## Carte Blanche by Homer

### Puzzle explanation

Clue answers were as hown in the table below. WINZE and WEARY were left over, both being Scots words for “curse”. The entry for “curse” in Chambers Dictionary leads to the phrase “curse of Scotland”, the true title (as opposed to “Carte Blanche”, or “Blank Card”). The nine cells containing the letter D were to be highlighted completely in red, depicting the nine of diamonds (the curse of Scotland) turned through 45 degrees.

The above describes the intended solution. Some latitude was allowed in judging entries, the key element being whether the result looked like a conventional playing card, when viewed from the appropriate angle.

• Various shades of red were accepted since it was difficult to draw a boundary between, say, red and pink. Blue, green, etc, were definitely judged to be wrong, since they did not demonstrate that the theme was fully understood (“suited to the theme”).
• Red “hatching” was accepted if it covered the full cell.
• Red outlining of the cell boundaries was accepted.
• All red diamond shapes drawn within the full cell were accepted provided they were diamonds when viewed from the correct angle, ie, SW to NE. (This was to accommodate those who rightly judged that squares rotated through 45 degrees are not perfect diamonds.)
• Removal of cell contents — D cells or all cells — was not accepted, since there was no instruction to do so.

### Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

 Answer Explanation ACROSS ACCLOY (CALICO – (na)I(ls))* + (awr)Y AHOY First letters & lit CRAN Hidden DARGA DARG + A’ DOREE OR in DEEP – P (every fourth letter of “chip shop”) & lit EPOS POSE, E moved to start EXPLOSION SHOT STOP ON HOLE SIX* HEALD HEAD about L KOB Answer about (O + R) = BROOK < & lit LEAK (gal)L(eon) (sin)K(ing) about EA & lit OLLA (ALLOA – A) < PERSPICUOUSLY CU(t-price) + SLIPPERS YOU* PERTUSSIS SISTER’S UP*, semi & lit PLIED (o)P(erations) + DEIL < QUIP QUI + P; Gay-Lussac was a French scientist SENATE SEDATE, N for D SIFFLEURS FIS < + FLEURS; reference FIS = International Ski Federation WINE Hidden & lit WINZE Homophone (WINS) WIPE WI + (ap)PE(al) & lit; reference charity calendar produced by Women’s Institute ZAG Z (unknown) + AG(a) DOWN BOO-HOO Composite anagram of CHOIRBOY + OO → BOO-HOO + I CRY DUROS (SO + RUD) < DUROY (YOUR + D(umplings))* EUK NEUK – N FIRLOT FIR(kin) + LOT FLAX F + LAX; F = 40 IDO I + DO JAY First letter of “jail” KINETIC ENERGY RICKETY ENGINE* NAIL SET AILS(a) in NET; Judy is general term for a girl OLD CHAP Composite anagram of I + OLD CHAP → OAP + CHILD & lit PEP PILL (E + PUPIL – U) in PL POPADUM (PAD + (do)U(gh)) in P(unjab) O(r) M(adras) & lit SLEEP LIKE A LOG S + (ILL + GOALKEEPER – R)* VERS VERSO – O WEALD Composite anagram of WETLAND → WEALD + NT WEARY (A RYE W)* WEIRD (I + R) in WED