Posted by rightback on October 15th, 2007
Solving time: 17:17, one mistake (4dn/P)
The clues for this puzzle were presented in order of their first letters (specified), with each letter used once (and D and J twice). Probably quite a difficult grid to construct, although impressively there were few obscure words.
I can’t explain XANTHUS (20dn) – any help appreciated.
Music: I’m not familiar with the Mendelssohn work referred to in 26ac, so I’ll go for what seems to be one of the more famous movements, the Spinning Song. Please feel free to call me a philistine and point me in the direction of a better bit.
* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.
|1 (J)||JI[m] + G(SAW + P)UZZLE – an appropriate starter.|
|8 (O)||O’LD + WOLF (= ‘flow back’ = ‘ebb’) – I don’t like indirectness like this without a question mark or a ‘might one say’ or something, but it’s standard for Araucaria.|
|12 (F)||F + IF + TIES|
|14 (V)||VERY LIGHT – I liked this one.|
|16 (E)||EXHIBITED; (IBEX THE ID)*|
|21 (T)||TORT + ON + I[t's] – a rich ice cream flavoured with wine.|
|23 (M)||MAR(I)NER – George Eliot wrote Silas Marner.|
|25 (N)||NEIGHED; Gre-“NAD”-a|
|26 (W)||WORDLESSNESS – refers to Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words.|
|1 (J)||JU[ju] + DAIS + E – very difficult wordplay, requiring the solver to ‘lift and separate’ (© Mark Goodliffe, I think) the words ‘magic area’.|
|2 (G)||G + ROMME[l] + T – wasted time here looking for something like ‘gutters’ from ‘Good German’ = ‘gut’.|
|4 (P)||P + LUFF – sailing doesn’t appear on my list of watersports, I’m afraid, despite it being our most successful Olympic discipline over the last decade, but apparently ‘luff’ means ‘to turn a ship towards the wind’. I guessed ‘phuff’, with ‘pruff’ a close second.|
|5 (Z)||ZESTFUL; rev. of LUFT + SEZ (= ‘talks…vulgarly’)|
|6 (L)||LA(U.D.I.)NG – ‘lang’ is a Scottish word for ‘long'; UDI normally refers to Rhodesia’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965 under Ian Smith, which allowed white majority rule to continue until the creation of Zimbabwe in 1979, but I only know that because michod told me last time this was used in a Saturday Guardian (thanks Mick!).|
|7 (C)||CONSEQUENTLY; ((QUEEN’S)* + NT) in COLY – but according to Chambers, ‘coly‘ is a bird while the fish is spelt ‘coley‘. Perhaps someone with Collins or the OED could give a second opinion?|
|10 (K)||KISS THE BRIDE; (KERB THIS SIDE)* – very nice definition (“Instruction at junction”).|
|17 (H)||HO + RATIO – I think this refers to Horatio from Hamlet, but I’m not sure.|
|19 (D)||DORMI(C)E – my last entry (apart from 4dn); ‘needing only half’ is brilliant for DORMIE (a golfing term: if a player is ‘dormie n‘ in matchplay then he is n up with n to play, i.e. opponent must win all remaining holes to halve the match). Unfortunately the surface reading is nonsense so I don’t think it’s a good clue.|
|20 (X)||XANTHUS – the river of Troy. I suppose ‘unknown’ is X, but that’s as far as I can get with the wordplay.|