Clues and Grid by Soup
I apologise for the late arrival of these hints and tips. Normal service should be resumed next month.
The background to this puzzle is a Graham Fox photograph of a tree stump.
This very cleverly designed grid celebrates the 90th anniversary of a unique sporting achievement by a Yorkshireman. The achievement was ten * for ten †, where * is given by 15ac (the yellow squares) and † is given by the four blue squares reading down. The achievement is represented by ten special clues (five 5-letter answers and five 7-letter answers). In the special clues the wordplay gives one word and the definition gives another. The usual abbreviation for * should be changed to the usual abbreviation for † to convert the first word to the second, which should be entered in the grid. If the wordplay is also a definition then remember to enter the word with the abbreviation for † in the grid.
Our hero’s name (6,6) is anagram of the mauve squares and should be submitted with your entry.
Soup has furnished a witty puzzle to celebrate this magnificent achievement. You won’t meet many of the special clues before half way, but by then you should have a pretty good idea of the general thematic activity. The best way to tackle this is to sit down with a fat rascal and some parkin and remember not to go out on the moor baht ‘at. My granny would have solved this with her pinny and a stick of rhubarb. Ah’ll sithee!
Rising Pakistani Umpire, genial to the core, no good (7)
You need to find the surname of a well known elite umpire and add the letters from the middle (core) of genial and an abbreviation for no good. Then, as in another 9 clues, do the letter exchange as instructed to give you another word for rising. [JP]
They chronicle effort with league-losing bowlers’ sessions (7)
This clue is a very clever construct wrong-footing the unwary on at least two if not three occasions. The definition is the first two words only (and not three). Quite separate is “league-losing” implying the eventual removal of the one letter abbreviation for league. Finally “bowlers’ sessions” means “overs”, right? Wrong! So to recap: A two letter word suggesting effort followed by a six letter synonym for sessions from which you remove one letter to get the seven letter solution. [GS]
Introduces Fat Gatting to open, striking about from where batsmen stand (7)
This invokes a cheeky image of Mike Gatting, but you only need his first letter (Gatting to open). Then add where batsmen stand at the wicket but take away (striking) an abbreviation for about to give you an answer for the first two words. [JP]
Blowers takes run out – what a place for an egg! (7)
Not telephones, but a well known commentator’s nickname around an abbreviation for run out will give you this breeding ground for eggs (not duck eggs though). [JP]
Team of three players we’re told – give out something to drink (7)
We’re told suggests that we’re looking for a homophone. Now in the thematic activity three players would be too few for a team: how many players are missing? The answer means give out something to drink (for the very young). [NI]
Carried on and hit the roof (5)
This is one of the special clues (it lies in the middle of a sequence of such clues). Here the wordplay is simply a definition. We need a word meaning “hit the roof” and we need to replace the abbreviation for the blue squares with the abbreviation for the yellow squares (in this case simply changing the initial letter). This gives a new word meaning “carried on” (in a military sense) which should be entered in the grid. [NI]
They clean up, being less cautious, beginning to slog (7)
This is one of the solutions where the letter R has to be replaced by the letter W. Thus the clue is in two separate parts. The solution needed (and to be entered in the grid) is indicated by the first three words with the letter W and need detain us no further here. So, we are now looking for a word starting with R from the next three words which should remind you of a Full English. The rest of the clue simply asks us to add an S making the solution plural. The resulting word is in Chambers (other Dictionaries are available!) PS Unlike this clue, the R to W substitution is not always the first letter. [GS]
Lads messing about with docker oddly get injured (7)
Messing about indicates an anagram, but there are too many letters in lads and docker. That’s OK, we only need docker oddly (here oddly is not an anagram indicator). The answer means injured (but not by a solid). [NI]
Here’s a riddle: what’s half of side and half of eleven? (5)
When is a riddle not a riddle? When it is a less well known synonym of the solution. So, two consecutive letters from side (already Day 30 – geddit?) followed by three consecutive from within eleven. [GS]
Hits sixes; ultimately lifts grand trophy (7)
The definition is at the start here. We need a single letter from ultimately lifts and another from grand combined with the most prestigious trophy of them all in the thematic activity. [NI]
Plays mistakenly – sadly May bowled out (7)
Most of the words in this clue could be anagram indicators, but it is sadly that fulfils that role. Mistakenly is too long a word, but May is bowled out so this means we should delete some letters before solving the anagram for a word meaning plays. [NI]
I am grateful to the other members of the Hints & Tips team: Garry Stripling (Gin) and Jim Pennington (Philostrate), and Alison Ramage & Andre Sonnet (Aramis)
Nick Inglis (etc)