Posted by smiffy on August 21st, 2007
I solved this one in fits and starts, although each quadrant of the grid fell into place pretty readily once I’d cracked the four “long” clues. I use quote marks because no answer in this grid is longer than ten letters. Not sure if that’s a low-water mark for a standard daily cryptic, but it must come close. Anyhoo, Aardvark did a good job of playing the hand he was dealt (or chose?) by employing a well-balanced array of vocab and devices.
1 SAC,RUM – I couldn’t figure out how “Canine, for example” led to SAC (or maybe CAS “retrieved”), but this was still eminently solvable.
4 OB,STA(C)LE – A good-humoured surface.
11 UL,UL,ATE – I solved this puzzle over breakfast, so wasn’t expecting to encounter a surface based on “urinal”s.
12 A,JAX – Sailors=Jacks. A homophone clue that probably favours classical scholars over footy fans.
13 CHUCK BERRY – “has fling with Halle”. And I always thought he was happy enough just playing with his ding-a-ling…
16 L,IN,COLN(e) – The last to go in for me, as I wasn’t familiar with the “Lancashire town” in question (Colne).
29 WA(RT,HO)G – “Comedian”=Wag. A term that I’ve always read as being something of a backhanded compliment (see also: “wacky” or “zany” breakfast show DJs)
30 LARCENER – r in (cleaner)*
31 PUN(NE)T – “last pair occupying machine”=NE
5 BLUE C,HIP – a casino term, also used nowadays (without sufficient irony) on the stock market.
8 EVE,LYN – I assume the instructions here are simply, two women combine to make one.
14 DANISH BLUE (ideal buns h)*
17 LE(VIA,TH)AN – unusual to see “road” denoting the Roman version.
19 ESCARGOT – punning cryptic def’n.
25 OTT,ER – “Excessive”=Over the top (OTT)
27 URDU – sounds like ‘er do. This homophone reminded me of the old joke about Urdu being what Cilla Black goes to the hairdressers for (I’ll get my coat…).