Posted by nmsindy on December 4th, 2007
This site was ringing with praise for Virgilius last week. This puzzle was another excellent example of why. A theme (as usual) reasonably obvious and which helped speed up solving at the end. But, in case readers might like to look again, I’ll refer to it only after the clue explanations. Solving time (fast for me): 14 mins
* = anagram < reversed
1 DOUBLE Appropriately a double definition (ref a dartboard, I think, though I’m far from an expert on that)
10 REST (ART) ED Not the first US reference in a Virgilius puzzle. The V = five that I was looking for I never found. Took five = rested (US usage) – take five in present tense.
13 DEP (ART MEN) T Dept = abbrev for Department. The basic French local administrative unit (similar to counties). Each has a number which you see eg on car number plates.
16 RE PAIR Pleasing pun repair = go eg straight will I repair to the Curragh of Kildare
19 M UTTER A nice & lit a bit of menace = 1 letter (not seen so often in daily puzzles and shunned by some as not precise enough). I think’s it’s OK as an understood usage (if it leads to the first letter, as here). Utter = speak
20 PAR ROTE R “Producer of standard meaningless repetition? Right” Clue of the puzzle for me – a superb &lit
25 CA (Central America) R S (final letters). Definition is “Jaguars, say”
27 I A MB I two = II (Roman numeral). Feet of different lengths = iambi (plural of iambus) which in poetry is a foot of two syllables of different lengths (one short, one long)
28 NORWEGIAN (wearing no)*
29 FRE(e) N CH ‘Nice’ (the city) screams ‘French’ to hardened solvers.
3 BE AT
5 VODKAS (Kiev soda)* less ie (namely) &lit
7 OUT R(ar)E “Unconventional, striking, and extremely rare” Another cracker. In cryptic reading, striking = out (on strike)
8 PROF (Professor) IT ‘sitting’ excellent in the cryptic reading as a link in a down clue.
14 GENE RATION (helping)
17 ACT (yo)U ARIES
18 RAINDROP R(river) (no rapid)*
24 SUMER (Uncle) Remus<
26 DEAL Ref to cutting playing cards before dealing
Theme: In four symmetrically placed rows and similarly in four symmetrically placed columns the two answers taken together make a phrase.