Clues by Qaos and Grid by Mang
The background for this puzzle is a Graham Fox photograph in shades of red and yellow depicting some pipework: possibly the interior of a furnace or an engine.
The 7 dials grid marks the 156th anniversary of a defining point in the field of Day 34 and for one thematic concept in particular.
Two asterisked clues each lead to an undefined thematic solution.
In five of the other clues there are two adjacent superfluous words which should be removed before solving. Each pair of superfluous words is an anagram of one of the unclued thematic entries A1 to A5. Directions for the thematic entries A1 to A5 are given at the start.
After completing the grid, solvers are asked to find a five-letter anagram of the orange highlighted cells and a seven-letter word appropriately treated at 9d in the green cells. The seven-letter word is the central thematic concept and the five-letter word is a less formal term for it.
Mang has constructed a grid which seems particularly appropriate for this setter. The superfluous word anagrams are an entertaining innovation. Qaos has penned a witty selection of clues and your job, ironically, is to bring order from the clues of Qaos. If you seem to be working hard and generating more heat than light, then remember: Heat is work and work is heat. You might fancy using this heat to boil a kettle, but no chance: Heat cannot of itself pass from one body to a hotter body.
“Complex math about unknown” – I grasp university angle (7)
Complex indicates rearranging ‘math’. Unknown will be x,y or z. Add in I and abbreviation for university and you get a type of angle. [JP]
Food pulp produced by chemistry set – stir away (5)
The definition of the solution is at the beginning of the clue – a word that personally I have never heard of. But the rest of the clue is delightfully clever. All indications are that it is an anagram of chemistry but that’s nine letters? It’s the last two words that explain how to get to the required number. [GS]
Do riders recklessly race with no protective covering in sight? (6)
The challenge here is to work out what the setter’s looking for and the anagram fodder. Ignore the riders and you’ll realise recklessly is your anagram indicator. Think of protective covering for sight and you should get it. This clue has two superfluous words, which provide one of the thematic anagrams. [JP]
From which delivery process routine? (2,5)
Here process (and the question mark?) suggest an anagram. The definition is from which delivery. Don’t think about cricket or mail, think medical delivery. [N&SI]
Scottish liar and king meet rapture capturing Spain (5)
Look for a 4-letter king and capture (insert) a 1-letter Spain. The result is a Scottish word for (and similar to) liar. This clue has two superfluous words, which provide one of the thematic anagrams. [N&SI]
1960’s youth embraces training for rickety engine vehicle (5)
Not the 1960’s youth on a Triumph Bonneville, but the other on a lambretta round an abbreviation for training gives you an even smaller motorcycle. This clue has two superfluous words, which provide one of the thematic anagrams. [JP]
Messenger’s number 1 in France about current love (6)
This is one of those clues where we need to add together lots of pieces to get the answer. 1 in France is a 2-letter word. Each of the other words after messenger’s yields a single letter. Put them together to get a foreign word for a specific sort of messenger. [N&SI]
Pulp made using clean energy (5)
Look for a word for clean and an abbreviation for energy to get a tasty pulp. [N&SI]
Mature writing by independent writer (5)
We’re looking for a single letter to represent writing here, though it could equally represent reading or arithmetic. Follow that with an abbreviation for independent and a short writer (a tool rather than an author). The whole should mean mature, as a verb. [N&SI]
Climber very eager to climb Himalayan peaks (5)
Old hands will know all there is to know about this kind of clue. Peaks suggests tops which is another way of saying first letters. Collect (and in the same order) the five you need and Bob’s your uncle. [GS]
Ends of lolly seem to feel most melted (5)
Day-wise this is the following clue from Day 36 and nicely placed. The mechanics of this clue are the mirror image of Day 36. [GS]
Cryptic hint for the green highlights
Penny Tower without new, new! (7) [GS]
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)
Nick & Sarah Inglis (etc)