Posted by michod on September 5th, 2007
Despite some complex wordplay, I found this less difficult than the average Araucaria (a relief after yesterday’s Pasquale, where I failed on four clues). The theme is the 19th century Tory PM Disraeli, so those not familiar with his literary output (OK, the names of his books) may have had problems. My reference above to the Cream album is gratuitous, but I’d be interested if anyone knows why they called it that.
1. BOD, KIN. A large needle, which has a large eye.
4. EG, G, SHE, LL. As in L-plates.
10. CON, IN, GS, BY. A novel by Disraeli. Selective education = Grammar School.
11. ALAR, MC, ALL.
13. I, L, LEG IT, I, MATE. The wordplay’s OK, but I don’t see how the definition works at all – “Bar sinister means” is what I have left?
17. LAURE(NB, A, CAL)L.
20. MORE’S (…the pity). Nice clue.
21. LAID ASIDE. (ADELAIDE IS* – E). Now this is a real bugbear of mine, and I’m sorry to see it here – “Adelaide is” pointlessly would be ADLAIDI. All that’s happened here is that one of three points has been removed. Some would also question ‘displaying’ as an anagrind.
23. RUE MORGUE. As in “The Murders in the …”.
24. SYBIL. Sounds like Sibyl the prophet – tricky if, like me, you can’t remember which way round the I and Y go in either version of the name.
25. (H)OME LETTE(R). The definition referes to 4ac ‘EGGSHELL’, but the wordplay stumps me here. It looks like “letter home” has to have HR (reversed) removed from it, but I don’t see why we then have to reverse the order of the two words.
1, 2. BEN, JA(MIND, IS)R, A, ELI. A strikingly implausible surface – wouldn’t ’brain’ have worked better than intellect, or do we frown on treating brain and mind as synonyms?
5. GENTLEMANLIKE. (TAKING + ME + ELLEN*).
8. LA(Y)ME, N.
10. CHAR, TERF (FRET<), LIGHT.
14. GLAD STONE. Straightforward clue for BD’s liberal counterpart.
15. V, AR(I)ABLE. ‘x’ marks the definition.
16. FLU, ELLEN (ref 5 down). Welsh character in Henry V.
19. BREEZE. Easy, as in ‘a breeze’, wind, and breeze block.