Posted by michod on August 16th, 2007
It was mostly quite easy, but with a fiendish top right corner that held me up for ages, and I messed up on two clues early on, which didn’t help. Only finished properly and understood it all as I wrote the blog.
1. ANT ACID. Nice clue, obvious if you know formic acid comes from ants, probably very obscure if you don’t!
5. SUB (bus<) ROSA. Difficult because the term, meaning ‘private’ was unfamiliar to me, though the wordplay is straightforward and I could see the reference to Rosa Parks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_Parks
1o. RU(I)NG. This one took a while too – if you are ruing something, you are sorry.
12. HANOVERIAN (IVANHOE RAN*).
14. TROIKA. (rev hidden). Good spot.
15. EN OUNCE. After a mistake at 5 down (cf) I had ‘scanner’, assuming it must be a measure I hadn’t heard of, which held me up with 6 and 8 down. Ounce, confusingly, is a cat – the measure here is ‘en’.
16. OREGANO (ONAGER O<). And an onager is an ass.
20. WOODSCREWS (CROSSWORD WE*).
26. S(AN)D EEL. The city is Leeds<.
27. GINGHAM. Nice hidden clue.
2. TRIMMER. Not sure how exactly this fits ‘timeserver’, but it’s someone who cuts their cloth to fit the prevailing wind, like the Vicar of Bray, or a Blairite turned Brownite.
4. DEAD AS A DOORNAIL. Good anagram with setter’s name in.
5. SHE DONE HIM WRONG. (SONDHEIM EH* – WRONG). The question mark warns you to watch out, and the shortage of anagram fodder made me suspect an anagram indicator within the clue like this. Unfortunately, not remembering the film well and mistaking the anagram, I had ‘She does him wrong’, which messed up 15ac for a while.
6. BURNE-JONES. Another tough one – not an artist I know well. The wordplay is very convoluted:’In Paris, I turned up with a poet, without a painter’ gives JE< + ONE in BURNS, but using ‘without’ to indicate containment with a comma in between seems less than ideal to me.
8. ARGON NE. Not a French region I was familiar with – it is, in fact in the north east.
16. ON WARDS. Boom boom.
M A C BETH.
22. SA(L(arg)E)M. Extremely large can give OS for outsize, here it’s the extremes of the word.
23. EDEN. (NEED*).