Posted by smiffy on October 3rd, 2007
Well, I’m glad I voluntarily rescheduled my blogging duties from Tues to Wed – as this puzzle was a real humdinger. I think I only solved one clue on immediate inspection, but none were so impenetrable as to bring solving momentum to a complete standstill. Plenty of nice penny-dropping moments too. I’m a great advocate of the view that “setters should fight the battle of wits to the death but, ultimately, always expect to lose gracefully”. This puzzle epitomised that for me – and could well be my fave so far this year from the FT.
1 CO(MBA)T – “qualified entrepreneur”=MBA (business school qualification).
10 ST IN GRAY- I liked “drably-attired American” as a way to work in the transatlantic spelling. ‘Paragon”=Saint=St.
13 K,IM,ONO – ONO=shorthand for “or nearest offer”, from the days when classified ads, rather than text messages, were the primary source of colloquial abbreviations.
21 WAC,O – caw (rev). This may have stumped some. The “site of carnage” refers to the early 90’s incident in Texas, when David Koresh & Co came a distant second in their post-siege gunfight with Uncle Sam’s federal representatives.
25 HOOD,IE – ‘Hood is US slang for neigbo(u)rhood/territory, as in Boyz in Da…...
28 RASTAMAN (‘Nam a Tsar) rev
29 D(ER)AIL – “chamber”=Dail; the Irish parliament.
30 BAL(L,Y,H)OO – Baloo being the second coolest creature in Kipling’s Jungle Book. After Bagheera, of course.
31 S(EM,T)EX – A great surface, even before allowing bonus innuendo points for “Congress”=sex.
1 COLD SORE – Spoonerism of sold (=”flogged”) core.
2 MORALIST (oils tram)* – For the second successive blog, I have to expose my superficial knowledge of the Bard’s works. I know that Polonius is one of his more haughty characters, but can’t help with the whys and wherefores.
3 AV,ERSE – “King James” is the Authorised Version (AV).
6 RU(N)CIBLE – Like the spoon in The Owl and the Pussy Cat. The “topless drama” is The (C)rucible.
11 SMO(KIN)G – nice idea.
14 B(ASS)OON – Only as I write this blog have I realised quite how many variations on the content/container device were used today.
18 CATARACT – double def
19 T(OADLF)AX – (Adolf)* in tax
22 CH(ER)UB – The one truly surreal surface reading of the day. Although, Dogberry seems to acknowledge this with an apologetic question mark.