Posted by tilsit on January 4th, 2007
Solving time 25 minutes
I have really enjoyed the Indy daily puzzles recently and I know that a number of crossword chums have also done so, so I feel a bit odd about today’s challenge. Maintaining a high standard is always a tough task and the best I can liken today’s to is using up the festive left overs. It’s all quite pleasant and worthy, but it’s not quite like the meal the day before. To use another analogy, a bit like the Vicar of Dibley versus One Foot in the Grave.
Mass is one of the longest serving setters and always reminds me of the late Custos from the Guardian. In the 80′,s we used to have Custos and Araucaria alternating on Saturday and when I finished Custos it was a nice feeling, but you immediately longed for the following Saturday’s Araucaria which was invariably going to make you smile. Mass puzzles are beautifully crafted and absolutely fair, but it’s just a nice puzzle.
Today’s was very much like that – as a crossword nerd, I can appreciate the lovely clues, but really that was it. Didn’t laugh out loud or have some theme to look for, but it was worthy of the Indy canon and better than many others in the other papers.
Not easy to get into either, as there were no really long answers.
1 POLARIS – OL(D) not quite well established in PARIS capital.
5 STRETCH – Double definition – a nice clue.
9 RESPITE – Concerned with = Re Ill Will = Spite
11 PHOTOSTAT – This caused me most trouble HOT inside POST + A + T (lighT ultimately)
12 LEILA – Anag of ELLA plus I. Hmmmm. not one of my favourites.
13 TWEAK – W in TEAK = Timber? Don’t feel comfortable with that.
15 ENAMELLED – NAME in ELLE plus D. Liked this clue, although is French necessary in the clue? I think it adds nicely to the surface.
17 PURPORTED – Anag of PRUDE with PORT inside.
22 MENELAUS – hidden reversed in MeneLAUS Undoubtedly.
25 GRANDEE – GRAND (PIANO) + EE (keys)
28 NASCENT – N A = North American SCENT
1 PARAPET – APE (Primate) in PART – Clever definition “It helps to fortify” as in a fortification (castle, etc).
4 SWEETMEAT – Anag of MAE WEST with ET inside
6 REPELLENT – Like Herbert TREE as a frequent response to Actor in a clue, Ms Terry (Wasn’t she known as Dame ELLEN Terry??) leads to ELLEN. REP = Theatre (repertory) with T for Temperature.
7 TRIVIAL VI in TRIAL
8 HAGGARD – Sir Henry Rider HAGGARD (King Solomon’s Mines, She)
14 KNOWLEDGE – Another poor clue, methinks, probably the last to be written. Anyone know Mr Wold?
16 ADDICTION – C for Cocaine in ADDITION Great & lit clue. – it redeems 14.
17 PLUNGER – A new def on me – A reckless player? P + LUNG = ER rising note.
23 TEENY – Is a TEE an area for drivers in Golf? I fretted about this for a while and then of course realised it is acceptable.
24 INCAS – IN + CAS (T) Shy in crosswords now usually means throw (as in Coconut Shy), so this didn’t really hold me up.