Posted by smiffy on April 30th, 2008
A rare outing for the full-perimeter (4×15-letter answer) grid. Although that does mean that quickly solving either 1A or 1D offers generous checking and a flying start.
1 GENERAL ELECTION – cryptic def’n, although it could of course apply to most kinds of ballot (except for those featuring hanging chads or ink-stained thumbs).
9 NO(THIN)G – “drink that’s inherently watery” is the slighty indirect container/contents indicator.
11 W(E)AVE – “roller” in the oceanic sense.
12 CONTRALTO – Central (with o for e) + to
15 CLYDE – hidden
18 STEEL BAND – good surface reading.
23 MACH,O – “sonically still” suggests zero x speed of sound (or Mach 0).
24 I,MAG(-az)INE – The whole “first” and “last” alphabetical conceit, to denote A and Z, generally tends to get stuck in my craw.
26 DEFINITE ARTICLE – (ain’t electrified)*
1 GONE WITH THE WIND – Go+New+It+H(Thew)ind. A lot quicker to solve than to deconstruct!
4 LO(GI)C – G.I. in col(rev)
6 CEDAR – referring to the national emblem of The Lebanon, which I believe still graces its national flag.
8 NITROGEN DIOXIDE – hidden, or at least its chemical symbol (NO) is.
14 PE(STILE)NT – the last to go in for me, as I had some hesitance reconciling the definition with “vexatious”.
15 COLUMNIST – A nice idea (attempting to finesse The Fourth Estate with Fifth Column) but just seems to lack that je ne sais quoi that differentiates the truly great clues from the remainder.
19 ARCH,AIC – the phrase “old hat” always strikes me as being rather twee. I suppose that it’s, arguably, rather old hat itself these days.
22 HOO(-c)H,A – Maybe a touch parochial for non-Brit solvers? Hoo-ha and kerfuffle are the two British words guaranteed to always raise a laugh from my (all-American) wife.