Posted by nmsindy on January 1st, 2007
Very unusual puzzle, with some (for me) original treatments.
Solving time: 31 mins
* = anagram
1 CONVENIENCE Double definition (or punning definition) – just 7 letters to clue an 11-letter word! Good moment when I found it near the end. WC Handy(1873-1958), US musician and composer, is known as “father of the blues”. Would have thought of convenient (adj) as more equivalent to handy than “convenience”. But the ? covers that, I think.
7 PAM (MAP) (reversed) i.e. from east to west as it’s an across clue.
11 ETHER Number = something that numbs
13 I LOVE PARIS Referring to (Cole) Porter who wrote that song (1953) and to celebrity PARIS Hilton, I think.
16 EZ RA (outer letters) The controversial writer EZRA Pound (1885-1972).
23 ALEXANDR(I)A Good surface – took me a while to get it. The port is a very old one (in Egypt).
24 HAIKU Of which the clue is an example – three lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables. Good stuff.
25 DIS = Pluto (The underworld – a crossword staple). His creator left half finished – the cartoon character Pluto created by (Walt) DISney
26 S(MATTER)INGS An excellent clue. Definition is “Not much”. Peaches = informs = sings substance = matter.
1 (HIT RECORD NEW A-HA)* CATHERINE HOWARD The fifth of the six wives of you know who. Was not misdirected by the context of the clue but I did need quite a few crossing letters to work it out.
2 NEIGHBOUR(LINES)S Australian soap opera . lines = dialogue.
5 NISEI Seen often in advanced crosswords as a useful word ending in I but not so often in the daily cryptic. It’s hidden (reversed i.e. promoted as it’s a down clue) in SecuritIES INdustry. Who are they? US or Canadian children of Japanese immigrants.
6 E (Start to evacuate) + FF (following) + LUX (illumination)
18 (PAN) = (NAP) (short sleep) “over” on THE (article) + fuRry (furry centre). I think there could be debates long into the night as to whether it should be furry’s centre or some such. But this would do irreparable harm to the surface, I guess.
19 FLOATS Double definition and nice misdirection as you could expect an anagram from the wording, but the first definition made it easy enough for me. Sums of money used for change at start of trading is the second one.
21 MEDIA Another hidden reversal “sent up”. Another excellent (and amusing) surface.