Posted by michod on July 17th, 2007
I enjoyed this puzzle a lot, though it may not have been to everyone’s taste. My enjoyment of crosswords starts from the same kind of wordplay employed in puns, which often, though not always, rely on homophones – used extensively to good effect here. I know there’s always a debate about homophones because of variations in pronunciation, but I think it’s worth stretching a point to let them work. I’ve randomly assigned the ~ sign to mean ‘sounds like’.
1. LONESOME (~LOAN SUM). One quibble – ‘in account’ is the homophone indicator here, but an account can be written or spoken.
9. MEDIOCR E. (DORMICE*). Average as in not that good.
10. R(A V)AGE. A V-sign is normally made in anger, so there’s a little overlap here.
12. (l)ATTIC(e). Very good clue.
13. BEADY EYES. (~BDI’s). The most outrageous of the puns, relying on the knowledge that BDI is the German equivalent of the CBI – Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie – and is probably in Chambers. I guessed it quite quickly, but do have a knowledge of German, which helped.
21. ECCENTRIC. It took me a moment to work out the wordplay here. This type of clue will be familiar to solvers of advanced cryptics as a compound anagram – OF CONFIDENCE TRICK* minus KIND OF*. Azed is big on these, but would insist, I believe, that the letters subtracted are either in the right order, or have their own separate anagram indicator – not the case here.
23. LUNAR. Hidden, with a well hidden indicator (content to).
24. I TAL(I)C. Nice definition: ‘rightly inclined'; could also have referred to politics.
26. KIT TEN. I.e. what you wear after kit nine – bravo!
27. PER SONAL (LANOS(e) REP<). Two obscure words for a reversal like this.
2. NU DITY (~NEW DITTY). Not a precise homonym in my pronunciation – the ‘I’ is an unvoiced ‘schwa’ sound – but good enough. May work better in some other accents, but as I say, I believe in a bit of poetic licence being applied by all of us.
4. MARX BROTH ERS. (~MARKS). Well, they would be pretty old now if they were still alive.
7. DIALY SIS. DAILY with I and A switched – very good.
11. PASSE MACABRE. (SAP<, CAME< in SABRE). Not a word I’m familiar with, but eventually worked it out from the wordplay.
15. SHED LOADS. Boom boom.
16. A(S)T(E)RISK. S and E appear independently within AT RISK.
17. PEN CHANT. I couldn’t spot the definition at first, but it’s ‘bent’.
23. NAIVE. My favourite reversal – I can’t look at a mineral water bottle without thinking it.