Posted by rightback on November 11th, 2007
Solving time: 18:07
Today’s theme is WASHINGTON (14ac), DISTRICT (1ac) of COLUMBIA (16dn). President GEORGE (21dn) is said to have told his FATHER (5ac) “[I] CANNOT TELL A LIE” (10/27ac) when asked if he had chopped down a CHERRY TREE (13dn).
If you solved this quickly and need something else to puzzle over, try the Syracuse Problem, courtesy of 23ac.
Music of the day (16dn): Columbia by Oasis.
* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.
|1||DISTRICT; DIS + “TRICKED”|
|10/27||CANNOT TELL A LIE; (A LONE CAT LENTIL)* – see intro.|
|14||WASHINGTON – a town, but (since 1974) in Tyne and Wear, not County Durham.|
|18||SMOKE ALARM; (OK + ALE*) in SMARM|
|22/1dn||COUNTY + DURHAM (= ‘shorthorn’) – whose initials are the same as those of ‘Columbia’ and ‘District’. Tenuous wordplay inspired by the (flawed) ‘Washington’ link.|
|23||SYRACUSE; “SIR ACCUSE” – a slightly dubious homophone, and I wonder if Araucaria intended “SIRE ACCUSE”, though the ‘Y’ of ‘Syracuse’ is short according to Wikipedia. I don’t know which Syracuse is intended either; the city in New York dates from the 1600s so not sure that counts as ‘ancient’. I only knew the name from Shakespeare’s The Comedy Of Errors.|
|24||ALBINO, from ALBION|
|25||P + R(IS + ONE)R – very good clue.|
|26||MEASLY (double definition)|
|2||SICKLE (double definition) – but I’m not convinced by ‘unhealthy bits of cell’. In sickle cell disease, the production of abnormal haemoglobin affects red bllod cells, turning them into a sickle shape, so a ‘sickle cell’ is an affected cell, not just bits of one. I wonder if Araucaria is attempting some wordplay with SICK (= ‘unhealthy’) + L,E (= ‘bits of cell’)?|
|4||C + OM + PARABLE – very disjointed surface.|
|6||A + RA[b]BI + ANS[wer] – not keen on the abbreviation ‘ans.’ for ‘solution’.|
|7||HE(N + P)ARTY|
|13||C(HER)RY + TREE (= ‘father… etc’) – see intro.|
|15||I + SO + CHASM – apparently ‘a contour line of equal frequency of auroral displays’. How curious – does anyone know why this comes from the word ‘chasm’?|
|16||COLUMBIA – the first spaceworthy space shuttle which was destroyed on re-entry in 2003.|
|17||SENT IN EL[elevated railroad]|
|19||V(ASS)AL – my last entry, and only solved when I split ‘boy or girl’ into ‘Dependent boy’ (the definition) and ‘girl’.|
|20||TUNNEL; rev. of (LEN + NUT)|
|21||GEORGE – according to Chambers, this is RAF slang for ‘the automatic pilot of an aircraft’.|