Hints & Tips May 2022

May 2022 puzzle page

Clues by Nutmeg and Grid by Bozzy

The background to this puzzle is a Graham Fox photograph of several large spools of thread, possibly for an old loom.

The Grid by Bozzy is a conventional 7x5x5 grid marking the 15th anniversary of the launch of a website for the person who 27, 32s or employs 8; a source of 22s (such as 5 28s) and much more.

Solvers should include with their entry a suitable medium for such a person, which may be found as an anagram of the 7 shaded cells. If you join up the shaded letters in order you may spot that they form an appropriate “twist”.

Bozzy has crafted a grid with a refreshingly different theme. Nutmeg has embroidered the fabric of Bozzy’s grid into a stylish puzzle, laced with thematic allusions and intertwined with humour. We trust that you won’t lose your thread!

Day 3

English trippers gutted after team is eliminated (5)

Nice surface picture of travelling fans being disappointed! The usual abbreviation for English followed by numerals for team to give a word meaning ‘is eliminated’. [JP]”

Day 4

Keys to many antique chests ultimately mislaid (5)

Mislaid indicates an anagram and ultimately suggests last letters. There are not enough words for our anagram to be composed solely of final letters so it has to be made up of a very short word and the last letters of the words following. The definition is keys, not in the usual sense, but one familiar in (or off the coast of) Florida. The answer may be unfamiliar, but there are many of these in the River Thames. [NI]

Day 7

Fermented drink Drake first sampled (5)

These are really annoying types of clues because the solution is literally staring you in the face. No need for cryptic gymnastics here. The key word is ‘sampled’ in the sense of ‘taken from’ which in this case is the end of one word and the beginning of the next. [GS]

Day 12

House – somewhere to go to keep dry (5)

This clue has a lovely surface reading. ‘House’ here is not a physical object and somewhere to go in another popular euphemism would cost you a penny. Include in this an aversion to any further shots of whiskey and Bingo! [GS]

Day 13

Scrubber using fibre found primarily in Louisiana (5)

An unusual spelling for this. Primarily indicates initial letters inside the abbreviation for Louisiana. [JP]

Day 17

Reflective fabric article for old people in India (5)

Reflective indicates you are to reverse a name for a fabric. Article for old means you should then replace the abbreviation for old with an article to give you the name of a group of Hindu castes from the Indian state of Kerala. [JP]

Day 21

Coastal runner’s gaffe, commonly (5)

Commonly nudges us to take a word for gaffe and pronounce it with a “cor blimey” accent. The obsolete coastal runner was more likely to run rum than marathons. [NI]

Day 25

Crafty website formed by Liberal on party lines (7)

This is the central theme, but the twist is that you won’t find this word in a dictionary. The wordplay is straightforward if you recognise that on can mean after: Liberal on party (is this the site to find a design for a Bolero jacket?) and then a short abbreviation for lines (in the sense of tracks). [NI]

Day 26

Strained, still ready for regular employment (5)

For regular employment indicates that we only need a regular selection of letters from the previous words to get this dialect term for strained. [NI]

Day 27

Goes like top bargains in recession (5)

There are two words that fit here; one means “goes like top” and the other means “bargains”. Which do we enter in the grid? Bargains in recession tells us it’s the other one. [NI]

Day 28

Jersey climate not hot by start of season (7)

The last three words indicate the first letter of the solution followed by a seven letter synonym for climate from which you remove the one letter abbreviation for hot. Consequently one is no longer in the Channel Islands but in a clothes shop! [GS]

Day 30

Textured fabric right for first student revolution (5)

Again this clue defines two words that could fit here: one means “textured fabric” and the other means “revolution”. “Right for first student” indicates that we take the word with two students and change the first to right. Enter this second word. You should be writing in the less thematic word. [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)

Happy solving!

Nick Inglis (etc)

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