Posted by rightback on October 18th, 2008
Solving time: 9:51, with a whopping three mistakes (12ac, 26ac and 3dn).
Very much 1-0 to the setter – I fell headlong into a beautifully-laid trap at 12ac (and shot myself in the foot at both 26ac and 3dn).
This crossword is themed around Brazil, to where the setter is heading in December (16dn, to be precise) to work voluntarily in a deprived community, and the number of thematic answers here is extremely impressive. The puzzle comes with an invitation to sponsor Paul’s voluntary work: anyone wishing to donate is advised that cheques marked HALP4274W on the back, made out to Cross-Cultural Solutions and sent to Payment Processing Centre, Tower Point 44, North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YR would be gratefully received.
Music of the day could only be the timeless classic Rio by Duran Duran.
* = anagram.
|7||H[er]O + PELE + S,S – a very sombre clue to start. Of course you know who Pelé is, but can you name the three other players to have scored in two World Cup finals? [Answers below.]|
|9||AMAZON (2 defs) – ‘runner’ in the sense of something that runs, i.e. a river.|
|10,6||RA(INFO)REST – very nice.|
|11||IN + CENT + IVES – lovely definition (‘carrots?’).|
|12||C + OF + FEE – expert use of innocent-looking words (‘of’ here); for more, see 16dn. Even better is the brilliant use of ‘ton’ to indicate ‘C’ (i.e. a century) and not ‘T’ – I didn’t see this and entered ‘toffee’, wondering as I did so why Brazil should produce so much toffee!|
|14||NAVIGATE; rev. of IVAN, + GATE|
|17||A + L(E)MON + D|
|20||C(A + RILL)ON – ‘bluebells’ has to be split here to give ‘politically blue’ = CON and ‘bells’ as the definition. Naughty or clever depending on your point of view, but I can’t make the surface reading work here.|
|22||BRAZIL; AZ in BRIL[lo]|
|23||COP + A + CAB + AN + A[utomatic]|
|24||NUTS – very clichéd but only because it fits the theme so well.|
|25||A + RIO + SO|
|26||SAO PAULO; rev. of SA, + OO around PAUL [but see comments] – if only I’d stopped to check the wordplay: I wrote ‘Sao Paolo’. I have a nasty feeling this is the second time I have made this exact mistake while I’ve been blogging this puzzle, and it gets worse at 3dn.|
|1||POLAROID; rev. of DIOR + A + LOP|
|2||LEAN (2 defs) – I believe the director is David Lean.|
|3||RECIFE; (FIERCE)* – I knew this perfectly well, but typed ‘Cerife’ for some inexplicable reason. Perhaps I was subliminally influenced by ‘cerise’.|
|4||CARN(IV)AL – IV being a couple of couples (i.e. 4).|
|5||B(A KING’S)OD + A|
|8||SECOND (2 defs) – another naughtily concatenated word, but as the clue is only one word long (‘Flashback’) the idea is clear enough, so I liked this.|
|13||FORNICATOR; FOR + (ACTOR IN)*|
|16||SAL(V)AD + OR – again a very well-disguised piece of wordplay, with ‘or’ looking as though it’s just a link word.|
|18||DAINTILY; (TIN)* in DAILY|
|19||ANNA + L[ike]S – referring to the musician Ike Turner.|
|21||A + B(O)ARD|
|22||BE A CON – a well-worn breakdown, but I’m not sure this clue quite works: a con is a convict or prisoner, so to ‘be a con’ isn’t quite the same as to ‘take to crime’.|
|24||NAAN – surprisingly hackneyed for Paul.|
Answer to question: Vavà (Brazil), Paul Breitner (Germany) and Zinedine Zidane (France). Well done if you got two of these three!