# White to mate in 2

This is a cryptic crossword puzzle. Clues are normal, however some entries clash with one another. Each such clash is resolved by adding the clashing letters using the standard A1-Z26 numerology, subtracting 26 as needed and converting back to a letter. If a clash should fall on a shaded square then it should be entered in lower case; otherwise it should be entered in upper-case. Once the grid is complete the solver should clear their board, interpret the clashes appropriately for the puzzle title, and complete the puzzle. The key move required for puzzle completion should be given in order to obtain the tick.

Across:
1.  One-handed God hangs heads of Thor and Ratatosk about crown of Yggdrasil (3)
3.  A standard for comparison is cast down (5)
8.  I left the Aegis, confused by idiosyncratic Celtic taboo (4)
11. Managed unlimited grant (3)
12. Postpone work on ruined lamb-holt (8)
13. Turn inside out to prevent article from becoming 'European' (5)
15. Quetelet's studies provided second-rate military intelligence (3)
16. Fight for the carriage driver's seat (3)
17. Man, after helpful association with Jewish High Priest (5)
18. Lift cover on clearly understood subject (4,4)
21. Small marker buoy -- and at sea (3)
22. Instructions brother exchanged with student (willingly) (4)
23. Shady enclosure in gazebo we repainted (5)
24. Father (Doctor of Divinity) grasping answer (3)

Down:
1.  Delicate situation is waiting for the right moment to explode (4,4)
2.  Esteemed hunter ate dragon heart (5)
4.  Abbot Li vaguely cut short... (7)
5.  ...human forelimb; cut short injury (3)
6.  Detail a fish and its taxonomy (5)
7.  Closely connected: Lenin and Derek mingled without hesitation (8)
9.  20 returns running water (2)
10. Stifle non-Liberal, not one's own (7)
14. A year after peak, yield (2,3)
15. Embroidery: a bird in flight (5)
19. Compass heading shown by the needle (3)
20. Another missing North -- Ian's one (2)


(All answers can be found in Chambers Dictionary except for 8 across, which is easily found on the web)

• Does the answer contain AE and EA? (wild guess) Jan 17 '20 at 12:24
• l'm not good at solving cryptics. Sometimes the anagram fodder is too long so I can't figure out the anagram. Jan 17 '20 at 12:24
• Also, I can't see the grid. It shows as "enter image description here". Read my profile. Jan 17 '20 at 12:26
• @Scratch---Cat I'm sorry you can't see the grid, I've used the image upload function on puzzling.se which, I believe does use Imgur. Since it's a barred crossword and the shaded cells are important, it's not straightforward to try presenting it another way. I like your wild guesses, but I'm saying no more. And since no entry is longer than 8 letters in this grid, I don't think you'll have any trouble with anagram fodder in that regard!
– user40528
Jan 17 '20 at 12:45
• Use ASCII Art. Show the bars with # between cells. If two cells are connected, use + between them. Shaded cells are shown with * Jan 17 '20 at 12:56

Grid after solving clues:

Wordplay explanations:

1a T(-hor) R(-atatosk) around Y(-ggdrasil). 3a A BASE. 8a AEG(-i)S*. 11a (-g)RAN(-t). 12a. LAMBHOLT*. 13a AVERT with A->E. 15a B + MI. 16a double def. 17a AA + RON. 18a double def. 21a AND*. 22a BRIEF with BR->L. 23a substring. 24a A in DD.
1d cryptic def. 2d substring. 4d ABBOTLI*. 5d (-h)ARM. 6d SALMO(-n). 7d (LENIN+D(-er)EK)*. 9d (20d)<. 10d STRANG(-l)E. 14d A Y after TOP. 15d ABIRD*. 19d substring. 20d A(-noth)E(-r).

Clashes:

8a/1d G/I -> P, shaded -> p.
12a/5d A/M -> N.
12a/9d O/A -> P, shaded -> p.
12a/10d H/T -> B.
13a/14d V/T -> P.
16a/2d X/D -> B.
18a/4d B/I -> K, shaded -> k.
18a/15d O/A -> P, shaded -> p.
18a/20d O/A -> P.
21a/1d M/D -> Q.
22a/7d F/E -> K.
23a/14d O/Y -> N.
23a/19d W/E -> B, shaded -> b.

Grid after resolving clashes and with more appropriate shading:

A more conventional view:

Key move:

Qa5. (Found by Avi in comments.) Then … Bb2/a3/d2; Qd2#; … bxa5; Bc5#; … Kd4; Qc3#; … f2 Qc3#.

Credit where due:

Avi solved the chess puzzle before I could. The board image was made using the facilities on lichess.org.

• Excellent grid-fill as always! For 13a the article is "A" and "E" is the abbreviation for European (specifically as in E-number, apparently). Very nice identification of the final problem (and beautiful diagram). But the key move isn't right I'm afraid: when you play Be5 I will play Bb2 as Black and you can't checkmate me on your next move then.
– user40528
Jan 17 '20 at 14:09
• Oops! I'll look at the position some more :-). Jan 17 '20 at 14:22
• As for 13a, I was hung up on the similarity between rot13(PREVENT) and rot13(EVERT) and never thought of going via rot13(AVERT), duh. Jan 17 '20 at 14:23
• It sounds really dumb, but rot13(V pna'g frrz gb svaq n ershgngvba gb Dn5)
– Avi
Jan 17 '20 at 14:28
• @Avi Doesn't seem dumb at all. (It's unnatural in the way that mate-in-2 moves often are, but that's not the same as dumb.) Jan 17 '20 at 14:29