Posted by nmsindy on February 19th, 2007
Mass is the only one of the setters, there when I first tackled the Indy, who still sets in the daily paper, though he appears less often. His puzzles were among the hardest with great skill at exploiting all the meanings of words to the full. This puzzle exhibits that too.
This one I found even harder than most of those. While I’m not an expert in grid matters, I think that the grid here made it harder. It’s symmetrical through 90 degrees, not just the usual 180, and each corner has 7 words but only 1 of those 7 intersects with words outside the corner i.e. the 4 10-letter words.
Solving time: 61 mins
* = anagram
1 HOME TOWN A tip-top cryptic definition, which brought a smile when found
2 ODES SA(y) Took me ages to get this, because I’d pencilled in “mistrust” for “distrust” in 6 down
9 ABSTRACT A classic Mass-type double definition. Top drawer.
10 O (SWA)LD (was)* King of Northumbria in the 7th century.
18 MA (SQUERA)DE (square)* with baroque as the anagram indicator. Produced = made. “For outside viewing” means put it outside the anagram.
24 C HIT A L New word for me that I got from the wordplay, verifying after.
25 HOROLOGE An old timepiece. For some reason, I was not expecting the answer to be a watch.
1 H(E)AVEN Middle letter of Roquefort. Another wonderful clue. I spent a while thinking about actual ports rather than a synonym.
2 MOSLEY The No 10 refers to 10 across so it all refers to Oswald Mosley, prewar Fascist leader and the No 10 in the surface could have a hint of Downing Street too, I guess.
3 TART AR(m)
8 A R(D)ENNES A French Department and a French city. Hard.
15 AM(ERICA)N Erica = heather in (man)* i.e. George W Bush is an example of an American.
16 ESSAY I(S)T Charles Lamb (Elia) an essayist well-known to solvers.
17 SUIT CASE More Mass magic.
20 Al CAP ONE, gangster = hood same = one and “as” is a link.