Posted by rightback on February 24th, 2007
Solving time: about 14 mins + a bit of guesswork on 1dn, which I got wrong.
The three starred clues, of which two were fairly straightforward despite being clued without definition, led to words or phrases that can be represented by the letter G; 15dn also contained a thematic reference.
A few clues have strange surface readings but many are very good, though a lot of clues contain superfluous words which are there purely to assist the surfaces. This is normal Guardian (and especially Araucarian) practice, but I particularly dislike ‘for’ stuck in the middle of the wordplay in 14ac and 25ac and the link phrase ‘having to do’ in 6dn.
* = anagram, ” ” = ‘sounds like’.
|*1/10||ACCELERATION DUE TO GRAVITY; (LACE RE-)* in ACTION (suit) + DUET + O + GRAV(IT)Y – quite a good surface but a very complex wordplay; hats off to anyone who ‘cold solved’ this, especially given the liberal treatment of the hyphen in ‘re-worked’.|
|8||A + N(TON)OV – I saw ‘Russian plane’ and ‘speed’ and almost wrote in ‘migrate’ immediately. The Antonov An-225 is the world’s largest aircraft.|
|9||WORSTED (double definition)|
|*11/26||GENERAL + INTELLIGENCE|
|14||CIGARILLO; CI (Channel Islands) + GORILLA with A and O swapped|
|16||TENNESSEE; ‘inversion’ of “SE 10″, Greenwich’s post code – nearly fell for ‘Minnesota’ here, and took me a while after solving to fathom the wordplay.|
|19||COVER; C (100) + OVER (6 balls) – to make this wordplay work you have to split ’106′ into ‘a hundred and six’.|
|23||TO + PAL + OV[a]; “TOPPLE OFF” – a double wordplay clue. Veselin Topalov is currently rated world number one by FIDE, the World Chess Federation, just ahead of Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik.|
|24||NORWICH; rev. of WRON[g] + ICH (German for ‘I’) – the definition bemused me but Google came to my rescue:
The man in the moon
Came tumbling down
And asked his way to Norwich;
He went by the South
And burned his mouth
With supping cold pease porridge.
|1||ACTINIA; AC + “TINEA” – one of these. I failed on this, guessing ‘actenia’ because of the possible connection to ‘ctene’, another sea creature; I knew ‘tinea’ could mean a moth but not a skin disease (of the ‘athlete’s foot’ variety).|
|2||CENTRED; inversion of RED CENT|
|3||LOVELOCKS; VELOC[ity] inside rev. of SKOL – I could make nothing of this clue until I had all the crossing letters. It turns out that ‘Mud in your eye’ is a toast, as is ‘Skol’.|
|4||ROWAN (double definition) – refers to Rowan Williams.|
|5||THROWER; ROW inside THE R[ight]|
|7||BAGGAGE TRAIN; (GAGA)* + GET inside BRAIN|
|15||GEE-STRING – ‘might be partly starred’ is a thematic reference because of the ‘gee’ (see introduction above). Took me a while to twig to this one.|
|18||ER + RHINE – ‘to do with sneezing’.|
|19||CAP STAN – a somewhat clichéd wordplay which I would happily forgive if the surface made any sense.|
|20||VULTURE; rev. of LUV + (TRUE)*|