Posted by smiffy on November 12th, 2008
An earlier than usual online appearance online for this puzzle allowed me to solve before turning in for the night Stateside. All very accessible stuff, with the gimmick being a slew of longer answers decomposed into separate word pairings. This struck me as being a more rudimentary variation on the theme of “Printer’s Devilry” type clues (as seen occasionally in the world of advanced cryptics).
1 SCRUBS – Ref. Wormwood Scrubs, one of the less des-res locations in West London.
4 DI(SPUT)ED – “about rams” = tups (rev)
10 HECKLER – (cheek,l,r)*, with a backward-induction anagram indicator (I think).
13 MESMERISES – (seem remiss)*. “Dr” Mesmer’s pioneering quackery paved the way towards respectability for hypnosis.
15 EDGERS – Hedgers, with a dropped aitch.
16 & 7D FIDDLES TICKS – one of the numerous, delicious terms for “nonsense” in English.
20 & 21 TEMPERA MENTAL – a bit of an old chestnut.
24 LACE,RATION – another readily splittable answer.
26 & 12 PAST ORAL
29 LEO,NINE – Several “Pope”s have been dubbed Leo. However, I haven’t figured yet the “Victor Two” relevance to Nine.
30 THE ASHES
31 DE(LET)E – another clue which has seen the light of day a fair few times before.
1 SCHOONER – double def’n.
2 RECTANGLE – (green talc)*. An anagram that seems better suited to a Countdown conundrum.
3 (& 12A) BALM (ORAL) – Not often that one encounters the same answer (12A) clued twice,differently, in one puzzle!
5 I,NSOMNIA – (mansion)*. The surface reading conjures up a slightly intriguing image. Puts me in mind of rock stars swinging from their chandeliers.
8 D(A,N)ISH – “Attractive person” = dish, sounds a bit twee these days.
17 EXTRA TIME – (Tate remix)*
18 PRE,TEN,CE – one of those sneaky ones where the figure in the wordplay needs to be interpreted literally, and not as a cross-reference to another clue.
19 ALL THERE – hidden.
23 & 9D TOILE TRIES
25 CRAZE – homophone of “Krays”. To paraphrase Monty Python‘s Piranha Brothers, “Yeah, they nailed my head to the floor, but they didn’t want to. I had to insist”.
27 & 28A MOLE STATION – it’s been a few years since I’ve had the pleasure of being at Euston but, back then, Virgin Trains certainly didn’t need any help from secret agents for things to be interfered with….