Clues by Boatman and Grid by Calluna
The background for this puzzle is a monochrome blue Sharon Garber photograph showing a pyramid.
This puzzle uses a conventional 7x5x5 grid by Calluna and marks 100 years since Day 14 captured the public’s imagination (to be precise April is the 100th anniversary of an unfortunate event which added to the publicity). Letters in the squares coloured yellow and mauve can be rearranged to form the names of Day 14’s forbears (9) and (3,7,4).
Boatman’s innovation is to ignore the coloured letters in the wordplay for each clue. This means that in most clues the definition gives the whole word, but the wordplay only gives some of the answer, which is probably not a word and may be in several parts. The letter counts are always for the full answer.
Solvers wishing to excavate Day 14’s forbears may wish to note that his father is given by his name (in the most common transliteration), but that his mummy is given by an informal epithet.
Prepare to be dazzled by the treasures uncovered by Boatman and Calluna. And don’t worry: rumours of a curse are much overstated.
Prize for Slough (6)
First two letters are mauve squares so not included in the wordplay. You need to add these to a word for slough to give you a word for prize (verb rather than noun). [JP]
Crime portrayed by Mr Welles: cutting off head (5)
Definition: a crime. Think of the first name of a famous American Mr film-maker. Remove the first letter. This gives you the last four letters of the five letter solution. Up to you to add the appropriate letter in the mauve square. [GS]
Put on tons with this? (5)
Word for put on followed by abbreviation for tons (around a mauve square so you need to find the letter that goes there) gives you something that answers the definition! [JP]
Perennial spirits uncovered (5)
Definition: perennial as in shrub or flower. What is the most common spirit to be met in a haunted house? Make that plural (6 letters). Now remove the first and last letters (uncovered). This gives you the first four letters of the five letter solution. Up to you to add the appropriate letter in the yellow square. [GS]
Party in America wins renown (5)
Definition: renown. Two letter (only) abbreviation of the United States. Insert two letter word meaning a party/bash/rave. This gives you the last four letters of the five letter solution. Up to you to add the appropriate letter in the yellow square. [GS]
Number of Asian coins in despatch to the North (6)
The fifth letter is in a mauve cell so does not feature in the wordplay. You need a short word for Asian coins followed by in. Despatch to the North indicates that these letters should go up. The answer is a number (and not an anaesthetic). [NI]
Non-conformist? Not this man, though there may be crossed wires in this (7)
You need a word for non-conformist minus (not) this man. Add the two letters you’ll put in the mauve squares to give you something you’d see in an eyepiece. [JP]
Special offers? Boatman is involved (7)
The last two letters are in mauve cells so do not feature in the wordplay. The offers here used to be associated with Boxing Day, but now seem to be available all year. “Is involved” suggests you insert a letter for Boatman and you will get the first five letters of a word meaning outstanding or prominent. [NI]
Swindle head of business (6)
Definition: Extremely rich and powerful person in the world of business – invariably male. With one yellow square and two mauve this only leaves three letters for a synonym of swindle. Bearing this in mind it might be useful to double check the first letter, needed here, from the solution for Day 14. [GS]
I am grateful to the other members of the Hints & Tips team: Garry Stripling (Gin) and Jim Pennington (Philostrate).
Nick Inglis (etc)