Posted by neildubya on April 22nd, 2008
Between a SNAFU with my contract and a chest cold, I actually had some leisure to look at this properly this morning. Just as well – Pasquale is one of the compilers who has in the past beaten me rather badly. Today’s puzzle fortunately had some easier clues that gave you an “in”. A first-rate puzzle with some groan-out-loud puns and a couple of real stinkers.
1 DI(THY-RAM)B : I had to build this laboriously from the wordplay and check it online. My favourite definition is “A frenzied, impassioned choric hymn and dance of ancient Greece in honor of Dionysus.” Sounds like enormous fun. Note that a “ram” is an animal that “butts”, therefore it is a “butter”.
6 C(OP-S)E : “Elders” in the sense of “trees”. A copse is a small wooded area.
9 FOOT POUND SECOND : (TO CONFOUND DOPES)* – The FPS system is the competitor set of units to the Metric system. Loved the surface.
10 TAHR : “Regularly” is often crosswordese for “take alternating letters” – hence – ThAtHoRn. Had to check online to find that this is in fact a Himalayan goat.
14 BUCC-AN-EER – sounds like “Buck An Ear”
21 GAFF(e) – I lost a lot of time insisting it was SPIT(e)
25 LIBERAL DEMOCRAT – (CREDITABLE MORAL)* Apart from Mark Oaten, obviously
26 Y AXIS – groan !
1 DEF(e)AT : Not a word you use every day, but perfectly fair
2 TROPHIC : (THI(s) CROP)*
4 ARUM : MURA(l) in reverse
5 BAD HAIR DAY : “Shock” as in the sense of a “a shock of white hair”
6 CLEANS-LATE : Again lost time with the misguided insistence that CLEAN SHEET would do the job.
7 Omitted on purpose – hint : double definition
8 ENDORPHIN : (PHONE IN DR)*
12 CAD-ERID-RIS : “Sir” “Dire” in reverse on “Cad”. It’s an allegedly haunted Welsh mountain – if you spend a night on the summit you will either wake up as a madman or a poet. I would contend that you’d have to already be one of these two things to want to spend the night on the summit.
14 BEST-I-ALLY : I did mention I have a chest cold. I also had a mouthful of coffee when the penny dropped on this. Cue legendary coughing-fit that will probably have me barred for life from any Costa coffee shop.
17 TUCK BOX : Reference to Friar TUCK from the Robin Hood tales
22 FE(TI)D : I assume “TI” is some form of fodder
23 prinCESS : An old word for tax (quaint spelling of “assess”)
24 S(OF)A : I believe this is “S.A” (as in Sex Appeal) being “It”, with “belonging to” = “OF “. I am often wrong about such things.