Posted by nmsindy on November 12th, 2007
This puzzle typified the new direction the Indy puzzle is taking since Eimi became crossword editor. Themed, with a Nina (in case anyone wants to look again at the grid, I’ll give this at the end of the blog after the clue explanations). I suspected as much when I saw the unusual grid and when one of the first clues I solved was the obscure 15 across UNSENSE from a friendly anagram.
Though I discovered the theme in less than 20 mins on solving 31 across, it took a long time to solve the puzzle. It also drove a coach-and-four through the ‘drawing-room’ conventions of DFM’s book.
Solving time: 64 mins.
* = anagram < = reversed
6 UP TOWN Very good, this. ‘trail’ means ‘follow’ up = at university non-academic types = town as in ‘town and gown’ if I’ve understood it.
11 A(X) E X (times as in multiplication tables – remember them?) in A & E. Liked this a lot, with a superb surface reading.
12 IFFY Every other letter in Six Fifty
14 H(er)O T MEAL God = hero less (save) ER = Queen Very good, based on the theme group’s song in the surface reading. (metal)*
16 SET My biggest doubt. “Jam should do live show” See that jam would set, but not sure about the live show – the other possibility is SIT.
17 NU DI(t)TY “New” Another good music surface.
19 PISTIL i for o in pistol
21 VD U
23 (t)EMERIT(y) I I = Institute
25 PIST OL S 13 is SEXLESSLY so SEX PISTOLS less SEX ol’ = old, I think.
27 CAR B Short for carbohydrate – great clue
28 I DO Nothing to do with the Alf Garnett late 60s sitcom, later filmed, but words of a wedding service.
29 NADAL Hidden court = tennis court
30 B UR EAU Beau Bridges (actor) Centre of chURch
31 Johnny R (OTT) EN(t) Torn = Rent
1 NONE LEFT (fennel to)* for the anagram spare in the sense go spare = rage
2 END-ALLS (and sell)* Cunningly hidden anagram I did not see for quite a while
3 VOTE OUT A perhaps not so cryptic definition that had me chasing false trails for quite a while till light dawned.
5 REEF KNOT (free)* a ‘knot’ is a bird
7 PIN (O) T Slight niggle here with the comma after old. Was looking for a glass in the form wine + O for quite a while
9 MO (B-HANDE)D (band he)* This was a key word for the puzzle as the only word in the first column of the grid – it’s what finally revealed the full puzzle to me. Again a misleading musical surface. The word (new to me and verified after) means a great number (adj).
13 S (EXLESS) LY Ex-less = not enjoying former partner
18 DA E DAL US lad<
21 Sid V ICI OUS ici = here in French vous = you in French (except for intimates when it’s tu) hence ‘politely’
22 UP Y OURS (Sour)* after first letters if I’ve read it right – the wording seems a little loose.
24 INBRED “In bread” Setter well entitled to the “!”
Nina: Read the across rows 1, 3 and 5. Topical, as I believe the group is reforming 30 years after they started.