Workplace by Mr E

In this puzzle, the method of entry for half of the answers had to be deduced by considering letters omitted from the wordplay of the other answers. In clue order, the omitted letters spelt out THERBLIG AND EREWHON (an element of WORK, and an imaginary PLACE, hence the title). These words are formed by reversing GILBRETH and NOWHERE, with one pair of letters being considered as an indivisible unit in each case. Therefore, thematic entries had to be given similar treatment, so that PTEROPOD OOZE had to be entered as EZOO DOOPRETP, and so on. Some devious but fair clues made this an enjoyable puzzle.

The omitted letters in the wordplay are indicated by square brackets.


1 Determined woman will be admitted (7)
HELLBEN[T] ‘LL BE (will be) inside HEN (woman)
7 Animal is caught in tangle (4)
[H]ORSE ‘S (is) inside ORE (tangle)
11 Strange nameless protozoon, deep sea-bed’s where it’s found (12, two words)
Here, “nameless” indicates the removal of N (name)
This phrase was new to Gregson, who was pleased to be introduced to it
12 Voter, we hear, is opposed (5)
POLAR POLLER homophone
14 Reject incomplete answer (4)
REP[E]L REPL(Y) (incomplete answer)
15 Inferior corn is apt to be loaded with trouble (8, two words)
TAIL ENDS TENDS (is apt) containing AIL (trouble)
16 Don’t make noise and upset baby – that’s mean (6)
SHABBY SH (Don’t make noise) + ABBY (anagram of BABY)
18 Arm’s the wrong way on bass horn (5)
BEEPE[R] EPEE (arm) reversed, on B (bass)
19 In a gathering of skeletons would one like an affectionate welcome? (7)
CORDIAL CORAL (gathering of skeletons), containing ‘D (would) + I (one)
23 Beginning with mother, and not really an early ancestor (7)
DAWN-MAN DAWN (Beginning) + MA (mother) + ‘N’ (and)
24 I may represent the family against the heartless master (5)
TOTEM TO (against) + T(H)E (the, heartless) + M (master)
25 Cut a disc from passage in “Bonaparte’s Retreat” (6)
TRAPAN Hidden in BONAPARTE reversed
27 Black, with zero luminance and energy – that’s all about space one needs (8)
EL[B]OW-ROOM MOOR (Black) + W (with) + O (zero) + L (luminance) + E (energy), all reversed
29 What’s left is lifelike, not a list (4)
RE[L]IC REALISTIC (lifelike), less A LIST
30 Unexciting place to watch games, reportedly (5)
STAID STADE homophone
31 Poor time to castle, in view of king’s position (12, three words)
Translated as “I am the state” and attributed to Louis XIV, this phrase can be found in the foreign language section towards the rear of Chambers
32 Great corn, in general (4)
GRA[I]N Two definitions
33 Is a neat scrawny? _______ it (7)
In the surface reading, “neat” is an ox, cow, bull etc


1 An art lover? No, some other type (5)
2 Eat almost the whole basket (4)
GOAL GO (Eat) + AL (almost ALL, ie almost the whole)
3 Boy playing with lion belongs here? (7, two words)
LOO[N]Y BIN  Anagram of BOY + LION
4 This will bore any of three ways (5)
SNORE S + N + OR + E (South, North or East, ie any of three ways)
5 Kitchen utensil – this one could be clad with iron (7)
CALDRON Anagram of CLAD IRON, less I (one)
6 Barrel under water in pool is an impediment (8, two words)
SPEE[D] BUMP B (Barrel) under PEE (water), all inside SUMP (pool)
8 Reduce pressure on one covering up? (6)
RELIEV[E] VEILER (one covering) reversed
Veiler can be confirmed in Collins
9 Pieces to replace two standards in singer’s routines (10, two words)
SPARE PARTS PAR twice (two standards) inside SETS (singer’s routines)
10 In East End, love’s refrain (7)
[R]EPETEND  E (East) + END, containing PET (love)
13 Pen and pigeon party in Pennsylvania (10)
ROLLERBALL ROLLER (pigeon) + BALL (party in Pennsylvania)
17 Russian in old empire to gather plants (8)
H[E]RBORISE BORIS (Russian) inside HRE (Holy Roman Empire)
19 Trap game with it under tree (7)
LIME-T[W]IG TIG (game with it) after LIME (tree)
“You’re it” being the usual cry in a game of tig
20 Lower part whose removal might make root decay (7)
SECONDO Removing the SECOND O of ROOT would make ROT (decay)
21 In a wagon you’ll find one Australian islander (7)
[H]AWAIIAN A + WAIN (wagon), containing I (one) + A (Australian)
22 A rule in children’s game (6)
TAROTS A + R (rule) in TOTS (children)
25 One wouldn’t be seen in church with this bird (5)
CAPON CAP ON, ie one wouldn’t be seen in church with cap on
26 Buggy to let for a casual trip (5)
TO[O]TLE Anagram of TO LET
28 Border of dull gold on a cloak (4)
MA[N]TA MAT (Border of dull gold) + A