Posted by linxit on December 28th, 2006
Solving time – about 30 mins
Very apposite theme with New Year’s Eve fast approaching…I was held up for a long time because I foolishly put in EPSILON for 4dn, without reading the wordplay properly. This prevented me from getting 11 and 13ac for a long time, until I finally got the anagram in 7dn and everything fell into place. Quite a few unusual words today too, but only 5dn and 17dn were unknown to me.
8 SHAKES UP – HAKE inside PUSS rev.
11 SHITTAHS (that’s his)* – easy with the right checking letters, as I’d come across this before, but for a long time I had I_I at the start and was trying to figure out why the answer should be “IRISHMAN”.
12 FIEF, i.e. “thief” in a London accent.
13 BILL, BRYSON (Byron’s)* – another one that I got quickly once I had the right checking letters, but at first I had B_O_ for the first word so it looked like BOOK something.
15 POLYGAM – hidden in MonoPOLY GAMe.
16 R.E.,QUITE – meaning “pay back”, the reverse of “back pay”
18 ATT(MEN,U rev)ENT(ion) – took a bit of figuring out.
22 TW(1L)IT – a smacker=a pound=IL
2 SKIN OFF YOUR NOSE – I’ve heard of the phrase “It’s no skin off my nose” meaning “I don’t care about it”, but I don’t get this at all. Anybody care to explain?
4 E(PIST(o)L)E – caused me a lot of trouble (see above) because I had _P, saw “letter” and “in quarters” and thought EPSILON, without reading the clue properly.
5 KAKI (“khaki”) – a.k.a. the Chinese date plum – I checked in the dictionary just to make sure it wasn’t CAKI. A couple of the less well-known words had some very unfriendly unches.
7 NIGHT ON THE TILES (Not the hit single)* – took longer than it should have to get this. I think my first attempt gave something like “stone in the light”. I only cracked it when I got 2dn from the checking letters.
17 T(ED)ESCO – straightforward wordplay when you see it, but with _E_E_C_ it could be anything. It’s the Italian word for “German”. Last one I got, being very tempted to guess TERENCE as it was the only word I could think of that fit at first.