Posted by linxit on November 30th, 2006
Solving time – 45 minutes. I feel sorry for anyone trying to do this on the train – after struggling in vain for 20 minutes to get half of it I resorted to the Internet, and it was still hard going. Probably not so tough for anyone from Oxfordshire, although all the lesser known towns have relatively easy wordplay. I’m fairly sure Pasquale (Don Manley) is from Oxford, so it’s an appropriate theme.
9 H(0,I,POLL)O,1 – a lot of elements to put together in the wordplay
10 I,SLIP – first thematic answer, this was the birthplace of Edward the Confessor
11 PACKS (“pax”)
13 SET DOWN – I’m sure I’ve seen this clue before – first one I got
17 RAP(H)E – pretty obscure vocabulary, only got it once I had all the checking letters, confirmed afterwards on OneLook.com
26 GO(l)FER – I wasted some time looking for a sportsman missing two Ls, but LSD (librae, solidi, denarii) = “pounds, shillings, pence”, not “pound, shilling, penny”.
28 S,HIRE – type of horse (half of 3dn), took me about 15 minutes before I cracked this and 23dn, which was the only way into the puzzle. I thought it would be plain sailing from then on with so many thematic clues, but it wasn’t to be.
1 I’ve got “WHIP” for this, but I’m open to suggestions – I don’t get the wordplay. [Correct answer is CHAP (E removed from CHEAP), as explained in the comments]
2 DID,COT – I don’t know why a traveller would have dismounted there though
3 HORSE OPERA, (“hopes are OR”)* – OR=”other ranks”, i.e. not officers. Other 2-letter possibilities for soldier(s) are GI (used in 6dn), LT, RE or RA. I considered most of these before hitting on OR.
4 B(LAD)ON – NOB rev – this is the famous burial place of Sir Winston Churchill
5 BICESTER (“bistre”) – easy enough if you know what bistre is! I looked up “pigment” in Bradford’s to get this.
8 SPAN – two meanings. A span of horses means a matched pair pulling e.g. a plough or a carriage
15 KID,LING,TON – a town I’d never heard of but the wordplay’s easy enough. Ton is French for “fashion”.
16 SILAS – Salisbury (southern city) rev. without Bury (northern town). Silas was a missionary in the Bible.
18 PONYTAIL (“tale”) – Ruby Ferguson was a writer of children’s pony stories.
19 WHEAT,LEY – another unknown town to me, but straightforward wordplay again. “Ley” is an alternative spelling of “lea”.
22 HURR(A)Y – A as in last letter of Paula, ref. Paula Radcliffe, who might or might not get cheered if she came last!
23 O,X,FORD – Bill Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.