Posted by linxit on May 17th, 2007
I don’t think I’ve come across Arachne before, but I enjoyed the puzzle. The clues were mostly fair, although some were quite tricky and four living people – all politicians – appeared in the solution (which I wasn’t expecting, being a regular Times solver). I didn’t see the wordplay of a couple of clues while solving, but I got most of them later when I had access to a dictionary.
8 BIG NOISE – (is being)* around O.
11 GRAND,STAND – stand = stomach in the sense of to tolerate.
14 A,PERI,(s)TIF(f) – a peri is a fairy in Persian mythology, quite popular in cryptics.
17 T,ROUBLE – I was a bit doubtful of T=Thailand, but it’s the IVR abbreviation.
20 SUPEREGO – (purges + (th)E + O)* – I’m not too keen on O=no.
24 BO(r)AT – one I had to look up. A hooker is a Dutch fishing vessel.
26 T(H)RILLER – ref. the album by Michael Jackson, which is (or maybe was by now?) the biggest-selling album of all time.
1 MILIBAND – (man libid(o))* – limitless in a cryptic normally means remove the first and last letters, but here we just have to lose the last. David Miliband is currently Secretary for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
3 MING,’ER – Party leader being Sir Menzies Campbell (or Ming for short), who’s leader of the Lib Dems.
5 LANDSEER (a slender)* – took me a while to realise this was a simple anagram.
7 B(ells),HINDI – a.k.a. ladies’ fingers, or okra.
16 E(YE)BALLS – Ed Balls is Economic Secretary to the Treasury, definitely one of Gordon’s pals.
18 LOP-EARED – don’t understand the wordplay of this one. “A red” is obviously in there, but where does LOPE come from?
19 TOM(T,I,T)S – TOMS = most*
24 BILL – being WILL with B(arnstorm) replacing W(ife)