Hints & Tips May 2024

May 2024 grid page

Clues and Grid by Komorník

Enter the prize draw by 31 May.

The background for this puzzle is a Graham Fox photograph showing birds perching on telephone wires. In his notes, Graham singled this out as his favourite photograph of this year’s calendar, with the arrangement of the birds on the five wires suggesting notation appropriate to this month’s theme.

The puzzle uses a conventional 7x7x6 grid with two long thematic snakes (one clued, one not) highlighted as the perimeters of the top and fifth levels. The puzzle celebrates the bicentenary of the first appearance of a work. Solvers are required to complete and submit the perimeter of the top level consisting of an appropriate if optimistic quotation in a foreign language (4,8,6,6) starting at the asterisked cell. The letters of this snake, together with those of the other (Day 2) form an anagram of

Men, why such Babel? Channel my Ode: prevent needless horror.

I’m sure the creator of the work would have agreed with these sentiments and saluted Komorník’s ingenuity.

Solvers are also required to give the English title (3,2,3) of the origin of the quotation that forms the perimeter of the top level. This is also clued by Frank Paul’s drawing.

Tackling this towering work, Komorník hits all the right notes and (except, of course, in the anagrams) all in the right order. We trust solvers will be in harmony with this magnum opus.

Day 1

Allegro ma non… initially: something charged, that contains the embryonic… (6)

a+m+n – as in “initially” followed by the name of a modified atom. Easy peasy? Maybe, but hands up any solver who did not have to scuttle to the nearest dictionary. [GS]

Day 5

Shaken by ‘not properly a tune’ opening — fifths out of bloody chords! (7)

Nice misleading musical feel to this one, but fairly straightforward. Not properly suggests anagram of ‘a tune’ and ‘opening’ suggests that ‘goes inside’ fifth letters of bloody and chords to leave you shaken. [JP]

Day 10

It’s like Chicory Tip: Komorník’s… (6)

Nothing to do with the band (1972 hit ‘Son of my father’). Think of another way of saying ‘tip the setter has’ to give you another name for chicory. [JP]

Day 17

All those preceding this one are quarter-finalists (4,5)

The first part of this clue suggests that this could be how the creator of the work in question might have thought of his previous works in the same form. The phrase also means quarter-finalists, as in those who remain from the initial field of competitors. [NI]

Day 19

Verse in German states it’s a symbol of serenity (8)

You need the German plural word for the constituent states of Germany, but you need to spell it with two letters instead of a single letter with an umlaut. Into this you should insert an abbreviation for verse. The result is a plant yielding an essential oil used for its relaxing properties. [NI]

Day 21

How does the music sound from pew 40? Redo faulty middle section in development (6)

Makes you think of how the location of pew 40 in the church affects the music! Think again. What does ‘pew 40’ sound like in terms of musical direction? The translation from italian is an anagram (in development) of Redo and the middle section of faulty. [JP]

Day 30

String-player, required to omit parts 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, bristles (7)

A rather unusual clue which as a consequence belies its simplicity. How many letters in String-player? Which letters to be removed? Finally, bristles here is not a verb but a noun. [GS]

Day 33

They rotate with débuts for Haizinger and Seipelt encompassing something slippery (6)

The trick here is that W, as the abbreviation of with, is the first letter in the solution. Perhaps not so surprising as this is the last clue in the puzzle. Still not there? Most cars have four plus one. [GS]

I am grateful to the other members of the Hints & Tips team: Garry Stripling (Gin) and Jim Pennington (Philostrate).

Happy solving!

Nick Inglis (etc)

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