Hints & Tips November 2020

November 2020 puzzle page
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Clues by Nutmeg and Grid by Mang

The background for this puzzle is a deep blue Graham Fox photograph which appears to be a close-up of a flower. A Seven Dials grid is used and there are 49 clues. There is a theme that is literally out of this world: the 8 bold edged cells jutting out from the grid give an anagram of the general theme. Asterisked clues are all of a type (Day 1 of Day 44) and are undefined (and typically not in dictionaries). If you are not very familiar with the theme then you will probably need to consult the internet to check some of the theme words and spellings.

Day 9

Person given time to arrange spouse (7)

A short word for someone who might be given time followed by another word for arrange. [JP]

Day 15

Introduced words recalling singular quote about ox (7)

Recalling often means going backwards and in this case an abbreviation for singular followed by another word for quote around ox does just that leading to the solution (an appropriate word for the theme). [JP]

Day 21

Data aboard ship left out for aged mechanic (7)

Look for a word for ship from which we can remove an L. We need to put a short word for data inside that. The answer is an obsolete Shakespearean word for engineer. [N&SI]

Day 22

Continue to hold when phoning (7)

Phoning indicates ‘sounds like’. Think of a thematic character who sounds like continue to hold (perhaps tightly). [JP]

Day 26

Call for engineer ended abruptly (4)

Sometimes engineer can indicate an anagram, as it does here. Abruptly suggests how we cut down one word to the required length before sorting. [N&SI]

Day 27

Batting record held by knight, popular target for bowler (7)

Need to analyse the parts carefully. An abbreviation for knight followed by another word for batting then a type of record followed by a word for popular leads you to the target. [JP]

Day 31

Military measure Armstrong took, making small admission (7)

This is a military measure, but measure in a rhythmic sense. Think of a very famous Armstrong description of a momentous action and remove the `small’. [N&SI]

Day 38

Last couple dropped by ship strangely alike (7)*

The first five words give us two letters and then strangely suggests an anagram of alike. This is one of the undefined theme words and you’ll probably need to check online to make sure you’ve all the vowels in the right place. [N&SI]

Day 39

Part of nuclear reactor in Boots? I’m right to intervene (4,3)

Good try Nutmeg, but really, spelling boots with a capital B – pull the other one. If “I’m right” accounts for three central letters then we need a word of four letters, with which they can be covered! Unless you are familiar with the names of reactor bits, you’ll need to double check with a secondary source. [GS]

Day 41

Old-fashioned 9, say (6)

Don’t be lured into thinking this has something to do with the answer to Day 9. Here 9 just means 9. [N&SI]

Day 44

Roddenberry’s subsequent provision for our children? (3,4,10)

Generate toxin then? Could be interpreted as the solution and also a useful guide to a relevant Enterprise elsewhere. [GS]

Day 45

Crooks close to President and his accommodating first lady (7)

Close to refers to the end of President (rather than near to). Follow this with ‘his’ accommodating (taking in) the first lady to give you the solution. [JP]

Day 47

Ducks going the wrong way are allowed to (6)*

Ducks here is a term of affection. Reverse a short colloquial synonym and follow with a short word for `are allowed to’. This is one of the most familiar of the undefined theme words. Live long and prosper! [N&SI]


We are grateful to 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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