Posted by tilsit on December 7th, 2006
Solving time: 34 minutes
Life is full of worries and paradoxes. Mrs Dale (for those of us of an age) always worried about Jim. Me? I worry about Simon McStraphanger. Who he, I hear you ask? Well, gentle reader, he is the man that crossword editors used to worry about. He gets on his train at Downminster, and would settle down with his puzzle. If he completed it as the train chugged into Millbank Central, it was going to be a good day. Too early and he has much to fret about, unfinished and he has a bad day ahead of him until the journey home again.
Last Thursday’s Nestor would have probably given him several palpitations and normally Monk’s challenges usually do the same. However today’s was a little more benevolent, with several laugh out loud clues, although there was a paradox to wrestle with. Usually Monk has a gimmick, pangrammatic grid, theme or message and today? Well…….
8 TWEEZE Quaint = TWEE Great God, not half showing = ZE(US) Def = Pluck
9 NOAHS ARK Old boat = definition. ON Westerly = NO - evacuated A(nglo Frenc)h = AH + Channel Island = SARK
10 HELLENIC - Girl = ELLEN in “this in Latin” = HIC - The use of “Or” in this clue should keep the minds busy on crossword.org.uk currently fretting about Linkwords.
12 EPSOM SALTS - My favourite clue today! Definition = “They evacuate” (need I explain more?) Marines = SALTS on (attached to) a course = EPSOM.
15 RAIN CATS AND DOGS - This clue causes me trouble. PELT = definition (fine!) I presume this is “coverless sewers” (alluding to seamstresses for the surface) = (D)RAIN rather than DRAINS. DOMESTIC ANIMALS = CATS AND DOGS with ”on” linking in the same way as 12 across. The alternative reading would be CATS AND DOG in RAINS which just is not indicated.
20 CONSTRAINT - Rook = R one = I “separately pinned” ie inside CONSTANT = perpetual check = definition. Nice mislead on a chess theme.
23 WEBSTERS Dictionary obviously with the remainder of the def being a cryptic hint at people who search the (WW)Web.
1 SWEET PEA Candy = SWEET penny each = P EA. Climber is definition.
2 FELL TO Def = “applied himself” as in “he fell to his task,” T= Time inside FELLOW Divorced or single = No W(oman) ! Very clever!!! Very Monk!
3 KEEN Double def. A new one on me - see Chambers Wailing / moaning etc.
4 KNUCKLE SANDWICH - Never seen this in a puzzle before! Blow = def. Anagram of ”H CANDLE WICK SUNK”
6 ISOLATED O = Ring inside I SLATED = one criticised
13 SCARCEMENT - SCAR = Damage CEMENT = Fix
16 NINTENDO - Another first time seen in a puzzle - INTEND in NO
17 GANGRENE = RENÉ = Franchman on GANG = Workmen
19 TIN MAN Another laugh-out loud clue Friend of Dorothy = definition (see Wizard of Oz) T = last letter of Smart + IN MAN
24 BYRE Homonym of Buyer – lower class accommodation – lower class = COWS.
Another battle with Monk over. So where’s the gimmick? So very nearly pangrammatic, but not quite! The theme or hidden message?Well remember I said that life was full of paradoxes? Look down left and along the bottom row.