EV 1592 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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EV 1592 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1592 (Hints)

Warning by Gaston

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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This will be Gaston’s 26th EV crossword. He has been setting two or three a year for almost ten years, so you will probably have solved his crosswords before and know what a range of themes he handles – and that you are in good hands.

Preamble:  A WARNING from Gaston to solvers runs clockwise round the perimeter of the grid starting at the top left cell, and gives an indication of how the definitions in 12 clues relate to their entries. Four further clues each contain a single superfluous word; these can be sequenced to give the deliverer of the WARNING on which Gaston’s is based. 21 further clues each contain a single misprinted letter which must be corrected before solving; read in clue order the correct letters spell out the venue where the WARNING was delivered. Unchecked letters in the perimeter might give MA’S IN A SIZE FIVE JUMPER. Chambers Dictionary (2016) is recommended. One answer is an abbreviation.

A perimeter message and four superfluous words that we have to ‘sequence’.  We guess that we are going to put them together in an order that will give us a name. Misprints somewhere in 21 other clues – we notice that those will not be just in the definition parts of the clues. We are being ‘warned’ about something and that person whose name we will ‘sequence’ also gave that ‘warning’ somewhere that the corrected misprints will spell out for us. 12 clues are going to have definitions that somehow ‘relate to their entries’. Intriguing!


8a           Rejecting trees for child’s entertainment in Glasgow (4)
Clearly we need to invert a four-letter word for trees  to produce a word that is Scottish. Not many of the ‘tree’ words in Mrs Bradford’s Crossword Solver’s Dictionary produced convincing words.

13a         Part of scripture from Indian city nearby (4)
Remember that we are looking for misprints in 21 clues. Only one word, here, gave us a likely misprint and solved our problem of relating a word for ‘part of scripture’ with the name of an Indian city.

23a         Give preliminary payment for vocal and unlimited conference with the enemy? (4)
Think of a term for ‘conference with the enemy’ – it has to be ‘unlimited’ to provide the required archaic and dialect word.

29a       Nautical link cut short for Scottish island (4)
You are more likely to spot the Scottish island (when a couple of letters are in place) than the pretty obscure word for the nautical link – that you have to ‘cut short’.

39a       Slow stretch of water off the South Coast? Not so! (4)
Once you have spotted what is going on in 12 clues, you will smile at this one for the definition ‘slow’. The stretch of water off the South Coast has six letters – Not so! (clearly not the Channel!)

40a        Bib from grand outfit (4)
You need to remember that the misprint can be either in the definition or the wordplay of the clue. The two elements of the wordplay, here, produce an unusual word which leads to a verbal definition.


1d            Partners of Rama – both partners and opponents! (4)
Think of letters giving partners in a card game. It might be a useful reminder that setters can use (misuse) punctuation and upper-case letters, for example, to suit their purpose.

3d          Prying daughter raised ton for inventor (5)
You need to ‘raise’ the ‘prying’ and ‘daughter’ to get the inventor of a household item.

7d          Worrying pulses in neck muscle (8)
The convention of highlighting the definition in hints probably says all that you need.

22d         One stepping inside‘s drunk hot bromide (8, two words)
As in the above hint, the highlighting is probably all you need – what a clue! Who woud drink hot bromide!

25d        Adjust outside support for grandstand (7)
The ‘adjust’ word is one that you might use when talking of an instrument. It has to be ‘outside’ a short ‘support’ word.

28d        Soars around like cooks (6)
Remember that you are still hunting for misprints. The first clue word has to be around a short word for ‘like’ to produce ‘cooks’.

There were several possible ways to spot the theme of this crossword. For us it was those four small, superfluous words – we needed only two of them to suggest who the deliverer of the warning was. We still needed the venue spelled out by those corrected misprints, and a search on Wikipedia to give us the exact wording of that warning. We needed to persist on Wiki to find what we needed. We Numpties (particularly) should have found the 12 clues that relate ‘somehow’ to their entries but, in fact, we had to examine our completed grid carefully to spot the entire set.

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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1 comment on “EV 1592 (Hints)
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  1. I was lucky that my first 2 clues solved were 2 of the 12 which provided a hypothesis easily tested by a few more of them plus the emerging top line of the message. I had 10 before the endgame which was readily completed by Googling the deliverer and the venue. [What would we do without it?]. The final task was more Googling to identify the last 2 of the 12. It all hangs together nicely.
    Bravo Gaston and merci Les Numpties.

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