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Mind the Gap, by Calmac

Posted by shirleycurran on 9 July 2010

It must be experience that leads the numpties to head straight for the long clues. My oh my! Did that pay off this week? I had already highlighted the ‘Unclued down entries’ and spotted that gap across the centre of the grid, so clearly something was going to happen to words at that point.

What a gift! Two anagrams immediately resolved themselves into INTERNAL AUDITOR at 1ac (Business analyst outlined arrant broadcast about Italy) and SPEECH THERAPIST at 46ac (Possibly she’s chattier with pep talk producer). 1dn and 11dn were just as malleable – INDISCREETNESS (Inappropriately revealing sins, intercedes for reform) and REGISTERED POST (Pride store gets running secure delivery system), though clearly there was an extra letter in each of these that was going to have to be disposed of.

We had only one red herring; the RE and ER, together with the M of MECCA produced a fairly convincing, thematic REVERSE COMMUTER across the centre of the grid but, fairly soon, we dismissed that idea, as an even more convincing RECULER POUR MIEUX SAUTER appeared, as solving progressed.  That was confirmed by ANAESTHETIST and ARCTIC CIRCLE, both of which lacked a letter and produced a gap in the centre.

For us this was fun, solving almost as fast as we could write in the solutions (and, of course, there was the usual oenophilic touch in the ASTI at 21ac).  A Friday finish is rare and truly appreciated. But we were left with one minor concern. Was there another step that we had not understood? Were we supposed to do something with that little gap in the middle, as well as leap over it? The unclued light in the centre seemed to say TEAR! Tear what? We have heard about the Magpie puzzle that required a grid of zeros, and another that required a blank grid to be submitted – were we supposed to tear this one up? We had those odd little wrens to construct at Christmas. Perhaps Molière had to be squeezed into the gap. He said the phrase didn’t he? But no, the preamble said ‘Unclued down entries have no thematic significance’.

Chambers defines ‘mind’ as ‘remember’ or ‘be careful about’ (as well as ‘dislike’, ‘object to’ or ‘be troubled by’) so I suppose I shall just ‘notice’ the gap. Thank you CALMAC.

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One Response to “Mind the Gap, by Calmac”

  1. Jake said

    thanks for that Shirley,

    I had ‘scamp’ – 40ac, I couldn’t see the word play. And my girlfriend talked me out of it. (^^;)

    I did have about 75-80% of the clues with some gaps, but, 11dn I was talked into putting ‘recorded post’ in instead of ‘registered post’ – so I missed e/r and had a gap instead.

    A nice crossword though, I enjoyed the fact I could lay in bed without much aid and solve, Once I was solved what 1ac and 1dn were it became easier!

    Thanks for the blog on (as usual) what I’ve managed – but not yet – achieved 100% to complete -YET !!!

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