Posted by loonapick on April 13th, 2007
Just in time for Easter, Nutmeg provided us with a crossword about that most ubiquitous of nannies, Mary Poppins although more exactly, it was based on one word used in that movie.
Generally, it was a fairly straightforward crossword to solve, and, as the theme unravelled, clues which I struggled with on first reading became much clearer on second or third readings.
This was my fastest Inquisitor, although I didn’t time myself so can’t say exactly how long it took – suffice to say it was done in one sitting on Saturday evening notwithstanding the distractions of Doctor Who and a movie. I didn’t even realise that there was a misprint in the clue numbering (see below) until after I had solved the puzzle.
I started by reading through the non-themed clues and filling in as many of them as possible before attacking the theme.
Clues of note were:
12 AGUISE – homophone of A GUY’S
14 SOUARIS – (ours is a )* – I got this one immediately because it had come up in a barred crossword the previous week (Azed?)
15 ERST – hidden in “workERS Tanning” – excellent surface
16 ECBOLE – EC(B)OLE – a digression in public speaking
26 EPIC – EPIC(ure)
29 BURNISH – i.e. like a burn
30 ELIDED – ELI-D(e)ED – Eli is the first word that comes to mind when I see “priest” in a clue .
3 AQUATINTED – AQUA-T(a)INTED
4 BUIRDLY – BUILD-RY swapping the R and L – Scottish word for stalwart
5 LIMITES – LI(MIT)ES – MIT is the German word for with, and LIMITES were ancient Roman boundaries.
7 CSIRO -C(SIR)O – The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, don’t you know…
8 INSULARISM – IN-SU(LA-R-IS)M – not sure that insularism and xenophobia are the same thing
9 THE JEDI – H(last of Irish) in (<=JET) + (die)*
11 WORKAHOLIC – (low chair OK)* – nice surface
13 URBANENESS – URBAN(seen)*S – following some debate on this and other crossword fora about when and where capitals should be allowed in crosswords, this, in my opinion, is a good example of the proper way to use capitalisation in cryptic clues – “Polish pope” has you thinking of John Paul II, but it turns out that “Polish” is the definition.
24 OSIER – (h)OSIER)y – not sure about this one, as “twiggy” and “osier” are not synonyms unless I am missing something.
Next to be solved would be the words referred to in the preamble:
10 ac – the letters I had after first stab at non-thematic clues were – ???QUI?O?S (UBIQUITOUS?)
31ac – E?P?E?SS??N (EXPRESSION?)
21 ac – ?A?NY
17dn – ??D?E?S
So we have according to the preamble to find a ubiquitous experession used by the ?A?NY personified by Miss ??D?E?S.
The penny dropped and the missing words became NANNY and ANDREWS, as in Mary Poppins
So now to attack the thematic clues, which would yield to me all but four of the letters of the ubiquitous expression, which I assumed (correctly, it turned out) to be that wonderful word, SUPERCALAFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS.
They turned out to be
PIXIE (DIXIE with new lid)
CURSE (CURES with last two letters twisted)
So the missing four letters would be FAIR.