Clues by Qaos and Grid by Mang
The winner of the November puzzle was Andrew Wyss of Leeds.
Review of the October 2021 3D crossword
[Because I designed this grid, I asked Nick Inglis, half of the grid designing team etc, and one of our 3D editorial team, if he could review it. – Alan]
This puzzle has a seven dials grid designed by Mang with clues set by Qaos. We’re told that it marks the 156th anniversary of a defining point in the field of Day 34 and for one thematic concept in particular. Hmm, could that be something scientific? 1865 might be right for Maxwell’s equations in electrodynamics or possibly for Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. Day 33 and Day 34 are the only clues marked as thematic, so enlightenment may have to wait.
A novel aspect of this crossword is that five of the clues contain an adjacent pair of surplus words which should be removed before solving. Each pair of surplus words provides one of five thematic anagrams labelled as A1 to A5.
As residents of Yorkshire we were quickly onto AIRER, we hoped that AULA would be an old word for hall (and were gratified to see this confirmed) and as a mathematician, I was all over AZIMUTH (nicely appropriate surface!). The next clue looked likely to be an anagram of CHEMISTRY minus the letters of STIR, but we couldn’t see the answer. Could chemistry be the field mentioned in the rubric?
At Day 5, protective covering in sight made us think of CORNEA and this was an anagram of RACE + NO, which suggested that DO RIDERS was the first of our surplus pairs. We couldn’t see the anagram, so continued. Day 6 proved beyond us, but we made steady progress with DIRGE, EAR (another splendid surface) and HAVEN’T. Day 10 clearly seemed to be HAYLE which we deduced to be a variant spelling of HALE (damn you Spenser!) and Day 11 had to be IND. The next few fell fairly easily, but Day 15 took some thought. We knew that a German federated state is a LAND, plural LÄNDER, but that only has six letters. Aha, could it also be written as LAENDER? (yes and that’s a V removed from LAVENDER – nice). Day 16 also caused some trouble: L?E?? – could it be LEAR (king) with an E for Spain in it? Yes it could: LEEAR is indeed a Scottish version of LIAR. This means we have another surplus pair: MEET RAPTURE. Still no obvious anagram.
Day 17 yielded LIPOMA. Then Day 18 mentioned 1960s youth. TED maybe? No, MOD embracing P.E. for MOPED. Here RICKETY ENGINE seemed superfluous and this time the initial letter K from KNOWN helps KINETIC ENERGY appear. Aha! Maybe we are in the realm of physics.
The next two proved tricky, but then we were on a run of solvable clues with only Day 24 fighting back.
A huge anagram for Day 33 proved to be THE CONSERVATION OF ENERGY and Day 34 emerged as THERMODYNAMICS. Not entirely familiar ground, but we could always fall back on Flanders and Swann.
As usual a few unusual words (TUNKU, YMOLT, ZAYIN) to finish off the alphabet and then back to the thematic anagrams. By this stage we could see the letters of ENTROPY jumbled (appropriately) in the central column and on a second look DISORDER emerged as an anagram of DO RIDERS. Similarly TEMPERATURE from MEET RAPTURE. Back to the start and two pairs of surplus words to find.
These revealed themselves to be PER USERS from Day 19 giving PRESSURE and THEY PLAN from Day 24 giving ENTHALPY.
After polishing off the remaining clues our final task was the anagram of the bold/orange cells, appropriately giving us CHAOS (or should that be QAOS?).
Many thanks to Qaos and Mang for this welcome work-out from the world of physics. The surplus word anagram innovation worked well and could usefully be repeated in future puzzles.
This is a complex charade clue including an anagram and a homophone: a T next to the sign for the Ladies; the ’80s pop group The Bangles singing a line from their hit song “Manic Monday”, a devious device to indicate an anagram (manic) of Monday; and a mixing bowl above an ear, indicating a homophone for ‘mix’.
T + HER + (MONDAY)* + MIX (homophone) = THERMODYNAMICS
Clues and explanations
Thematic solutions are indicated with an asterisk.
|Day||Solution||Direction, Clue, Count||Explanation|
|1||AIRER||44di River runs drier (5)||AIRE (river) + R (runs)|
|2||AULAS||28C Gold and top grades inspire student halls (5)||AU (gold) + AS (top grades) containing (inspire) L (student)|
|3||AZIMUTH||4d “Complex math about unknown” – I grasp university angle (7)||Anagram (complex) of MATH containing (about) Z (unknown) + I also containing (grasp) U (university)|
|4||CHYME||12di Food pulp produced by chemistry set – stir away (5)||Anagram (set) of CHEM[istr]Y – (away) STIR|
|5||CORNEA||33di Do riders recklessly race with no protective covering in sight? (6)||Anagram (recklessly) of RACE + (with) NO|
|6||CROWN||15di Tip with old money (5)||Double definition|
|7||DIRGE||40di Girl’s beginning to break into terrible song (5)||G (girl’s beginning) contained in (to break into) DIRE (terrible)|
|8||EAR||32d Van Gogh lost this landscape, a Realism piece (3)||Hidden (piece) in [landscap]E A R[ealism]|
|9||HAVEN’T||27di Do not possess shelter before onset of typhoon (6)||HAVEN (shelter) + (before) T (onset of typhoon)|
|10||HAYLE||10di Literary festival starts to look effective for poet’s welfare (5)||HAY (literary festival) + initial letters of (starts to) L[ook] E[ffective]|
|11||IND||18AC Asian country’s short version of passport maybe includes name (3)||ID (passport maybe) containing (includes) N (name)|
|12||INGRAIN||6d Criminal ring in a fix (7)||Anagram (criminal) of RING IN A|
|13||IN UTERO||39up From which delivery process routine? (2,5)||Anagram (process) of ROUTINE|
|14||KNOWN||17di Close to shock, before new present’s revealed (5)||K (close to shock) + NOW (present) + (before) N (new)|
|15||LAENDER||43up German state’s plant lacks 5 (7)||LA[v]ENDER (plant) – (lacks) V (5)|
|16||LEEAR||29di Scottish liar and king meet rapture capturing Spain (5)||LEAR (king) containing (capturing) E (Spain)|
|17||LIPOMA||22di Tumour in cheek? It’s nothing, mother (6)||LIP (cheek) + O (nothing) + MA (mother)|
|18||MOPED||24di 1960s’ youth embraces training for rickety engine vehicle (5)||MOD (1960’s youth) containing (embraces) PE (training)|
|19||NEED||7d-4 Want drugs per users, stashed within neighbourhood limits (4)||EE (drugs) contained in (stashed within) ND (neighbourhood limits)|
|20||NEOPRENE||16di,20C-4 National writer returns with Descartes’ rubber (8)||N (national) + reverse (returns) of POE (writer) + RENE (Descartes)|
|21||NINJA||35di Assassin, one in news by foreign agreement (5)||I (one) contained in (in) NN (news) + JA (foreign agreement)|
|22||NITRO||2di Explosive made from gold can backfire (5)||Reversal (backfire) of OR (gold) + TIN (can)|
|23||NUNCIO||34di Messenger’s number 1 in France about current love (6)||N (number) + UN (1 in France) + C (about) + I (current) + O (love)|
|24||OF THE ORDER OF||8di,37AC,8di-2 They plan on cooking food for three approximately (2,3,5,2)||Anagram (cooking) of FOOD FOR THREE|
|25||OUTLINE||37up Summary of rugby set piece after words are exchanged (7)||LINE OUT (rugby set piece) with words exchanged|
|26||PUREE||42di Pulp made using clean energy (5)||PURE (clean) + E (energy)|
|27||RAYON||11di Managed to cover up half your fabric (5)||RAN (managed) containing (to cover up) YO[ur] (half your)|
|28||REEVE||30di Old official to turn back east (5)||Reversal (back) of VEER (turn) + E (east)|
|29||RIPEN||21di Mature writing, maybe by independent writer (5)||R (writing: one of 3 R’s) + I (independent) + PEN (writer)|
|30||SPRAT||38di Petty quarrel over recipe for fish (5)||SPAT (petty quarrel) containing (over) R (recipe)|
|31||STATIC||5di So, stocking cheap goods still? (6)||SIC (so) containing (stocking) TAT (cheap goods)|
|32||TAPER||23di Narrow spill (5)||Double definition|
|33||THE CONSERVATION OF ENERGY*||1C,8di-2,14AC* No-one’s centre of gravity is unstable orbiting hard Earth (3,12,2,6)||Anagram (unstable) of NO-ONE’S CENTRE OF GRAVITY containing (orbiting) H (hard) + E (Earth)|
|34||THERMODYNAMICS*||1d,41up* Mother’s upset with daughter asking why I see son after war (14)||Anagram (upset) of MOTHER + D (daughter) + YIC (homophone [asking] of why I see) + S (son) after NAM (war)|
|35||TUNKU||36di Malaysian prince’s “punk” insult regularly recalled (5)||Reversal (recalled) of alternate letters (regularly) of [p]U[n]K [i]N[s]U[l]T|
|36||VETCH||3di Climber very eager to climb Himalayan peaks? (5)||Initial letters (peaks) of V[ery] E[ager] T[o] C[limb] H[imalayan]|
|37||YMOLT||19di Ends of lolly seem to feel most melted (5)||Final letters (ends) of [loll]Y [see]M [t]O [fee]L [mos]T|
|38||ZAYIN||13di Hebrew character: zero talking, not with extremists (5)||Z (zero) + [s]AYIN[g] (talking) – outside letters (not with extremists)|
|A1||DISORDER*||40AC (8)||DO RIDERS from Day 5 clue|
|A2||ENTHALPY*||45AC (8)||THEY PLAN from Day 24 clue|
|A3||KINETIC ENERGY*||17AC (7,6)||RICKETY ENGINE from Day 18 clue|
|A4||PRESSURE*||25di,31AC (8)||PER USERS from Day 19 clue|
|A5||TEMPERATURE*||26AC (11)||MEET RAPTURE from Day 16 clue|
|Easter Egg||CHAOS||(a) Bold/orange highlights (5)|
|Easter Egg||ENTROPY||(b) The celebrated thematic concept the five-letter word loosely defines (green highlights) (7)||From TYOPENR, to be entered jumbled, as suggested by the defining word CHAOS|
Our knowledge of the laws of Thermodynamics owes much to Flanders and Swann, but we found this very entertaining. We didn’t spot the theme before the thematic Days 33 and 34 so ironically we started in chaos, but gradually achieved order. We enjoyed finding the superfluous words and associated anagrams. Thanks! [N&SI]
Fun theme, and I even unpacked the picture clue (admittedly after I’d solved that one by other means). Many thanks for consistently high standard of puzzling. [RS]
Didn’t understand much but loved solving it. Days 9 and 32 made me smile. [NB]
Nice cluing, with some unusual words. Not as hard as it appeared at first. Thermodynamics was the least favourite modue of my physics course; not well taught either – half of us failed it. [MJ]
This puzzle kind of fell into my lap. I had no idea what the theme was at first, but I went straight to the two thematic clues and got Day 34 THERMODYNAMICS pretty quickly, from ‘Mother’s upset’ (THERMO) at the beginning and ‘I see son’ (ICS) at the end. By chance, I had been reading about thermodynamics during the previous week! Day 33 next to it (THE CONSERVATION OF ENERGY) came just as quickly, the enumeration helping just as much as the theme. ENTHALPY was new to me, but the other eight thematic words and phrases were familiar. The clues were very good, and I liked Qaos’s original idea of clueing five of the thematic items using anagrams of surplus words in those clues. In the clue to Day 15, the apostrophe should have come after the S of ‘states’ rather than before it. An excellent puzzle with a generous helping of thematic content. [AB]
Very enjoyable – which is more than I can say for studying Thermodynamics in my second year at Uni studying Chemistry! It was just hard. A couple of new words to us, always a pleasure. In our quick first scan of the clues, we solved day 34 which gave us good candidates (fairly soon confirmed) for A1-5. That gave us a really good start for the rest of the puzzle. Thank you Qaos and Mang. [CW]
The puzzles this year seem to have been extra special, to the extent that one wonders about the minds that invent them. After not quite completing August and September, to sit down and complete this in one evening felt almost like a cheat. Perhaps I now know why I studied some physics at university. MM [AM]
Good to see another STEM theme, we almost got our steam enthalpy tables out to solve this one. [J&JH]
All right, as cool as can be (2) [JC]
I liked the fact that Qaos set a puzzle featuring CHAOS! This was a tough puzzle with a lot of unfamiliar words, so quite a bit of “looking up” was needed. I am still not sure I have it all right as science is not my forté, but I enjoyed the challenge nevertheless. Many thanks to Qaos and Mang. [JA]
Every month I think, they can’t top that, and it seems that every month they do. How these abstruse physical properties could have fitted into a grid, let alone a Seven Dials one, I can’t begin to imagine – and that’s before the casual afterthought of throwing a couple of redundant words into a clue every so often. Order out of CHAOS indeed. [PA]
It wasn’t my favourite area of physics, but here it’s given rise to an enjoyable puzzle. [TH]
Enjoyable – a good balance of challenge but solvable, not too many unfamiliar words and an interesting theme. Thanks Qaos [JC]
Very Qaotic! Lots of fun + a bit of education = the best entertainment. Thanks to Qaos. [SC]
Yet another brilliant puzzle. Will I ever get the chance to place ‘Azimuth’ on a scrabble board? [RE]
Lovely drawing, great grid, excellent clues, and a very unusual topic for a crossword! [HS]
Luckily S has a physics background or I may have struggled to get going. After that an enjoyable solve and pleased to have completed one. The last couple have left me stumped on the last couple of clues and I had the feeling that the difficulty was rising as the year progressed.. Or of course that my abilities are declining as the year progresses. This is our first year and we look forward to this and the Genius at the beginning of each month. Many thanks. [SH]
Very enjoyable & not too difficult [MN]
It was rather difficult to get started on this puzzle – the 1865 date’s relevance only emerged after completion, when I looked up the history of the theme. (I still haven’t worked out how the drawing works, apart from ‘mics’ for mix) So I had needed to solve enough of the non-thematic clues to be able to make a reasonable guess at words that would fit for the others, and then look in them for pairs of words which would be anagram fodder – confirmed when taking them out leaves a resulting clue which parses correctly. By the way, there’s a mistake in the clue on the 15th: answer is plural, so there shouldn’t be an apostrophe. I must take this opportunity to thank Qaos and Mang for fitting together so much thematic material. [PM]
Some of the clues were quite straightforward which gave me a way in to solve the rest. The subject was something I was familiar which helped. I was amazed at the clever use of the extra words in 5 of the clues to give anagrams of the A1-A5 answers. They fitted in so well that I didn’t notice some of them. [MP]
Enjoyed wrestling with this. Heat cannot of itself pass etc. – no time spent listening to Flanders and Swann is ever wasted. The theme, however appeared quite late in my solving process. Am I wrong, or are the puzzles becoming gradually more difficult? Don’t mind that at all, after all, we have a month for each one. Perhaps I’m just on the long descent… Thank you Qaos and Mang, it was really good. [AC]
I never really understood physics but I battled my way through this. Some great clues and an ingenious cartoon. [PD]
Very fine! A1-5 made all the difference. [ET]
Clearly on the right path with this one. Rickety engine screamed kinetic energy! Well done Qaos I loved it.😎 [DM]
Much more satisfactory for me, compared with Sept. Loved the science and especially the chaos/entropy. The grid was very helpful, once the easier non-themed clues went in, Thermodynamics kind of leapt out and the rest was a pleasant solve and place. I back-solved the extra word anagrams rather than working them out from first principles, so a bit of a slapped wrist there. I biffed in STATTO for 31, so real idea if it is right, fits the crossers and the wordplay ! Actually after getting one of those ‘Your submission contains an incorrect answer’ e-mails I looked again and realised I was going the wrong way across the grid ! so STATIC it is Bravo Qaos and Mang and thanks Frank Paul — I got there in the end with the clever pic clue. [ES]
Fascinating – took me back more than 60 years to my Physics A-level [HB]
Best for months! – perhaps because it is the first time for months that I have felt pretty confident in submitting before hints and tips have arrived! Really interesting theme, beautifully sustained and constructed, with several laugh-out-loud moments in the clues. Day 15 really should be clearer that the answer is plural – I don’t feel the apostrophe is necessary but it could just as well come after the s. Oh yes and I got the picture clue as well. [EF]
Very enjoyable puzzle – it was a slow and steady solve for me with lots to learn along the way. Well done Qaos indeed! [BS]
So clever. Loved Day 9 [NB]
Oh what ghastly memories this brought back of science lessons. Taught by a teacher who seemed almost as bored as I was with it. And what demented imagination thought up entropy and enthalpy as names for different concepts….couldn’t they have come up with words that were not so similar ? Or was it part of a dastardly plan to confuse the likes of me ? I think it was……it certainly worked. Great crossword, though. [SW]
I loved that ENTROPY was disordered, a very good ending. Still can’t parse #14/17di [RS]
I know nothing about the theme of this crossword and quite a few of my solutions are words I’d never heard of! All my solving strategies were called on – I hope to good effect! [JB]
Fun to solve but haven’t a clue about the science!! [SF]
Fans of Flanders and Swan will quickly have spotted the references . and echoed Michael Flander’s sigh of “That’s entropy, man!” The addition of the extra five hidden anagrams added to the challenge, but not impossibly so… All very enjoyable, even for non-physicists. Just one quibble – at day 15, the term LAENDER is the plural form, so it should be “German states’ “. I wasted a lot of time trying to find something to go with singular “Land”. It is also a rather unfair answer for non-linguists who may not be familiar with the plural form, especially spelt like this which is not the usual way! They may perhaps have been struggling to find the names of individual states. (Note: no need to publish this comment if you don’t wish) [SB]
Spectacular puzzle and nice cluing! [JN]
A tour de force! [JM]
Wow – a lot going on here – so much packed in…seems like a subject close to Qaos/Chaos’ heart?! I hope my entr(op)y is correct… [MC]
forgotten the crossword this month until the hints came out so took it away with us. the hints were useful and the crossword was fun to do [RC]
A lovely puzzle and a theme that the slave could understand. My master wants me to let you know, any mistakes are due to the slave entering incorrect answers, not to his appalling writing [RG]
I know nothing about science but enjoyed this immensely. I like the circular gridwork a lot. Extremely fair cluing led me to words I had never heard before. Tunku? Ymolt? Enthalpy?! Many thanks to Qaos and Mang. [JS]
Brilliant puzzle with so much thematic material! [MD]
Great theme and great fun to solve [TC]
Very impressed. So few snakes given the unfriendly lengths of most of the thematic answers. NB 15 (43up) seems to define “German state” singular, but the answer is LAENDER, which means “German states” plural. Is there a very minor error there – simply moving the apostrophe would work. [HE]
Well that brought back our university physics memories! Very satisfying, thanks! [AH]