Posted by michod on October 26th, 2007
It could be the toothache – I might have been more charitable if I’d waited for the co-codamol to take effect – but I found myself being rather picky today. There are some nice touches here, but also some wordplay that seems a bit iffy, as well as a few cryptic definitions which (as is so often the case) were less well concealed to me as a solver than they must have to the setter.
1. DISTANT. (T AND T IS*). Clever misdirection – I was trying to translate T in various ways. What is T and T anyway? Two stages beyond R and R?
5. COCO(a)NUT (TUN<).
10. E PAULETTE.
11. PUSH THE BOAT OUT. Two meanings, the second referring to the piss-up that might follow a university boat race.
14. KOHLRABI (I LARK + HOB). One of those clues that screams ‘anagram’ at you.
17. NORM ALLY. Ally (friend) is ‘at’ NORM (morn exercising), meaning next to it, which I’m not wild about. Presumably it could mean to the left or right.
21. BROBDINGNAGIAN. The conjunction of ‘swift’ and ‘race’ in the clue give it the appearance of a misleading definition, but ’Swift character’ surely leads to Gulliver’s Travels, and ‘what were the big ones called again? How do you spell it?
24. I VIED. Good misdirection – what looks like the wordplay is in fact the definition.
25. SCENERY. Unless ‘flats’ throw you, basically a straight definition.
26. NOMINAL (LION MAN*). Slightly clumsy grammar here, plus unconvincing anagram indicator – ‘is wearing’ doesn’t suggest rearrangement to me.
1. D(IM)E. ‘At the centre of’ seems to be doing double duty here – IM is at the centre of the centre of MODERN. Unless that versatile ‘at’ can also mean ‘in the middle of.
2. SODIUM CARBONATE. (ABOUT SOME CAN RID). Good tricky anagram. But do you ‘rid’ dirt?
4. TEETHE. CD.
5. CHAPBOOK. I’m guessing it’s a collection of ballads.
7. NATIONALISATION. CD, where ‘state’ is meant to be read in the surface as a verb. But if you read it as a noun, it’s a fairly simple non-cryptic definition.
8. THEATRICAL. (ACT THE LIAR*). Good anagram.
12. SLING BACKS. Nice concise surface, but doesn’t ‘on’ in a down clue normally mean before? Here, SLING is actually ‘on’ BACKS.
15. HARD LINE(s).
16. FLINT(l)ILY. Not many Welsh towns are words – Neath’s another.