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Posts Tagged ‘Midsummer’

L4560: Midsummer by Chalicea

Posted by Encota on 12 Jul 2019

The title reminded me that my puzzle featuring Nick Bottom the weaver featured in this same Midsummer slot last year – at least I think it was last year!  And 1ac’s clue reinforced the Shakespearean play link:

Destroys reputation of essentially naive Bottom chasing donkey after donkey (12)

Knowing Chalicea of course, these hints to a Dream on a Midsummer’s Night were more likely to be red herrings than not – and so it proved!  In the case of this clue it parsed as ASS+ASS+(na)I(ve)+NATES, defined as ‘Destroys reputation of’.  A great start to a puzzle!


I was educated during the period when knowing dates was seen to count as knowledge.  So knowing that Bannockburn was fought in 1314 came quickly to my mind, even if I was much harder pushed to know who actually fought who, and why, and who won!  And I hadn’t known the Midsummer link – it was fought on 23 and 24 June, it transpires.

So I did check what was at clues 13 & 14 – The Battle of MinnockBumbag.  Hmm.  No, that doesn’t sound quite right.

The hidden letters in some clues spelt out WHERE DID BRUCE WIN, so that answered one of my questions above.  The answer, included twice in the grid on the diagonals, spells out AT BANNOCKBURN.  My suspicion is that the details of Bannockburn feature more highly in history lessons in Scottish schools rather than English ones – but what do I know!

Unclued 39d was after solving checking clues, looking like B.UE.   And colouring all but the diagonals in Blue, as the Preamble demanded,  ended up with the Scottish flag (the saltire, or saltier) – very neat!

There appeared to be a Nina, or rather a NINA, in Row 6 – intriguing.

And as for Chalicea’s clue at 10d:

Floppy genitals, and away they dangle (7)

Fortunately the answer was AIGLETS, things that dangle, an anagram of GE(n)ITALS after the ‘N’ (and) was deleted.  Very funny 🙂

Cheers all,

Tim / Encota



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Listener No 4560: Midsummer by Chalicea

Posted by Dave Hennings on 12 Jul 2019

Last year, we had two puzzles from Chalicea: one based on Saint Patrick, the other based on King Lear with its “whoreson zed”. Here we had to finish the grid and make the grid thematically 39.

First of all, I had to check to see if Chalicea was trying to convince me that she was only a minor member of the Rum Or Beer, Everything’s Really Tasty alcohol society. Indeed, a puny three clues caught my attention: 26ac with its retsinas and tokays, 29ac with drunks on the job and 47ac with sailors and their angosturas and gins. But hold on! There’s a word chain lurking, exceptionally long to deceive us, starting from RUM (reversed in row 2) through RUB, ROB, SOB, LOB, LAB, LAG, BAG, NAG, GAG, GAS, GAN to GIN (in the bottom right). Nice try, Chalicea!

Attempting to sober up fairly quickly, I staggered through the clues and grid. There were some extra words to find with the words either side eventually providing the clue we needed: Where did Bruce win? It didn’t take long to find (twice in the grid) AT BANNOCKBURN, referencing Robert the Bruce’s win against Edward II at Midsummer, 1314.

My heart sank as I saw that 39dn was BLUE, and an enormous amount of shading was required, making sure that all the letters were visible. Thus, we had the flag of Scotland in blue with a white saltire.

Also in the grid, although I’m not sure how relevant, were PATRICK from last year’s puzzle, DOUGAL from The Magic Roundabout and IRIS MINNOCK (wrongly spelt, I’m afraid).

Thanks for a gentle week, Chalicea.

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