Posted by Colin Blackburn on November 7th, 2008
Charybdis always guarantees a nicely worked out theme and that is what we had here. The title, the mention of a war film and the date all suggested a slightly early puzzle looking at Remembrance Day or the Armistice. That’s what he wanted us to think, maybe. There were no misprints or extra words and so the solving was straightforward and very enjoyable. Most words went in with no problems. A couple seemed not to fit. Then I noticed that they fitted backwards.
I continued solving until I finally guessed at the film title, THE LONGEST DAY. This epic film with a huge cast is about the D-Day landings but that was nothing to do with the theme. Only the title was important. This was the weekend of the clocks going back when, here in the UK, we change from BST to GMT. It means that the day of the change is 25 hours long from midnight to midnight and so is the longest day of the year.
The helpful reminder is the mnemonic SPRING FORWARD, FALL BACK. The US term for autumn is at least useful for one thing. Since the clocks go back I quickly realised that a couple of the answers were watches or clocks and so were put back. In the end these comprised: WRIST, FOB, GRANDFATHER and CUCKOO. The two unclued entries were watches and clocks that couldn’t be put back: NEIGHBOURHOOD (watch) and DANDELION (clock).
Overall a very enjoyable puzzle with some wonderful clues.
|1||NERUDA||(AND[t]RUE)*||there are two possible references here. Jan Neruda (1834-1891) the Czech writer and poet or Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) the Chilean politician and poet.|
|11||ELAN||ELAN[d]||the word play is bit of an old chestnut but nicely worded and a useful easy clue.|
|12||LOOFAH||FOOL< + A+H||a LOOFAH is a a dried out gourd, a sort or marrow.|
|17||WRIST||W+R+I[S]T||a lovely &lit describing the WRIST perfectly.|
|18||EL AL||EL+AL||the national airline of Israel.|
|19||KOHEN||KO+HEN||KOHEN is a son of Aaron in the sense of a direct male descendant, an Aaronite.|
|24||GRANDFATHER||GR+AND+FAT+HE+R||another excellent &lit using the mediaeval Roman numeral R = 80.|
|26||UPBEAT||BEAT-UP||swapping the two parts.|
|33||REEDS||RE[E]DS||upcasing is questioned by some but I think it is used to good effect here.|
|34||HEAD||[t]HE [l]AD||two definitions rather than one with slightly tricky word play made this look a little more difficult than it turned out to be.|
|35||JEWEL||J+(W+LEE)*||again, the upcasing of ‘ruby’ here is excellently used. ref. Lee Harvey Oswald.|
|39||CUCKOO||C[[d]UCK]OO||daffy = mad = cuckoo|
|40||KINA||“keener”||ref. keen as mustard|
|41||LEEPED||LEE+PED||apparently LEEPED means plastered with cow-dung!|
|2||ELEANOR||(YOU’RE ALONE RON – ON YOUR)*||quite a subtractive anagram. Nelly is a diminutive of ELEANOR.|
|3||UNCLOTHE||UNCL[HOT*]E||uncle = pawnbroker.|
|4||DEATH STAR||(head start)*||a throwing weapon used by Ninjas.|
|6,13,31||SPRING FORWARD FALL BACK||unclued|
|8||CORES||C OR [E] S||clubs or spades gives C OR S.|
|10||THE LONGEST DAY||unclued|
|23||MANDRAKE||MAN+DRAKE||mandrake is a root that can look disturbingly like a small human figure. The word play here is vague, chimera could be any two animals or plants added together, but acceptable especially given the checking.|
|25||GINSENG||(EGGS IN + N)*|
|29||WEEPIE||WEE+P+IE||ref the film Titanic, a bit of a WEEPIE by all accounts.|
|32||EDUCE||(DE)<UCE||deuce = two in cards.|