Posted by linxit on February 18th, 2008
One of Rufus’s easier offerings for the most part, with some real beginners’ clues. Look at the first 4 across clues – you have easy examples of the 4 basic clue types: anagram, charade, cryptic def, double def. I’m sure that must have been deliberate. There were a few more difficult words however, so it wasn’t a complete doddle. Solved in about 8 mins, mainly due to hesitation over 18d as I only knew the archaic meaning of almsgiver.
1 NOTICES (section*) – reserved to be read as re-served for the anagind.
9 SKELETON – although it could be argued that this is another double def.
15 ISOTH(E)RMAL – E inside hailstorm*. Very loose definition: “it’s to do with temperature”, almost as if he couldn’t be bothered to look it up!
17 A,WE – liked this one. WE = regal method of self-expression.
20 SCHOOL BELL – cryptic def. Is the past tense for signalled here an indication that schools don’t have bells any more, or that solvers have left school?
22 VITUPERATION – (out in private)*
26 REA(ME)R – among other things, a spiral-bladed drill for enlarging root canals in dentistry. Ouch!
2 TI,ER – re,it reversed.
3 CHEETAHS (the chase)* – excellent &lit. clue.
6 EXCISE – the oldest of old chestnuts, but if this is aimed at beginners, why not?
8 EIGHT BELLS – cryptic def, referring to the signal for the end of a watch on board ship.
11 LEGA,TO – (a leg)* – that’s rubbish cryptically, but a nice surface reading.
14 BOOBY TRAPS – a booby is a type of gannet. I thought a booby trap was a bit more serious than a practical joke, but according to Chambers it’s also one of the “bucket over the door” type tricks.
18 ALMONERS – appears to be a straight definition. An almoner was a medical social worker attached to a hospital – the only cryptic bit about this definition is that patient might be read as an adjective rather than a noun.
23 TRAMP – double def.