Apex 2009


A Glorified Crossword by Phi

From the answer to each clue one letter is omitted whenever it occurs to form the grid entry; definitions refer to full words, other indications to what is entered in the grid.  The omitted letters in each group of 4 or 5 clues spell out a word (these are not – except in the one case indicated below – thematic).  20 across and 28 down are not in Chambers; neither is a well-known proper name.

The perimeter, clockwise from 36, contains nos. 3-7 of a ninefold hierarchy, of which nos. 1, 2, 8 and 9 are much the best known.  (Various orderings exist – the chosen one seems to be the most common, as does the spelling of no. 4, which also varies.)  No. 8 is the unclued central answer, and one of the words derived from the omitted letters indicates no. 9.  Taking each word derived from omitted letters, adding the letters (A=1, B=2 and so on), and converting the answer back to a single letter (A also = 27 etc.) will spell out no. 2.

Solvers were asked to submit a clue of the same omitted-letter kind to No. 1 and were able to choose any letter to omit in the secondary indications.


9          Muses, after getting nothing connected (6)

10        Hedge rail filled with very metallic ore (9, 2 words)

11        It’s recalled in another couch grass structure (5)

12        Penny is at the back of ready money (6)


13        Understood a small amount (5)

14        Rector taken aback about end of murder probe (6)

15        Matilda’s clothing’s not right (6)

16        Fisherman runs cartel within confines of harbour (9)

18        Description of Scots miser’s frown (5)


20        An excellent husband-murderer (6)

21        Perfect sideline? Not entirely (5)

22        Ligaments in the kidneys getting cut (5)

25        Deserving NZ club is not growing initially (8)


29        Theatre neophyte, ignoring limitations, enthralling other learner (6, 2 words)

30        Once describing spleen’s position? It is not clear (6)

31        Called to exclude canine in backing tooth material (6)

32        Understand scraps of Lakota and Ojibwa? I would (6)

33        Sailors are following one peaceful girl (5)


34        Substance in appeal for help involving railways (9)

35        Drinking-songs? Locally they will follow exhortation to drink (6)


1          Arctic transport? Unpleasant people commandeering one (7)

2          Relating to passivity: fashionable study set up to include it (8)


3          Turn up again, ignoring new person at the door? (7)

4          Servitude I gather is horrible (8)

5          Amount of energy shown by the German escapee (6)

6          Very good about tender spot (mostly itchy) (6)

7          Rival names seen in large bet after work (8)


8          Confrontational faction hijacking America (7)

17        Dancing gaolers in feature of Mozart opera (8)

19        Are French caught in wet weather showing indecency? (8)

20        Scottish city laird upset with UK (10, 2 words)


23        Merge company with one possessed by economics specialists (7)

24        Stimulant upset one smart guy, getting tense internally (7)

26        Inferior follower’s very good in time (6)

27        Outcrop, I note, left one on top of rock (6)

28        Quantity of corn to remain in possession of ass (6)



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