Hints & Tips March 2021

March 2021 puzzle page

Clues by Arachne and Grid by Patch

The background for this puzzle is a Graham Fox photograph showing a harbour-side café. The tables sit deserted under an awning as rain teems down.

Patch’s grid relates not to an anniversary, but to a thematic phrase, which must be deduced. There are five undefined thematic solutions: a pair and a group of three.

Arachne’s clever clues make many references to 4aw and 11aw, neither of which is a full entry in the grid. The whole puzzle is a tasty blend of the zoological and the meteorological.

Day 3

Old dons go through valley (5)

Not university dons, but clothing. Abbreviation for old is ‘clothed’ in a word for ‘go through’ to give you a valley. [JP]

Day 9

11aw reviewed American video game (5)

The answer is the name of a video game (not one of which we’d heard). If you’ve got 11aw then simply review it (look at it from another direction) and add a short abbreviation for American. [N&SI]

Day 10

Chart-topping trumpeter’s editing saucy medical books (7)

For this clever clue, you need the full name of a chart-topping trumpeter (plus a possessive apostrophe). Editing means you’ll need to remove a word for saucy. The answer is a word for medical books. [N&SI]

Day 11

11aw who undoubtedly entertains! (5)

Another “buried” solution (see Day 1 last month). The exclamation mark warns that entertain might not entertain its usual definition. And unless you are/were a fan of Enid Blyton the solution will help confirm the answer for Day 23 too. [GS]

Day 14

Mock rich mate after banks foreclosed (6)

One of the undefined pair. Banks foreclosed leads you to take away outside letters to give you a wild looking but quite domesticated one [JP]

Day 19

Head of Sony dismisses music producers (5)

(Nice wording) Here producers are not people but things that make music. This is their informal name which otherwise would be twice as long. [GS]

Day 21

Regularly more obtuse after retirement (5)

Undefined. Remove alternate letters from “more obtuse” (the clue does not indicate the odd or the even ones – so it’s trial and error). Turn them over and you’ve got one of your group of three. [GS]

Day 23

Famous 11aw, one of five developing immunity after leaving college (5)

Lots of pointers to the solution here! Take away an abbreviation for college from immunity and rearrange what’s left to give you the answer. [JP]


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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