The Labours of Hercules – XIII – solution

Ximenes and Azed have published what may generically be called ‘Gallimaufry’ puzzles – puzzles where several gimmicks are used.  It’s not usually more than six, and twelve may be a record.  As far as I recall, this didn’t prove too difficult to solve (though any emails and comments are at several hard drives’ remove now).

The names solvers were requested to supply were DEJANIRA and NESSUS, a reasonable encapsulation of the end of Hercules’ career.  There was a 1995 Listener puzzle that touched on Hercules, and somewhere I still have a working idea for a prequel (the serpent strangling in his cradle while his half-brother Iphicles – how can I not use Iphicles? – looks on), but nothing has come of it over two decades.  Thirteen puzzles was probably enough.

There is meant to be the zodiacal sign for Leo in the blank square – something like the symbol below.  If I work out how to airlift it into the grid, I’ll do so.


Clue notes are in normal grid order with the appropriate Labour referenced.  Labour VI was unclued: 14 Across with 1 and 2 Down formed ALPHEUS being diverted through a STABLE.


1             ASCENT; a scent & lit.

5             MOMMET; mom met

9             PARACHUTE; anag.

11           PARTNER; parE + rent (rev.) (IV)

13           ALAN; LA in an

15           CERULEOUS; CE rule ous(t) (I)

16           OBSESS; anag.

17           NEDS; cf. ends

18           (COB)BLE; 2 mngs. (V)

19           OMEGA; initial letters & ‘anti-lit.’ (VII)

21           REDO; red O

23           T(R)E(A)DS; d in treas(ure) (IX)

25           SCONE; scon(C)e

27/3d    SINUS; sun is (all rev.); CERE; c ere; becoming SIN and CERUSE (XII)

29           WIEL; I in wel(l) & lit.

30           VOWESS; we in Voss

31           PENSIL; pen + is (rev.) + l; tool = UTENSIL (II)

32           PASS; pas(he)s; LIKE; 2 mngs; SORE; EROS (rev.); SASS (X)

34           DONG; 2 mngs; ref. Edward Lear

35           PICOTEE; I cot in pee

36           ENCLOSURE; anag.

37           THEME; them (plan)e; plan = SCHEME (II)

38           TENNE; (b)ennet (rev.); JENNET (VIII)


3             See 27 across

4             NANISM; n + anag. & lit.

5             MONGER; m on Ger; MARENGO (VIII)

6             SHORTHORN; shor(n) thorn; implies DURHAM -> MHAUDR (XI)

7             MULLIONS; 10 n in mulls (I)

8             TENSIONS; is (rev.) in tenDons (IV)

10           TAUT; t aut

12           BRAHMIN; Brahm(s) in; TONY; ton y; comp. anag. of EB with AREA (III)

16           OBTRUDES; anag.

20           ECLIPSE; clips in ee

22           DISSE(MINA)TE; anag. inc. t & lit; (V)

24           SINGLE; sin + anag. (VII)

25           MESS; hidden; FIRE; f ire; SAIL; SA I l; SESS (X)

26           BEACON; be a con; implies BRECON -> NOBCRE (XI)

27           SEATON; a in set on

28           AHRIMAN; a + anag; BRAY; b ray; comp. anag. of EB with ETON (III)

29           WENCH; anag. inc. C

33           SE(N)N(I)T; SEN nit (IX)
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