Clues by Enigmatist and Grid by etc
The background for this puzzle is a Graham Fox photograph showing the quayside in an English port.
This puzzle uses a conventional 7x5x5 grid by etc and marks the 250th anniversary of an event (this should give you the year, but the event did not happen in the month of July).
Three clues marked * and two marked ‡ are linked with one of two subthemes and should be entered normally. In keeping with the event in question, all other solutions should be treated by jettisoning all instances of the highlighted cell (symbolically representing the subtheme *). Letter counts are given for the untreated solutions. All treated entries are words. Solvers should submit with their entries the (untreated) name of the event: “Day 4 * ‡” (6,3,5).
In practice this means that letter in the highlighted cell is crucial: this letter must be removed whenever it appears in any answer (except for * and ‡ clues). In most cases just a single instance of the highlighted letter must be removed, but in a couple of cases it appears twice in the untreated answer (the letter counts should identify these).
A revolutionary grid by etc has been crafted by Enigmatist into a splendid puzzle infused with hints at the subthemes. This may be taxing, but we trust it will not lead to protests.
How Dooley appears in Casablanca and a state of India (5)
Dooley is a reference to the American actor Dooley Wilson who appeared in the film Casablanca as ???. And that’s all you need. By extension, a part of India and a link to the subtheme *. [GS]
Covers floor of room – piano leaves marks (6)
Look for a 7-letter word for covers floor of room and remove a letter representing piano to give a word meaning marks (in proofreading). After removing the highlighted letter you should have a familiar word meaning feels concern. [NI]
Holding the baby, maybe, nuzzling into regularly cosy cleavages (6)
A charming surface suggesting care of an infant. Holding the baby, maybe indicates a word that could precede holding the baby to suggest the situation of someone landed with an irksome responsibility. This word should be contained in (nuzzle into) two letters regularly chosen from cosy. The untreated answer means cleavages and the treated form is familiar from musical notation. [NI]
Foremost of caddies breaks for five – or ten, tops (6)
Here, breaks does not indicate an anagram and also separate the word ten from tops. So, the first letter in caddies followed by another word for breaks, the sort you might take during some very hard work. And the definition is tops. This could bring to mind the famous song from the Scouts. [GS]
Language this bad follows call for another service (7)
Here seven letters must reduce to five. So the letter featured in the yellow square in the grid must appear twice. An anagram of ‘this’ (bad). And in front a three lettered word likely to be used quite frequently at Wimbledon and the like. [GS]
Issued incorrect card details, playing with Mussolini’s head (8)
Once you work out it’s not ‘card details’ but ‘card’ you see that you’ve got an anagram of ‘details’ with Mussolini’s head to give you the answer. Then take away the yellow square letter before entry. [JP]
During part of dance give away a pair of personal caps (8)
For part of dance think de deux. During indicates you should put within that a word for ‘give away’ and you end up with crossword favourite body parts. Take away the yellow square letter to give you Spanish food for entry. [JP]
Trees flourishing with plantation’s initial programme (6)
Flourishing suggests an anagram and this should come after plantation’s initial. The answer means programme and the treated form is an unfamiliar plural of an Italian term from musical notation. [NI]
Enjoying period of excitement on wagon, I ladder stocking! (7)
Nothing to do with ripping hosiery on a vehicle! Think of a two letter abbreviation for on wagon. This is then followed by I and a word for part of a ladder is stocking or keeping that inside. You end up with a description of enjoying period of excitement (think of deer). On wagon has to be removed before entry. [JP]
Marks shelf where e.g. cups are kept to infuse tasters on vacation (6)
You need a 4-letter word for a shelf where cups and the like may be kept. This should be inserted in (infuse) two letters representing tasters on vacation. The untreated answer means marks and the treated form is the plural of an instrument of torture. [NI]
I am grateful to the other members of the Hints & Tips team: Garry Stripling (Gin) and Jim Pennington (Philostrate).
Nick Inglis (etc)