Posted by rightback on April 14th, 2007
Solving time: Got out Chambers and my A-Z after about 1hr 15min.
The double puzzle was based on the name ‘Leon’. Grid A contained pairs of answers which when joined with ‘le’ gave various English place names. Grid B was the same, but using ‘on’.
In grid A, I knew Chester-Le-Street (home to Durham County Cricket Club) and Houghton-Le-Spring in the same county (even before this week’s news story), but none of Whittle-Le-Woods (Lancs), Newton-Le-Willows (N Yorks), Hetton-Le-Hole (Sunderland) or Barton-Le-Clay (Beds). Grid B was more successful, as I’d heard of all of Stoke-on-Trent, Walton-on-Thames, Walton-on-the-Naze, Shipston-on-Stour, Newcastle-on-Tyne and Stratford-on-Avon (though shouldn’t these last two be ‘upon’?), and so managed to complete this grid correctly before needing references to finish off grid A (for LUCCA, BARTON, TOOL STEEL, ASMODEUS, HETTON, HOLE, CLAY and GHOSTLY).
Also, I seem to have mentioned many more clues from grid A below, so maybe that was the harder grid anyway, even without the thematic extras. Only after completion did I re-read the preamble and understand the reference at 22ac to Lee-on-the-Solent (“Leon” the Solent).
* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.
|1||A: LOW-PRICED; (WORLD EPIC) – good anagram. / B: STRAT (rev. of TARTS) + FORD – one of the harder ‘wordplay only’ clues.|
|6||A: HO. (= ‘house’) + LE (= ‘link’, referring to the theme)|
|10||A: BART (= ‘Sir’; just a man’s name, or is there more?) + ON – I wrote in ‘Genton’ here, having missolved 1dn.|
|11/14dn||A: TWO MILES TO THE INCH; (WEST MONOLITHIC IN)* – nice anagram, and a hint to the theme? / B: PORRIDGE (half-cryptic double definition) – my last solve in grid B.|
|19||A: NEWT + ON (rev. of NO) – apparently Ken Livingstone likes newts.|
|21||A: AS + MODE + US – very Auracarian, with a misleading hyphen and superfluous ‘for’. I had to look this up.|
|22||A: MA + LA + WI – ‘motherland’ has to be split into MA + definition.|
|25||A: FOLL[y] + O WON / B: A + POST + ATE|
|26||A: CLAY was all I could think of, but it didn’t seem to fit with 17dn (qv).|
|27||A: HALITOSIS; (HIS IS A LOT)* / B: EID + ER + DOWN – the definition is ‘warmer’.|
|1||A: LUCCA; “LOOKER” – easy really, even if you don’t know the city, but with the L and C in place I wrote in the football-assisted LECCE and didn’t resolve it until using references for 10ac. This was partly because of the omitted asterisk for the second half of this clue (B: STOKE; OK in (SET)*), which meant I was looking for an extra definition.|
|2||B: [au]RELIAN + T|
|3||B: TRENT – refers to the Council of Trent.|
|5||A: DISCO + MM + ON – the long definition made this hard.|
|6||A: HARPIST; (RAP)* in HIS + T – I know this is Auracaria but ‘composer of rap’ meaning ‘anagram of rap’ is ridiculous. / B: AN + AN + I + AS – took me a long time to remember / work out this name.|
|7||A: LANTER[n] + LOO – a new word for me.|
|13||A: TOOL STEEL; ‘Spoonerism’ of ‘Teal stool’ – but is it really? Surely ‘teal stool’ Spoonerised gives ‘steel tool’. Before getting this I looked up ‘Toot Cable’, which (though clearly nonsensical) would be a genuine Spoonerism of ‘coot table’. / B: A + BERR(ANC)Y|
|14||B: NEWCASTLE – as in taking coal thereto.|
|17||A: G(HOST)LY[col] – my last entry, but I think this is a terrible clue. ‘Quantity of antifreeze’ for ‘GLY[col]‘ is bad enough before the fact that not all antifreezes are glycols and not all glycols are antifreezes. Worse, the word ‘point’ in the clue is completely superfluous; I couldn’t see what it could indicate except for a final N, S, W or E which badly hindered me. / B: THEN [h]AZE – very topical given the recent weather.|
|18||A: NESTFUL; (SUN LEFT)* – who needs anagram indicators anyway? / B: REDCAR + D – another annoying superfluous ‘for’, but I can’t use that to explain my slowness here: ‘sendoff’ and (3, 4) is pretty transparent.|
|20||B: MULATTO; “MEW” + (TOTAL)* – I didn’t know this word but Chambers defines it as ‘the offspring of a black person and a person of European descent’, derived from the Spanish for ‘mule’. Reminds me of a joke: “Two cats sat on a roof. Which fell off first?” Answer: “The one with the smaller mu.” Genius.|
|22||A: MUL[atto] + CT|