Hints & Tips July 2021

July 2021 puzzle page

Clues by Vlad and Grid by Gin

The background for this puzzle is a Graham Fox photograph showing a mouth-watering pile of limes.

This grid by Gin marks 58th and 70th anniversaries of important dates in the life of one of a famous (or rather notorious) group. His epithet appears in the yellow highlighted squares. Two other members of the group are clued without definition.

The 4-letter “occupation” and 3-letter name of the theme are anagrams of some of the hollowed-out squares on levels 3 and 5 respectively. The required letters form the middles of consecutive runs of three consecutive letters. Each of these runs can be assumed to be a straight line in the across-back or away-to direction. If there are two letters two apart in the alphabet next to one of the hollowed-out squares then you can safely enter the middle letter in the hollowed-out square. No suitable letters could go in the hollowed-out squares that are not used (so there are no “decoys”).

Vlad has used all his tradecraft to infiltrate the clues with clandestine references. Use your (counter)-intelligence to disclose the secrets buried within.

Day 1

Slips out of Whitechapel finally – by tradition they’re in the East End (5)

Find a six-letter word that means slips and from it remove the last letter in Whitechapel – i.e. the letter ‘L’. Here the reference is not to Albert Square but to a building where compass points are of some significance. [GS]

Day 2

Business associate accepts American and Omani currency (5)

Business associate here is a short slang word for business followed by an abbreviation for associate. Accepts means we insert a single letter for American to get the term for 1000th of an Omani Rial. This isn’t the spelling used on Omani banknotes, but it is the spelling used in Chambers. [N&SI]

Day 18

Beat side US put out (6)

Clearly there is an anagram in here somewhere. But is the solution ‘beat’ or ‘put out’? A nice double take of a clue. [GS]

Day 19

Yes goes visiting Berlin and Paris island (4)

Translate the first part into German and French to find an island that’s not in the Seine! [JP]

Day 26

Goat wandering over South Island area (5)

Wandering suggests an anagram. It is tempting to put this round S for South, but instead we should follow it with an abbreviation for over to get a region in the South Island of a country. [N&SI]

Day 27

Reportedly arouse best friend? (4)

Reportedly indicates ‘sounds like’ another word for arouse that gives you a type of man’s best friend. [JP]

Day 29

After bust-up finally closes free bars? (5)

Bust-up indicates an anagram. Finally suggests a last letter. Jumble that with another 4 letters to give you an answer for the definition ‘bars’. [JP]

Day 32

Wrong to hide the empty mug (5)

Start with the singular of the seven deadlies (3 letters) and insert the word ‘the’ devoid of content (2 letters). Contrary to popular opinion, you have to be a mug to get it! [GS]

Day 35

Kick rector round back of rectory? He’s only being playful (5)

Look for a short word for kick followed by an abbreviation for rector. Round indicates that these letters should surround a single letter for the back of rectory. The answer is a somewhat unfamiliar agent noun deriving from a very familiar noun meaning plaything. [N&SI]


We are grateful to the other members of the Hints & Tips team: Garry Stripling (Gin) and Jim Pennington (Philostrate), and Alison Ramage & Andre Sonnet (Aramis)

Happy solving!

Nick & Sarah Inglis (etc)

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