Posted by loonapick on February 15th, 2007
A preliminary scan through the clues had me worried, as I only got a couple on first reading. It eventually took me at least 30 minutes, probably longer, to complete this, and I had some wild guesses based on wordplay. However, having checked Chambers, my guesses were right, so I suppose that that means the crossword is fair, if difficult. Typical Gordian fare, really!
1 NUCLEAR FALLOUT – the pedant in me might claim that there is no actual definition of nuclear fallout here, but the surface works well, and you get what the setter is looking for, so…?
9 VERY LIGHT – double definition – a Very light is a flare from a Very pistol. This came up fairly recently in another crossword.
11 RE-IGN – didn’t know, but guessed that ign. is an abbreviation for “unknown”, presumably from the same root as “ignore”.
14 SPADES – refers to phrase “in spades”, meaning “emphatically”.
17 E-POPE-E – aka Epopeia – epic poetry.
19 OLIGARCH – (goal rich)* – I assume that “type” is the anagrind here, but I don’t recall having across it before?
22 LAGER LOUT – (get all our)* – “members irritated”, being the anagrind, a good &lit. clue
24 TIGER – (<=regit) – “regit” being the Latin for “rules” – excellent clue.
25 NON-G.S. – according to Chambers, a nong is an idiot down under.
27 A-CHILL ES/T END-ON – excellent surface and wordplay, but definition “in lower leg” a bit vague. Like 1 ac, you get what the stter wants in the end, so probably OK.
1 NEVER-NEVER LAND – a variation on something I saw in another puzzle recently, but well-worded.
2 CORTINA – (car not I)* -referring to the once-ubiquitous Ford Cortina
3 EGLANTINE – (elegant in)* – not sure about the wordplay. If “can be” is the anagrind, then “flower” and “wild rose” are both defintions. If “in flower” is the anagram, then it can’t work, because “in” is part of the anagram fodder. I think the setter has tried to manipulate the clue to make the surface sound better, but I may be wrong.
4 RAGMEN-TS(<=st.) – old word for catalogues.
6 LOW-RY – like it – low railway!
8 THOMAS SHERATON – (O other than mass)* – a furniture-maker that I remember coming up in history lessons when I was at school (with Chippendale and Hepplewhite, IIRC)
15 PAGE THREE – (gape there)* – referring to the topless models which adorm some of the tabloids in the UK, and which must bewilder visitors to our shores…
18 O.R.-Ga.-NIC(k) – nicely worked clue.
20 RIGGALD – sounds like “wriggled” – a riggald or ridgel is an animal with one testicle.
23 RISHI – Irish with the “I” at the end – a rishi is a sage or divinely-inspired poet in Indian mythology.