamble: Highlight 20 cells in two straight lines showing WHO SAID IT. Chambers Dictionary (2016) and ODQ are recommended; 17 is in Collins.

Such a concise preamble, as well as the recommendation of the ODQ suggests to us that the grid will somehow present something that was ‘said’. In a 12 X 12 grid, we suspect that the two ‘straight lines’ that tell us ‘who said it’ will be two lines of ten letters (in rows, columns or diagonals).


18a          Middle East locking up international terrorist group in tiny chains (7)
There were three clue elements that we put together here: the Middle East, international, and a four-letter word for the terrorist group.

22a         Striker argues no notice or Sabbath included (7)
We removed a short word for ‘notice’ from a word for ‘argues’, and added a pair of letters from the clue, then had to include ‘Sabbath’ to produce an unusual word for that striker.

27a         Lark or amphibian? No heads (7)
In this very subtle clue we needed to ‘behead’ a pair of words to produce the ‘lark’.

30a         It would make a long motorway acceptable across contracted area of land (6)
The convention of highlighting the definition parts of clues in these hints will help solvers here. The ‘motorway’ and two letters for ‘acceptable’ have to ‘cross’ that contracted area.

32a         Look happy losing league including English for second year up in Scotland (5)
The ‘league’ has to be lost from that happy look – English included, to give what is clearly indicated as a Scottish word.

34a         Penniless elderly folk, with income support, hold up bloomers with this (5)
We smiled at the clue and suspected it was going to lead to some quaint elastic word but when we removed pennies from those elderly folk and added the income support, we were given an answer that Chambers confirms we can use to hold up flowers.


5d           Fix road in Japan (6)
We are given an instruction, here, that will lead to an old slang word for ‘Japan’.

7d           Ram raiders? (8)
We were puzzled by this cryptic clue, then decided to consider the two words together as a definition.

12d         Fat convict upset someone keeping clear of trouble (6)
We had to ‘upset’ the fat and the convict (both three letters) to find the answer.

15d        One booing rubbish Spurs hosting Ireland up on Elland Road initially (9)
The wordplay told us what letters to put together (and how to do it) to find this unusual definition of ‘one booing’.

20d        Different cells in this union organised good May Day out (6)
Again the wordplay led us to the relatively obscure answer. The underlining spells it out.

28d        Harry cycled around room naked I’m pleased to say (5)
A word for ‘Harry’ is doing the cycling around the ‘room naked’ to produce this entertaining clue.

Clashes appeared in six areas of the grid as we solved, and it became apparent that these involved the same six letters in a range of pairs with a couple of possible words emerging from the letters we chose (and some non-words in the grid). These prompted us to wonder about who might have said something about these words, and our usual visit to Wiki gave is our answer, that we then had to find in the grid and highlight.

Remember that highlighting, 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 1586 (Hints)
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  1. Hmm.. Very cryptic and very cunning. I had a full grid last night but no amount of staring at it would reveal anything beyond a 6-letter forename. So thanks to Google, which revealed a possibility. The cunning part is that the full name of the author contains a misprint until one acts on his famous saying. Very satisfying once it’s done! A good mix of clues culminating in the devious 27a.
    Thanks to Vismut and The Numpties.

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