Posted by loonapick on December 13th, 2006
(If I were clever enough, I’d write this entry using only one vowel, but I ain’t, so here goes.) Solving time – 7 mins
Given the restriction that the setter has imposed upon himself in creating this crossword, it is an excellent effort. He has had to use some rarer words, but that’s fine – a crossword should educate as well as entertain, and Brendan has ensured that the wordplay means that you can make a good guess at a couple of the entries, even if the answer is unfamiliar.
10 PINCH HIT – PIN CH(H)IT where H = husband. In baseball, a pinch hitter is a substitute batter.
12 PHILIPPICS – PHILIPPI(C)’S where C = Conservative. Philippi was the scene of a battle following the assassination of Julius Caesar (Octavian and Mark Antony defeated Brutus), and a philippic is a damning political speech (new word to me!)
13 – MISSISSIPPI – very clever, and very easy
22 – NIHILIST – another clever, but fairly easy clue, especially once you work out the “theme” of the crossword.
24 – DRIFTS – the definition here is imports, and could have been very misleading in a more difficult clue. Import (as in importance) equates roughly to drift (as in “Get my drift”). Not quite sure that the two are synonymous.
1 – DIVI-DIVI – a tropical shrub that can be guessed at from the rest of the clue.
3 – BRINDISI – anagram of “bird is in” – strange is a very common anagrind, and I wonder if another indicator and leaving out “Mediterranean” might have made the clue a little more challenging.
4 – HIP HIP – not sure how “hip” equals “member” as a member is normally a protruding body part.
7 – GLITCH – G-LITCH(i) where G = good and the incomplete fruit is “litchi”. Surface doesn’t read very well.
8 – SPLIT SHIFTS – good wordplay
14 – SKI LIFTS – S(KIL(IF)TS) where S = second. I like second gear for S-KILTS.