Posted by michod on December 4th, 2007
I got about half-way through before I spotted this puzzle’s usp – every clue refers to horses, except for 18 down whose answer contains the word. This means some ingenious and intricate wordplay, although one or two definitions are looser than they could be.
1. CAST RA TED. I thought the boy was Ed, and was trying to work out why a rat might be a painter, but of course it’s the old R.A.
6, 2. Y OR K SHIRE. The last one I got, and I’ve only now worked out why. ’Riding position’ is the definition, as in the old West, East and North Ridings; one of Yank’s tips cis Y OR K, and SHIRE is the horse.
12. ICE(COL)D. Colt less T, in DEC1 reversed.
13. OFF GAME. I’m allergic to horses, I don’t ride, and even when my daughter did I sat in the car. But I’m guessing that a horse has an ‘off’ side on the right - not the one with the steering wheel, but maybe the side you don’t mount from.
14. H AIL(E)S E LASSIE. ‘Horse’ = heroin = H – the only time it’s so used here I think. Ref former president of Ethiopia. I remember when he was deposed in 1974, my older brother drew my attention to the headline ‘Haile Selassie – highly expendable’, possibly the first such punning head I encountered.
17. OFF ONE’S ROCKER. CD – as in a rocking horse.
21. E CHIN US. I think this is EQUUS with CHIN instead of QU, but I’m not quite clear why ‘chin’ is a genial feature.
24. MAR(V)E LLE D. It seems as if ‘almost fell over’ must give LLE, which doesn’t seem quite right – surely it should be LEF.
25. I DO LS. Discontented Lippizaners rather wonderfully indicates the removal of the contents from the word, leaving LS - others may have come across this before, but it’s a new one on me.
1. CORN I C(H)E. OK, there’s another H for Horse.
3. RUSH ONE’S FENCES. Anag. UNHORSES, indicated by ‘criminal’. I’m not keen on this a.i, though it provides a neat link to ‘fences’.
4. TRE(ADL)E. A weakish definition, but great wordplay – ‘less than stable’ is the anagram indicator, ‘bay or chestnut’ are both trees as well as horses.
5. D IPLOMA. Anag of PALOMI(no), half a grand being 500, or D.
7. ONCE A WEEK. Wait, it’s a cow… ah, horsetail = E. Inside COW A KNEE*.
8. K (t)ILTED. ‘In traditional fashion’ is the slightly loose definition.
9. PRO(FESSOR(S)HI)PS. ‘Looking’ seems redundant here, but nice to have ‘horse’ as anagram fodder again.
15. IRON HORSE. Old word for a train, but what’s it got to do with eBay?
16. TRADES U P. Anag STUD ARE. I think of trading up as swapping something (house, car, partner) for another of greater value, but maybe there’s another meaning.
19. S(WIN D)LE. Good clue – the definition is ‘do’, with WIN replacing A D in ‘saddle.
23. POO(C)H. ‘Here the homonym is in the clue not the answer – ‘heard whinny’ = POOH.