Posted by linxit on December 14th, 2006
Solving time – about 45 mins.
This was a real brute of a puzzle from Araucaria. I struggled all the way with it, but there were some obscure words and a couple of very dodgy clues. Just what I’ve come to expect from him, but a lot harder today for some reason.
5 WIPE OUT – “why pout?”
9 (CAME)* + HER – Michael Meacher is a Labour MP.
10 L, (GEAR)*, SS – I’ve always spelt this with a ‘e’ on the end, but apparently this form is just as valid.
11 LONG MARCH – which would delay April Fools’ Day if it happened. I suppose “China” is a mini-theme here, but only three clues are thematic if that’s the case.
15 “DI’S MANTLE” – I’m sure even the least fashion-conscious among us remember “that” wedding dress…
17 G, RE(A,PLATE*,FOR)WARD – I’d sort of heard of the Great Leap Forward, but knew nothing about it until I read the Wikipedia article.
19 NAB, OB=obiit=died
22 AIDA,N – founder of Lindisfarne
23 VERDI, GRIS – I don’t think I’ve ever seen this type of linked clue construction before, where part of the wordplay for one clue is linked and defined by part of the wordplay of another. It works for me though – I don’t think I’d have got 22 right without 23.
25 DO, RM, ANT – a jolly is a nickname for a Royal Marine. One to remember, as this comes up fairly regularly.
1 MIM(U,L)US – I admit I looked this up, being familiar with neither the answer nor Mimus, the hummingbird genus.
2 L,EARNER – L = a pound, which used to be worth twenty bob (shillings).
6 (ALE CROP) rev, IN
8 TOSCA,LE – great bit of misdirection. I was convinced I was looking for the name of an opera formed from LE or LA inside RATIO.
14 GET IN LANE – (inelegant)* – but where’s the anagram indicator?
17 GRAND,AD – no definition though. I suppose it’s meant to be “elderly” (18d), but that’s not adequate surely.
20 BAR,RAGE – plus a sort of cryptic definition involving the two meanings of the word.
24 X(ORB)I all reversed – I think this was the first clue I got this morning.