Relationship by Aedites
Posted by shirleycurran on 3 April 2015
I didn’t know that it was Pi Day in the USA so I was rather surprised after completing our solve when people around me said that this was appropriate for this weekend. We had enjoyed a relatively gentle solve, starting, unusually, at 1 across, and, for a while, working down the clues in order, EFFACE, ACCESS, PALLONE and so on.
Of course, I took a moment off to check that Aedites hasn’t resigned his membership of the Elite Listener Oenophile Club and he quickly renewed his membership with ‘Ancient festival for drinking in the part of Alaskan Islander (5)’ (ALE + UT). There wasn’t much else alcoholic – we can’t count the narcotic chewed leaf (Gaelic shilling goes first for chewed leaf (5)’ (IRISH with the S moving forward to give us SIRIH for a type of betel leaf) or the result of that ancient festival for drinking, Swiss watch form teacher’s start to throw up (6)’ (T(eacher) + [I] TOSS<) That was a deceptive clue, wasn’t it, leading to a word I had just read in the route to planes at Geneva airport (TISSOT) where all the top watch companies and banks display their brand names?
And so we solved, speedily filling the grid with a bit of head scratching over MORTIFY. The wordplay was unambiguous. ‘Loose woman (MORT – though she could have been a MOLL) supposing that (IF) you initially (Y) are subdued (7) – but I was astonished to learn from Chambers that MORTIFY as an intransitive verb = ‘be subdued’!
The other clue to almost lead us astray was the thematic one, ‘Military artisan has no thematic symbol for banknote (5)’ We had ON?ER in place, so with typical TABU/TAPU insouciance, I said ‘I don’t understand the wordplay, but that must be ONCER.’ Oh dear, oh dear! The endgame loomed.
DIAMETER IS INSIDE A CIRCLE said the message from those generous and fairly obvious misprints, so, of course, we looked for a circle and a diameter. RADIUS came first, then THREE POINT ONE FOUR ONE FIVE AREA. I am not a mathematical genius but know that the area of a circle is Pi R squared and there was a tempting red herring of TWO, vertically above the end of RADIUS.
It didn’t seem quite right since we were told to look for a DIAMETER so we examined that clue again and realized that the banknote had to be a ONE-ER (PIONEER less the thematic PI!) That, of course, gave us the RADIUS ONE that made more mathematical sense. If the radius is ONE, the diameter (one squared) is ONE so the area will be Pi.
I wonder whether other solvers will be misled into the same wild goose chase! Did Aedites deliberately put that deceptive TWO there (or were we meant to disregard the misprint message and highlight it!) We’ll find out in three weeks’ time.
Many thanks Aedites for an enjoyable solve.