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Generalisation by Samuel

Posted by shirleycurran on 14 February 2014

Boutiquiers 002Numpty consternation: a carte blanche, misprints in only 22 definitions, a foreign language (let it be one I speak as we have to translate it into ‘the subject’s language – Does that mean that we are translating from German to Latin or something like that?) There are going to be ten thematic items in all and a ‘thematic part of the grid’.

Well, there was nothing about playfair or jumbles so there is something to be happy about. I’ll just reassure myself that Samuel is retaining his club card for the Listener Setters’ Boozy Club by a quick read through the surface readings to check that there is the usual sprinkling of alcohol. ‘Banger’,  ‘good looker’, ‘Broad’s sexy’, ‘sex appeal’ and more! Oh my, Samuel! But a conspicuous absence of liquor until I get to … punch. No, it was not to be! This rather clunky clue, ‘Floor European with punch lacking force and energy (9)’ had to be a different type of punch (FL + EUR + FIST less F + E).

However there was something reassuring about that. Could it be … that the language we have been using all day up in the powder snow and brilliant sunshine above the house (French) is the ‘speaker’s language’. A FLEURISTE is, of course, a FLORIST.

We are alerted now and we tease out a DRAPIER (‘Date thrusting blade (7)’ D + RAPIER) to give our English DRAPER, a LIBRAIRE (‘Balance resentment (8)’ LIBRA + IRE) to give a bookseller – not, of course, that false friend a librarian – a PAPETIER (‘Pulp money taken from one’s business (8)’ PAP + METIER less M(oney)) to give our English STATIONER and an EPICIER (‘Heroic fighter has sold out(7)’ EPIC + SOLDIER less SOLD) to give our EPICIER.

We need eight of these thematic answers and, sure enough, there is MODISTE (‘Sit about in a mood (7)’ SIT* in MODE) to give MILLINER (OK, I admit that even though I teach French, I needed my Hachette to help with that translation), COBBLER (‘Police line near old river (10)’ CORDON + NIE + R) and finally BAKER (‘Outrage after head of Euro’s expelled from Greek parliament (9)’ BOULE less E(uro) + ANGER).

This is clever compilation. The remaining clues have been yielding their secrets and we have teased out a familiar barb. No wonder there was no alcohol in Samuel’s crossword, these were simple shopkeepers – just Napoleon’s ‘UNE NATION DE BOUTIQUIERS’ – a nation of shopkeepers.

Once we have understood what the thematic part of the grid has to be (obviously just England, Napoleon didn’t include the Welsh or the Scots!) the grid fill became quite enjoyable and my delight was complete when the shape that finally appeared had another couple of shopkeepers, a TAILOR and a BARBER on the Welsh and Scottish borders.

A spectacular piece of compilation with typical Samuel originality, and tremendously enjoyable especially for us in Uncle Matthew’s ‘abroad’. Many thanks, Samuel.

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One Response to “Generalisation by Samuel”

  1. […] after Samuel’s excellent Generalisation, No 4278, featuring a map of most of the UK (or, perhaps, all of it? As I type this the referendum is just […]

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