Enigmatic Variations No. 368: The Invisible Wren

A quotation of eight words runs clockwise around the perimeter, starting top left.  Clues are divided into groups of three.  In each group: one clue contains a redundant word defining one of the words of the quotation (in order); one clue contains a redundant word, which, taken with all the other seven such words, will identify the opening of the source of the quotation; and one clue defines the word to be entered while the wordplay is to a form of the word with one letter ignored wherever it occurs – there are four such letters used twice each, and the justification for this approach can be found by consideration of the relationship of THE INVISIBLE WREN to the source and to the completed grid.


8              A drink’s returned in local presently (4)

9              Conflict wounded most of front parts of lichens (7)

10           Wrenching Saint, Priest’s dropping holy water (9)


11           Sonnet series penned by native who’s recalled rebuffs (6)

13           Late want: vitamin E supply in food (12)

17           Plant, an excellent example – tree, possibly (12)


19           Put up cash in advance for savings system? Yes (6)

21           Mature plants are but tatters with monkey’s return (9)

22           Can mostly continue coming round at six, not nine, for quick observation (7)


23           Most of custard-pie, perhaps, will get circus performer (4)


1              African country – one with a record for turning up fevers (6)

2              Sacks some trooper (the obscenities!) (4)


3              Trains leader of spokesmen in clarity (11)

4              Criticises autocracies when probing examples of corruption (6)

5              All art tries to shift simple shapes round (11)


6              Good earth’s swamped in form of acid? Of acid (6)

7              Bar’s gloominess coming after good spirits (4)

10           Speed of rotation is rising always (6)


12           Rocks on in rising group’s act (6)

14           In Paris I smell a rat (or some sort of rodent) (6)

15           Imagined boat fixed over the target point (6)


16           Ricked a knee? Showed signs of giving in (6)

18           Risk last of fortune – indication of debt overturned – shriek in exultation (4)

20           China corners one Eastern language (4)

PDF of puzzle


Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.