Posted by smiffy on November 7th, 2007
I solved this one much later in the day than usual, which could well be the reason that it didn’t really float my boat as much as a typical Neo offering does. I ended up stumped on 16D for several minutes at the end, but a sense of blog-worthy conscientiousness (or stubbornness?) got me over the line in the end.
1 FIDDLER C(R)AB – Nero being the infamous Roman violinist.
9 R(ARE)R (era)rev – RR=Rolls Royce
10 WASTELAND (Dante’s law)* – a nice attempt at linking two poets, although the surface reading seems to suffer as a consequence.
11 ER,N(EST)INE – Never had the privilege of meeting an Ernestine, although I’m sure that most are of at least Edwardian vintage (or are at Swiss finishing schools).
12 DO,ONE – The second FT clue reference to Lorna Doone that I’ve blogged in recent weeks!
15/18 LOIS LANE (No allies)* – Has Superman been demoted from Superhero to mere “hero” status?
23 STATE – double def.
24 TREN(DIES)T – Very slick, even if it’s a little indirect; “drowns”=dies in River T.
26 V(IO)LA(-d) – Vlad seems to have the “Impaler” market pretty much sewn up, or maybe he just had a good PR agent….
28 E,FT – Just don’t ask me what the definition’s getting at.
1/2 FOR,CES OF DARKNESS (fen across desk)*
6 BREAD LINE (Eden Blair)* – a neat working of “earns a crust” into the definition part, even though it’s a bit of a giveaway.
14 ON A(VERA)GE(-r) – I didn’t know onager in the sense of “war machine”.
16 T(A,K,ER)OOT – I would dispute that “blast”=toot; to my mind the former is associated with road-raging White Van Men, while the latter is the kind of friendly salute of the horn given by a friend as they pull out of your driveway. Coupled with the two contrasting notations in “royal couple”= K+ER, this was a tricky clue.
17/5 BERTRAND RUS,SELL (Bard returns)* – again, a bit of a rum surface reading.
20 OCEANIC (Cocaine)* – I refer the Rt Hon Member to the comment I made a few moments ago.
21 PSYCHE – double def.
25 DEVIL (lived)rev.