Posted by linxit on April 4th, 2007
Solving time 15:01 – should’ve been much quicker but for a wrong answer and stupidity at 12ac.
Sorry for the delay, couldn’t take my eyes off the cricket. No way we should have lost – neither Vaughan nor Bell were out, the umpires should be shot! Anyway, onto the crossword – I haven’t blogged Orlando before, but I thought the surface readings were excellent, and there were a lot of very subtle elements of wordplay that I’m not sure would all be acceptable by The Times but were perfectly fair in my opinion. e.g. “outer bounds = OR”, “ecclesiastical limits” = EL, “tip of tongue” = E, “50% more” = RE…
6 TO,NIC(k) – looks simple, but I only got it after all three crossing downs.
9 A(CC)RA – “twin cities” = CC – Accra’s the capital of Ghana.
12 WACO – to my shame, I thought of Waco as the only city to fit before realizing that it was the initial letters of “Without Any Chiefs Or” – probably cost me a minute of solving time!
14 NEEDLES(s) – thought “grasses” and “drug enforcement agents” before “annoys” as the definition, so this took longer than it should have too.
17 PITS,TOP – simple but brilliant! What a great clue.
22 LADY CHAP,E(cclesiastica)L – I’d never heard of this, but guessed it correctly. It’s a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
25 INSPECTOR – ref. the play An Inspector Calls by J. B. Priestley. I put CONDUCTOR at first, which slowed me up considerably.
26 N,OR,NS – I’d heard of NORNS as the Fates in Norse mythology, so I put this straight in. Wordplay is presumably N or NS as “one or two Poles”. Yep, course it is! Very clever.
27 MAYOR – only one I don’t understand. What sauce recipe? [Duh! Just realized – MAYO(nnaise) + R(ecipe)]
3 FLA(=Alf rev),GEO(rge),LETS – a popular musical instrument lately.
4 IV(O(ute)R)IES – I suspect most have heard this expression, but “tickling the ivories” means playing the piano.
13 STONE,HEN,GE(=e.g. rev)
14 NEPTUNIUM – MU,1,N.U.T.,PEN all reversed – N.U.T. being the UK’s largest teachers’ union.
16 BON,APART,E(lba) – more great surface and wordplay. Napoleon was the French emperor, so the “good of his country” is BON.
19 FLY,TRAP – both horse-drawn vehicles.