Posted by nmsindy on December 28th, 2006
Another excellent puzzle by Merlin , which I mostly solved quickly but was slow to finish.
Solving time: 21 mins
* = anagram
1 GO (energy) + SPEL(l) (endless charm)
9 BEAT + IF (provided) + I + C
10 ROOMS. Good image and misleading context. MOOR (rev) +S (spades – cards). Digs = lodging (less common today than once)
12 THOUGH (allowing) + ST (rev) = holy man = saint (St)
18 AN + TEA + TER(mites) i.e. “not” small ones (mites) . An & lit as well of course.
23 ENTRANCE Double definition – a wonderful clue with a pleasing picture.
24 TAT + TOO (besides)
2 OMEGA Cleverly hidden. Only got it late on. “The last of a series”. In this case the Greek alphabet, in which Omega is the last letter – also used figuratively “Alpha to Omega”
4 The last I solved. Think of office = the loo. In the wordplay element “down”, I think, means “disappointed” after losing the seat. LEFT THE SEAT DOWN
6 PERSONALITY CULT (COPY STALIN RULE)* + T (tyrant’s foremost) A wonderful &lit clue giving an accurate description and involving the man to whom the term was, I think, first applied after he was denounced in 1956. Solved it first time round, but it might depend on whether you were familiar with the history and/or the phrase. Lot of Old Left stuff recently with Hammer & Sickle on Boxing Day.
7 STOP + GAP Another wonderful clue
14 HIT-AND-RUN Cryptic definition. “Repair” here in the sense “go off” as the car causing the accident does. “Straight I will repair to the Curragh of Kildare” as in the old folk love song.
1 7 NEGLECT C (cold) in (GENTLE)* More excellent surface.