Posted by rightback on November 17th, 2007
Solving time: 25 mins, one missing (18dn)
This puzzle was largely a tribute to Enid Blyton who would have been 110 this year (see 24ac). The bottom half of the puzzle fell out quickly, but the top half was extremely slow. After a hiatus of around 10 minutes I was reduced to solving this backwards, by thinking of Enid Blyton characters and seeing where they might fit. Eventually Noddy and Big-Ears occurred to me, but even then I fell down on a culinary reference (again) at 18dn. Please shout if you can explain 9ac.
Music (2dn): Cum On Feel The Noize by Noddy Holder’s Slade.
* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.
|1||BANT[u] + ER|
|4/12/ 15/1dn||LITTLE PITCHERS HAVE BIG EARS; (BRAVEHEART STILL EIGHT’S EPIC)* – a new phrase to me; ‘little’ was the only word I even considered before resorting to the tactic mentioned in the intro.|
|9||AGED (?) – I can’t explain this clue (“Old if unqualified” (4)).|
|10||PROS(PER + IT)Y|
|11||SAW YER (= ‘you’) – I don’t know if Bob refers to the Iron Maiden guitarist or to ‘a stranded tree that bobs in a river’ (Chambers).|
|17||SIMPL(ET)ON – I hadn’t heard of the Simplon Tunnel (formerly the world’s longest) so this was a guess. Uncertaintly here didn’t help on 18dn.|
|22/14||LOVE ME, LOVE MY DOG (cryptic definition)|
|24||ENID BLYTON; (OLD NINETY B[orn])* – see intro.|
|27/16||F[riends] + (A MOUS(F-IV)E); semi-&lit – the ‘f-four’ device is a bit lame, but otherwise this is a decent semi-&lit referring to the Famous Five, of which one (Timmy) was a dog. One point each for the other four.|
|1||B (= ‘second’) + I (= ‘first’) + GEARS|
|2||NODDY (double definition) – a noddy is a small tern. Listener solvers will remember Double Entry by Adam and know it’s also a word meaning ‘simpleton’ (and ‘rear-door cab’, ‘card game’, ‘inverted pendulum’ etc), so I’m surprised Araucaria didn’t link this to 17ac.|
|3||EMPEROR; rev. of (RO(REP)ME) – rubbish (me, not the clue); I thought of Lima, Oslo and Riga but not Rome until I had two crossing letters.|
|5||I’M + PUT + E – difficult word but the wordplay was helpful. ‘Setter’s’ usually gives ‘I’m’ rather than ‘my’.|
|7||[n]EUTER PE[a] – the Muse of music and lyric poetry.|
|8||COMPASS + I + ON + ATE (= TEA*)|
|18||P.O. + LENT + A – ‘order’ giving PO (Postal Order) is fair enough but the superfluous ‘for’ makes this a poor clue. Easy enough if you know the word, perhaps, but I didn’t.|
|20||MOSLE[M for y] – luckily Sir Oswald Mosley came up recently, otherwise I’d probably have spelt this ‘Muslim’ and so struggled with the second word of 21ac.|
|23/26||V + A + SC(ODAG)AM + A|