Posted by ilancaron on November 29th, 2006
[This is actually courtesy of loonapick who due to technical difficulties asked me to post… so please direct all compliments to him and complaints to me about the formatting]
Gordius is a regular Guardian compiler who tends to throw up the occasional unusual word or obscure reference. Today’s puzzle was no exception. I started slowly and then struggled to complete the SW corner of the puzzle. Two of the four long down lights were easy enough. Of the other two, I can’t work out the wordplay in one, and I’m not sure that the other is a valid phrase.
1. OVERCAST SKY – Took a while to get this, but eventually had to look up Minack. It is an open-air theatre on the Cornish coast.
12. PRESS – “reported lack of ease” leads to removing the consecutive Es in peeress i.e. P(ee)RESS
16. SCHERZANDO – anagram of DOZEN CHARS (I = one removed)
19. ACRE – easy but don’t think the surface reads well.
20. GATES – as in Bill Gates
23. ABADDON – poetic name for Hell, as in “In all her gates, Abaddon rules Thy bold attempt”, a quote from Milton.
24. TRIDENT – some publishers would frown on “intent” being used to indicate that a word or letters have to be placed in “tent” to get the answer.
25. EARL MARSHAL – hereditary court officer, the post is normally held by the Duke of Norfolk since 1672.
2. ECLAT = electroconvulsive therapy = “shock treatment”
3. CASH BOX = C (“bit of cash”)+ASHBOX (“under the boiler?). Never heard of an ash box, but then I’m too young to remember boilers that produced ashes.
4. SUPREME – REME stands for Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, a corps of the British Army
7. ENGAGED SIGNAL – surface and crosschecks lead to answer, but not sure of the wordplay involved. Anyone else have any idea?
8. GNASH THE TEETH – GNAS (“sang up first)+HTHETEETH (anagram of “the” three times). Is that a valid phrase? ‘Gnash ones teeth’ or ‘gnasj your teeth’ are fine, but ‘the teeth’?
15. CRUSADER – RU (“game”) invested in anagram of “sacred” with operation as the anagrind. Don’t remember coming across that indicator before.
17. ACRONYM – CRONY in AM, but not sure how the wordplay fits. 22. REITH – Lord Reith, BBC pioneer, sounds like wreath (“floral tribute”)