Posted by smiffy on June 15th, 2007
Adamant seems to be a faithful adherent of the FT’s general style and tone, and this was solid enough fare . A couple of answers (2d, 28a) were new (for me at least) variants of familiar words, but neither really cause a major hold-up. My only gripe would be that the two “cryptic surface” clues (12a, 5d) were pretty transparent.
1 RECIP(e) + ROCAL (carol)*
10 P+PEN in ADAGES
12 TEAMWORK – cryptic def. “A job at the Co-op?” is fair enough, but didn’t strike me as particularly misleading, ambiguous, or penny-dropping as a standalone cryptic surface.
17 UP (rev) + LP – Like the true 30-something I am, the word Pulp invariably catapults me back to 1995 for a few seconds. Whither Jarvis Cocker?
19 ISSUE in RED – Children=Issue is one of those oft-recurring indicators that should be more instinctive to me by now!
26 AM in GP – I’m a self-confessed lightweight on Shakespeare & Dickens, so have no idea how I managed to dredge up Mrs Gamp and her eponymous umbrella from the memory banks. Would never have guessed which book she eatured in though (Martin Chuzzlewit, apparently).
28 DERESTRICT – double def. Sounds suspiciously legalese to me, but no great problem once fully-checked by the downs.
2 EBRIAT (a tribe)* + E(nergy) – Had never encountered ebriate without the prefix in- before. Akin to those other rarities, (dis)gruntle and (over)whelm, I suppose.
4 RE + ACT +I’VE – “Part in play” had me temporarily looking for role rather than act.
5 CAPITAL TRANSFER – Again, “Move funds from Mosocw to London, maybe” was something of a cryptic surface giveaway.
6 LAND + AU – A familiar and frequently used construction, but deftly handled.
7 ALW (law)* in STARTS – A nice alternative to that old “Last Straw” anagrammatic chestnut.
16 MIRACLES (reclaims)* – The linkword “what” seems justifiable only from the perspective of the surface reading.
20 END + EMIC (mice w/ last to first) – Clue of the day for me.