Posted by linxit on July 26th, 2007
The last time I blogged a Gordius puzzle was just a couple of weeks ago (10th July anyway), and it was memorable for a few things. I had to rush my cat to the vets, I burnt my dinner, and the puzzle was really really hard! So, I approached this with a bit of trepidation, and with good reason. It had a lot of similarities to last time too – some difficult words (e.g. 4dn, 14ac, 15dn, 16dn, 17dn, 24ac), some brilliant clues (I really liked 1ac, 6dn and 20ac, plus 26ac for the scatological anagram!), and another swipe at George Bush (15dn). Last time (5dn) he was defined as a primitive primate.
1 SOME,LI(KEITH)OT – i.e. TOIL rev around KEITH. Penelope Keith is a very well-known British comedy actress, but I don’t know whether anybody’s heard of her anywhere else, so this may have been tricky for non-Brits.
11 TEACHER (the care)* – didn’t like this clue. Where’s the anagram indicator, and where’s the definition? I assume it’s supposed to be &lit, but it doesn’t work for me.
12 RATTY, ref. Wind in the Willows.
13 DURALUMIN – (in mud)* around URAL.
14 HANAP – hidden in “tHAN A Pound”, just as well as H?N?P didn’t look too promising and I was wondering if I’d made a mistake!
15 BRA,IN WASH – BRA=support, and ref. the phrase “it all comes out IN (the) WASH”
20 ARTILLERY – nice cryptic definition.
24 TR(i)ANGLE – pure guess, never heard of it, and it isn’t in any online dictionaries. Hopefully someone will confirm, or I’ll just check Chambers when I get home.
25 TERRIER – terror with I.E. replacing the O.
26 ESTABLISHMENT – easy anagram, but nice (or maybe not very nice) image.
3 ESSAY = “S.A.”
4 (l)IZARD – simple enough wordplay, and I knew it anyway from the Listener or Azed or the like.
6 TRAMLINES – another nice cryptic definition.
8 SCORCHED EARTH – and another…
9 FRENCH LETTERS – and another, although this one does have wordplay too.
15 PAR(ALOG)IA – goal* in this Caribbean gulf. A word meaning self-delusion and Gordius’ dig of the week at the US president. He really doesn’t seem to like him much!
16 BRIDEWELL – I got this from B?I?E?E?L, and checked it later. Originally Bridewell Palace, it became a generic name for a prison from the 16th-19th c.
17 A,CAR,IDIAN(India*) – I’ve heard of an acarid as a type of mite, so I suppose adding -ian is OK.
22 YATES – S.E. TAY all rev. I’ve managed to find 2 or 3 writers with the surname Yates, but none seems particularly well-known. Surely Gordius wasn’t thinking of W. B. Yeats? [ A couple of people have suggested Dornford Yates, and he was one of the few I found but had never heard of. ]
23 S.A.,RUM – the Roman name for Salisbury, the Wiltshire cathedral city.