Posted by rightback on May 31st, 2008
Solving time: 28:00, over half of which on 1dn, 10ac and 15ac.
I had a good start on this, stalled a little in the middle until I untangled BODICE RIPPER at 22/21dn, and then came to a complete halt on the three starred clues. Got there in the end, although PINK at 10ac was only a semi-educated guess.
I generally like Shed’s clues, although some of the surface readings are a bit strange and there are a few too many superfluous words and other inaccuracies in this puzzle for my liking.
* = anagram.
|7||NEMATODE; (ATOM)* in rev. of EDEN|
|*10||PINK (double definition) – I probably spent 6 or 7 minutes on this clue, looking at all the possibilities for the third letter (C, L, N, R, S etc) and postulating an ‘I’ from 1dn. ‘Pink’ as a noun meaning a pink flower rang a small bell, and as I knew that ‘pink had several other meanings (eight separate entries in Chambers!) I went with it – and it turns out that one of those meanings is ‘to stab or pierce’.|
|11||INTESTINAL; IN, + rev. of NITS in TEAL|
|14||TEMPLATE; (PALETTE)* around M|
|*15||TINT + IN – I don’t know why this took me so long. I thought ‘in’ might give the last two letters but even with a possible ‘T’ from 1dn, all I could see was ‘tannin’. (And I now learn from Chambers that although tannin is used in tanning and occurs in wines, especially red wines, it is actually a colourless substance.) A very good clue though.|
|17||BRIGHT[on] – ‘on departure’ seems clumsy. Why not ‘on departing’?|
|22||BITTE + R – ‘bitte’ is German for ‘please’ but not ‘to please’ (which I believe is ‘bitten’) so the ‘to’ in this clue is awkwardly superfluous. I suppose you could argue that it means ‘next to’.|
|23||SPELLBOUND; (ELL in PB) in SOUND – tough wordplay.|
|24||PUP + A|
|25||SEX + TET – the Tet Offensive was part of the Vietnam War.|
|26||TICKLISH (double definition)|
|*1||PE(DIME)NT – not a word I knew and this took me a long time to get.|
|2||MARK (double definition)|
|3||LOTION; rev. of TO in LION – for this clue to make cryptic sense, you have to read ‘to’ as a plural (i.e. a group of letters) so that ‘to turn up’ makes sense, but this doesn’t feel quite right to me.|
|4||GOSSAMER; rev. of MASS in GOER|
|6||RE PAST – I liked this one.|
|8||ENTITY; N.T. in [d]EITY|
|13||MANIPULATE; rev. of A LUPIN in MATE|
|16||INCUBATE; CUBA in (TEN I)* – a premonition of England’s forthcoming match against Trinidad & Tobago, perhaps?|
|19||FL + AUNT – ‘was active’ for FL (standing for ‘floruit’, meaning ‘he flourished’) is pretty difficult.|
|22/21||BO(DICER + I)PPER – I had to dissect the wordplay here as I didn’t know the phrase ‘bodice ripper’.|
|24||PELT (double definition) – another superfluous ‘to’ here. The ALF is the Animal Liberation Front.|