Posted by loonapick on January 10th, 2007
Rover has presented us with a good mix of clues, many of which use clever wordplay. I solved this crossword very quickly (less than five minutes), but didn’t always know at first reading why the answer I had put in was right. In at least one case, I’m still not sure that I have the right answer, but one of the advantages of writing a blog is that it forces you to think about the answers rather than blindly throwing in any old words, hoping that they are right.
1 – BREADWINNERS – not necessarily first home with the bacon, but it makes the clue read better, I suppose.
9 – AMNESIC – (I came)* holding N and S. Clue gives you the image of someone not knowing who they are.
11 – KAMPALA – KAM(PAL)A, Kama being a Hindu god of desire.
13 – NINTH – Hidden in “maN IN THe” – again you are presented with the image of someone sitting in the snug (a room in a pub, for non-British solvers), having his ninth pint, thus putting him “one over the eight” (i.e. drunk)
19 – SWARM – (w arms)*, where W=”with”
21 – IRELAND – composer referred to could be the British composer, John Ireland (1879-1962), but there may be other composers with that surname.
24 – TRAPEZE – 99% certain it’s the right answer, but not sure about the “hold-up” reference in the clue.
25 – ORGANZA – referring to the newspaper as an organ (means of communication of opinions) and ZA are the letters you’d see on a car from South Africa
1 – BATSMAN – in cricket, if you are in, you are batting. God knows how people with no knowledge of cricket cope with British cryptics.
4 – IRAQI – I assume that this refers to Sunni, a follower of one of the two great branches of Islam (cf. Shi’ite). Although it is true that many Iraqis are Sunni Muslims, Sunnis don’t just live in Iraq, so I don’t think one should use this to clue IRAQI, especially as the “say” in the clue indicates the homophone, and can’t therefore also be used to indicate “for example”. A question mark might have helped, but personally I don’t like it.
7 – TALKING POINT – see my comment for 1dn. A fielder at point (a fielding position square of the batsamn on the off side) chatting away would certainly irritate a batsman.
10 – CHRISTMAS DAY – (starchy maids)*
17 – EWE LAMB – excellent clue. According to Chambers, a ewe lamb is not only a female lamb, but has also come to mean a treasured possession, and lambs should certainly be kept in the fold.
18 – DEADEYE – EYE is just one of the collective nouns for pheasants (others include nest, nid, nye, nide, bouquet, bevy, brood, bunch, harem, plump…)
20 – AVIGNON – The Pont d’Avignon (aka Le Pont Saint-Benezet) was the only crossing of the Rhone between the Papal enclave at Avignon and the rest of France during the Middle Ages.