Posted by loonapick on February 2nd, 2007
Once I worked out the theme of this crossword, I rattled through it at a fair rate of knots, and completed all bar 4 clues in about half an hour. Then I got stuck, and had to come back to it a week later.
Within twenty minutes, I was down to one clue, and I would have got that fairly easily if one of my checked letters hadn’t been wrong, so all in all, this wasn’t the most difficult of the Independent Magazine’s offerings.
To the theme – the title of the puzzle indicated that the removal of arms was an intrinsic part of the puzzle, and, indeed, for the 22 themed entries that was exactly what you had to do – see explanations below.
The two unclued columns at either side turned out to be A FAREWELL TO ARMS – HEMINGWAY, a very apposite title.
For the purposes of the blog, I will concentrate on the themed entries. Within each answer, the bit in the brackets is the arm(oury) that had to be removed from the answer before entry into the grid.
1 ALTAR(piece)S – (price at art)*
7 BEDW(arm)ER – (brew made)*-R – this was the first clue I got, and the inclusion of the word ARM helped me to work out the theme.
11 MOSS A(gat)E
13 (spear) SIDE – (serpa)* + SIDE – the spear side is the line of male descent as opposed to the distaff side.
14 SL(ash)ES – SL = Solicitor at Law and ASH is an air-to-air missile
17 EL(bow)-CHAIR – (charlie)* securing BOW – this was the last clue I got, because I had entered 19dn wrong, which meant that I was looking for a word ending in D.
27 LI(sten)ERS – L = inductance + (stile set)* – a Sten gun is a small automatic rifle.
32 PA(rod)YING – PAR + O’ DYING
34 TRI(archie)S – R in (charities)* – Archie was a slang name for ant-aircraft fire during WWII.
35 (lance)LETS – (neat cells)*
37 (sam)SONITE – S(mason)*ITE – SAM = surface-to-air missile
3 (tank)TOPS – K wearing TAN TOPS
8 ESTA(mine)TS – (main steet)*
14 SURTUR(brand) – S = (burnt durra)* – surturbrand is lignite formed from lava in Iceland.
19 (da)RNED – hidden in reversal of “hidDEN RADome” – I initially entered this as D(ar)NED thinking that AR stood for “automatic rifle” or possibly “Army Regulation”, but it appears I made up the first abbreviation myself! Oh, and a da is a Burmese knife, which appears fairly regularly in barred crosswords.
23 SHO(gun)ATES – (shut on eg a S)*
25 SPER(mace)TI – S-PERM-ACE-TI
26 LAN(d-ag)ENT – LAND-A(GEN)T – A dag is not a short dagger but a 16th century pistol.
28 S(pike)NAIL – S (‘s) + (like a pin)*
31 (scud)DLES – S(CUDDLE)S