Posted by loonapick on February 23rd, 2007
Not quite sure how to summarise this puzzle. It was fairly easy, even if some of the references and definitions are not immediately obvious, and, for the most part, the clues made sense. I solved it in about 12 minutes, then spent a good twenty minutes researching for this blog.
ACROSS 1 B-ACKERS – “angels” in the sense of theatrical sponsors; hadn’t come across ACKERS = money before, but it’s in Chambers, and the OED says the word was first used by British troops while in Egypt.5 INHUM(e)-AN
10 G(U(nethica)L)AG – I assume that the setter is referring to the system as he uses the plural “camps” in the clue. A gulag was a prison camp for political dissidents and other “criminals” in the Soviet Union. It was an acronym for a long-winded Russian politburo title, which I’m not going to attempt to write out here. Reminds me of studying the excellent novella of one of my favourite authors at school – “A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch” by Alexandr Solzhenitsyn. I’d recommend it and his other novels to anyone.
12 MILITARIST – (similar tit)* – nice surface, even if it was a failry obvious anagram
15 DODD-(v)ERY – as in Ken Dodd. I went to one of his shows once. It lasted nearly FOUR hours. Like him or loathe him, he certainly didn’t short-change the audience, the way he did the taxman.
16 REBIRTH – R(central ameRica)-(<=tribe)-H(capital of Honduras)
18 YORKER – hidden in galwaY OR KERry – for Ilan’s benefit, a yorker in cricket is a ball which, when bowled, lands right up at the batsman’s feet, designed to go under the bat and be almost unplayable.
21 S-TAG – According to Chambers, a “tag” is a trite quotation, especially in Latin (a new meaning for me)
24 T(R)OON – My favourite clue. “Toon” is how we Scots (and much of Northern England) refer to a town, and Troon is the site of a championship golf course on the Ayrshire coast, so there is a good &lit. element to this clue.
25 NO-ACCOUNT – Mmm, not sure. I can see what the setter is trying to do, but don’t like “telling off”.
27 E-ARNE-ST(op) – Nice surface, and taught me that EARNEST can be a pledge.
3 EDDY – although the answer was obvious from the definition and the checked letters, I do wonder how famous Mary Baker Eddy is?
4 SPANISH CHEST-NUT(<=tun) – very good.
5 IN THIS DAY AND AGE – DAYAN in (hiding eats)* – relates to Moshe Dayan, an Israeli Chief of Staff in the 1950s
7 MALAISE – homophone of “Malays” – at last a homophone for we Rhotics to appreciate, because it doesn’t rely on the “mispronunciation of an R”.
8 NIGHTLY – (thing)*-L(orr)Y
13 SACRA-MEN-TO – the state capital of California is sometimes referred to as The River City, after the Sacramento River.
17 BUT-TO-N-S – Buttons is a character in “Cinderella”, created specifically for pantomime.