Enigmatic Variations No. 652: Literally

I have quietly amended the three word-length typos that meant three thematic answers didn’t obey the second sentence of the preamble (I don’t think there any more, but it’s the sort of thing you can obsess about endlessly).  While I wouldn’t say this over a published prize puzzle, I feel I should note that there is one answer you may need to think about.

Always remember that Enigmatic Variations puzzles incorporate the title into their preambles as a way of reminding you that it may be a hint.


Equal numbers of clue answers are LITERALLY affected by one of two linked methods to form the associated grid entries.  Word lengths refer to clue answers.  Chambers (2014) is recommended, although 36 across is in the OED.


1              Give the most satisfying cry of pain (6)

6              Temporary stage’s position if knocked over (5)

10           Apparently in favour, it suggests no obligation (5)

11           Confusing images reflected a false statement about party (6)

12           Stunts in Edinburgh upset fashionable Scots author initially (5)

15           Trouble in part of Ireland? One couldn’t do anything with it (7)

16           Misleading story about English timber (4)

17           Colour-blind person favouring brown cord? Not right (9)

20           Old coin this writer found after start of last month (6)

22           Old sign is an oil print (4)

23           Despot set on capturing leader of subversives (4)

25           Rude comments about new German team (6)

26           Dull actors fiddled with costume attachment (10)

29           Supplies more than one motion (4)

30           Says bad things about noon signal being wrong (7)

34           Good-natured boys? Unknown! (5)

35           We’re upset about one rule in work on electrical system (6)

36           Knight going without company to achieve historic goal? (5)

37           English poet showing military fashion (6)

38           English poet backing French star (6)


1              Woman involved in sinful behaviour? (4)

2              Magistrates record repugnance? Not half (5)

3              Old drain filled with phosphorus ooze (4)

4              Large quantity of water runs into marquee (5)

5              Absence of a suit – see, zero in diamonds (4)

6              Bleak urban pictures provided upset – no one supporting Lord Mayor – start of rebellion (8, 2 words)

7              I had strangeness in instinctive responses (3)

8              What’s remaining, ignoring start of complete time alive? (6)

9              Drug plan upset after seizing Liberal’s computer (7)

13           Knee-cap identified by University lecturer in course of duty (6)

14           The point of antique sewer: fish is found in one, nothing less (5)

18           Species of wheat flourishing on Carmel (8)

19           Swimming creatures pass to North (6)

20           What would make tram trade take a different shape? (6)

21           College play’s opening – we’ll tolerate some dry periods (5)

24           Is upset about a US president appearing in Japanese artform (6)

27           Bird on church is a small one (5)

28           Part of account I left to this point (5)

31           A close examination, cut short? Never! (4, two words)

32           Soldier drinks hot Indian dairy product (3)

33           Father’s supporting son with passion (4)

34           Evangelical’s a foolish person? Not entirely (3)

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