Posted by michod on February 5th, 2007
It’s more the Indy’s kind of thing, but I’ve started looking for a themed message, especially in these puzzles with unchecked squares around the perimeter. From the top left I came up with BASES ARE DED (promising, recalls some online flash-in-the-pan a few years back) RDKDST… Oh well, forget that, then. Some good clues, a couple of duds, and I see we’re nearly up to 24,000 – anything special in the pipeline, I wonder?
2. MAG(NET)IC. Good simple clue.
9. VA(PO U)R. The Po was a favourite crossword river long before Tinkywinky was a twinkle in Mummytubby’s eye. And the Var’s a department in France.
11. I N A C-CUR ATE. In a fiendish ambiguity, the stammer can be used in two ways: d-dog could give c-cur, as here, or d-cur.
12. (Paun)CHY PRE(late). Nice image.
14. UNOPENED. UP ONE END*. Def=’in bud’. I found this one of the toughest.
15. OW(N)ING. Def=having – good clue.
20. SCHEDULE. Shed yule. I liked this homophone. It does assume you say shed, not sked, but I think most of us are familiar with both. I can never remember which one I use anyway – one’s American, but which?
26. SKE(TCH)ER. Reeks< around ‘tch’. I almost put STENCHES, but couldn’t make the wordplay work. But I don’t like the clue that much – ‘tch’ seems a cop-out, and ‘coming from’ is redundant.
1. BALLYHOO. OH BOY ALL*.
2. ANTE. Sounds like AUNTIE (6dn) in American. Hmm – they sound alike for quite a high proportion of Brits too.
8. CLAQUE. The last one to fall into place. I wasn’t quite sure what a claque is, but I seem to remember it as the kind of political term of abuse that could fit this – a group of stooges and lackeys.
13. PO(NT)E F(R)ACT. Nice construction, but the surface is a bit limp.
16. N(EUR)OSES. RUE<inNOSES. Is a neurosis an illness? I suppose it must be.
18. T(A LENT)ED.
21. CAVER(N). Very weak. Easy to get a plausible surface when you do it like this, but where’s the clue’s internal tension?
24. HI CK. KC, I’m guessing, is what QCs were – and will be – under a male monarch.