Posted by neildubya on June 4th, 2008
I was sorry to hear of the death of Eric Burge, who I’ve “only” known through his Quantum crosswords in The Guardian.
To a non-crossworder, it would seem that I should therefore hardly notice his passing. What they don’t realise is that the thing about solving someone’s crosswords is that over a number of years you learn what makes them laugh, what irritates them and what interests them. Good setters have a “voice” that you can pick out in a moment. Quantum set some very pleasing puzzles and his voice was gentle, straight and if he could work a science reference in, then even better.
A perfect example of his style was this clue from a while back.
“Mixed, as in molecules (13)”
His puzzles were pure Ximenean and relied on cryptic definition and clever anagrams, so today’s puzzle was absolutely typical of his style.
Thanks to his widow for allowing us the pleasure of his posthumous puzzles, and my thoughts are with her today.
9 USURP : (PURSUe)*
10 AIRLIFTED : (FLAIR TIDE)*
12 LI(TR)E : “Tr.” is a standard abbreviation for “translated”
15 HOT-SHOT : “shot” as in “it’s my shot now”
17 Omitted on purpose – it’s all in the clue
18 BUS : SUB (i.e a “subscription”) reversed. Not sure which is harder to reverse, a sub or a bus …
20 ORGAN : I had BUGLE to start with, which made 6d challenging
27 RURALISED : (LAIRD RUES)*
1 GU-RU : I think RU (Rugy Union) is the football, but otherwise …. help !
2 LUNCHEON : (UNCLE H ON) – always wondered why “H” for “Henry” ?
3 SPAR = RAPS reversed
4 One of the easiest anagrams I’ve seen in ages, so I’ll omit this
5 CRUNCH : “Champ” as in “champ at the bit”
6 BILLET DOUX : It is an old-fashioned love letter, and it ends in “X”
7 S-TITCH : ref. to “a stitch in time saves nine” , a common English saying which means “any effort you put into guarding against mishap is likely to be a ninth of the effort you’ll put in should the mishap happen”. The factor of 9 is not scientifically tested, but is poetically necessary.
13 MUSER : (RESUMe) reversed
14 TREAD WATER : (WE DART TEAR)*
19 SATURATE : (TREAT US)*
21 GRUE-SOME : (URGE)* + SOME
26 Omitted on purpose – easy double definition
28 LILT : (I’LL)* +T
29 D.A-TA : “D.A” is a U.S “District Attorney”