6 Across by Shackleton

Puzzle explanation

The puzzle marked the centenary of the small-boat journey by Ernest Shackleton and five others across the Southern Ocean, to find rescue after their ship was destroyed. The corrections to clue misprints, and the alphanumeric characters six places to the right of the misprints in the clues, gave four messages summarising the story as follows:

  1. “sea vessel abandoned by crew”: In October 1915, Shackleton’s ship Endurance was sunk by pack ice in the Weddell Sea. The crew camped on drifting ice until it broke up in April 1916, when they travelled in the ship’s lifeboats to Elephant Island.
  2. “lot led across tempestuous sea”: Shackleton and five others went to seek rescue, sailing one of the lifeboats, the James Caird, across open sea to the island of South Georgia.
  3. “3 climb towards whaling port”: The boat was not fit to sail to the whaling ports on the north side of the island, so they landed on the south side and Shackleton, Frank Worsley and Tom Crean navigated on foot across the island’s mountains and glaciers.
  4. “3 down with boat are not to scale”: The others, Timothy McCarthy, Harry McNish and John Vincent, stayed at their improvised camp in King Haakon Bay (ie, not scaling the mountains).
The cryptic interpretations of the messages were as follows:
  1. ENDURANCE appeared wrecked (jumbled as DUENNACRE) at the bottom of the grid, with XXVIII (having VI in a single barred-off cell) on top of it for the ship’s complement of 28 people.
  2. This was the clue for 6ac (see below).
  3. Three answers (7dn, 9dn, 12dn) were entered upwards, intersecting GRYTVIKEN (with VI in a single barred-off cell).
  4. The drawings in the grid of the two COASTS (3dn) and the outline of the JAMES CAIRD (surrounding VI in the central cell, for the six people sailing across) were not to scale.

Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

No Misprint Answer Explanation
6 L(E)t LEASED LED around SEA *
10 M(A)d ANGRY (N + G) after A + R + Y
13 (V)ienna FRAU FRAU(d)
14 polic(E) SÛRETÉ SUR + ÉTÉ
15 (S)epsis ABSTERGE (BAR GETS) * + (Cok)E
16 (S)eal O-RING N in GIRO <
17 fir(E) NITER RETAIN < − A
19 (L)own BIELD FIELD with B for F
21 d(A)rt SCHEME CH in SEMÉ
22 (B)eth SEGHOL EG in HOLS with letters cycled
24 gr(A)ins EPHA H in APE <
27 s(N)owy ALPS SPLA(y) <
29 (D)rains RODDED RED around ODD
31 do(O)r IRRUPT IR + RU + PT
34 (N)ot STEEP SP around TEE
35 winc(E) COURE (s)COURE(r)
36 (D)utch DELPH P in HELD *
37 wood(B)ind ANTHEMIA (THE MANIA) *
38 (Y)ore MAUNDS MAUDS around N
40 S(C)rewed SUNK SUN + K
41 f(R)ames ICONS I + CONS
42 p(E)rson DUENNA DUE + ANN <
43 (W)aves CRESTED REST in CE + ’D
1 ma(L)e INFANTE ETNA < after INF
2 kol(O) SERBIA (IS BARE) *
3 (T)ravel COASTS CO + A + ST + S
4 p(L)ace INTER (REST IN) * − S
5 (E)ating UGH (da)UGH(ters’)
6 (D)own LYSE L(aw)S around Y + E
8 S(C)ot’s SKEIGH (high-ri)SK EIGH(ty)
9 ba(R)d LAG-END LAD around GEN
11 fo(O)ds REGIME ((r)E(v)I(s)E (o)R(i)G(a)M(i)) *
12 pa(S) POINTE (TO PIN) * + (gr)E(en)
18 gui(S)es ECAD DACE <
19 (T)ire BEJADE BEDE around JA
20 ris(E) ESCARP ESP around CAR
23 swa(M)ped GAPÓ GO around AP
25 Ro(P)e POLEAX LOP < + EX around A
26 b(E)nch BETH DIN (BEHIND + (pries)T) *
28 (S)ly SNEAKED ’S + NE + A + KED
29 plan(T) RED MUD (RUDE + MD) *
30 L(U)sh DE LUXE DELE around UX
31 disc(O)rd IRENIC IRE + IN < + C
32 sho(U)ting TUMULT ULT after TUM
33 (S)on PRINCE N in PRICE
35 cre(S)t CHINE CH + IN + (p)E(n)
37 (E)ast ASIA IS < in AA
39 Pe(A)k TOR ROT <
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