Posted by smiffy on June 19th, 2007
This turned out to be more of a challenge than I anticpated at first; plain sailing initially, but then got becalmed on the last few clues. At the time of solving, I wasn’t 100% certain about a couple of answers (1a, 22a, 21d), but subsequent searching seems to confirm them. Also, I still haven’t fathomed the wordplay element of 9a/20d, so please feel free to offer enlightenment.
1 BERTH A – The final one I solved (after several minutes). I doubted whether there was a St Bertha, but it turns out that there is. However, given the punning nature of the wordplay “first job?”, perhaps “Woman” would have been a fairer definition than “Saint”?
5 BROOD HEN (on bed or h)* – nounal anagram indicators seem to perturb some people. But sparing usage, such as “contraption” here, seems reasonable to me.
9,20d SLEEPING PARTNER – I’m not sure what the “out east, perhaps” part of the clue is alluding to…
11, 7d STAR OF DAVID – (daft advisor)*
18 PARALYMPIANS (army pal in spa)* - A bit of a clunky clue, both in terms of anagrind (“rallied”) and surface reading. I’m ashamed to admit that it was only several years ago that I learned that this portmanteau word is derived from Parallel Olympics and not Paralysed Olympics.
22 FLETCHER – double def. I figured the oblique reference to arrow-making, but was blissfully unaware of the playright.
28 SKETCHER – K, H in (secret)*. A seamless segue between wordplay and definition. I assume that “letter in” is the anagrind.
29 DRY+DEN – A familiar construction, but I’ve just found out that the reference to “Mac Flecknoe” makes this an &lit! (I must bone up on C17th literary feuds)
2 O+LIT in HE(rev) – I slogged my way through this one. The ambassadorial part came readily enough, but “upkeep” as a reversed container and an inability to get past OT for “old writings” kept me guessing.
3 CRIME in THEA
8 EASTWARD (trade was)* – simple but effective, and a silky-smooth surface.
17 BALL PARK – ref “ball park figure”= estimate (in cliched business jargon). Liked the misleading reference to a “soccer stadium” rather than a baseball one, which is presumably a dig at Wembley (Version 2.0) too.
21 JE+ROME – Another toughie. I had to seek confirmation that “Hieronymus” alone was the definition.
24 HUTCH – ref Starsky & …