Posted by Hihoba on November 28th, 2008
My apologies for the late arrival of this blog. I have been having problems getting into Google Calendar and so was not aware that it was my turn!
Another finely thought-out puzzle from Phi including two excellent & lit clues.
Ho and Ba had a lot less trouble than I did. I needed a hint that 6 down was a single word, when (from the letters in 1,3,8, and 11) it became immediately clear that it was MERVYN PEAKE’s GORMENGHAST. I haven’t read the novel(s), but saw the television series. (My abiding memory of it was of Zoe Wannamaker as one of the twins, found dead and dessicated towards the end!) I seem to remember its being about some unlikely characters in Castle Gormenghast.
The main difficulty stemmed from the fact that the down answers were to be jumbled before entry, so one didn’t know for certain where to put the letters until, in some cases, right at the end, and so they were less help than usual in solving the across clues!
So we had 6D to be entered as MERVYN PEAKE, GORMENGHAST to be entered below the puzzle, and some unlikely anagrams of Gormenghast to be entered.
1D was GANG MOTHERS, 3D SHOG GARMENT, 8D GROG ANTHEMS and 11D GAMES THRONG. Whether these have any relationship to the novel I know not! If there is a hidden agenda, comments are welcome!
The remainder of the across clues were straightforward and in the answers below I have treated all the 6 letter answers as the full 7 letters and ignored the central choice.
The down answers are given as Grid entry, clue solution of which it was an anagram + explanation.
|1||GRASSUM, a lease payment; GRASS + UM|
|7||GAGGING, acting to suppress; G(overnment) + G(roup) in AGING|
|12||AKIHITO, emperor; A KO round I HIT|
|13||EXORDIA, introductions; AIDE reversed round XOR (a logic circuit)|
|14||NONO, taboo subject; NO. + ON reversed|
|15||GOLEM, robot; GO + L(unar) E(xcursion) M(odule)|
|16||GINGHAM, Material; G(ILL)INGHAM|
|17||VIRGATE, decorated with twigs; [GRAVE IT]*|
|18||MARGERY, woman; MARGE + RY|
|19||ECTASIS, stretching; [CASE ITS]*|
|21||MANLY, like blokes; MANY round L(ove)|
|24||TOURING, going to various theatres; TOU(T) + RING (des Niebelungen)|
|26||PICTISH, old language; PIC(a) + [THIS]*|
|28||HORMONE, body chemical; H(ospital) + [NO MORE]*|
|29||HASHIER, chopped smaller (but not in my online Chambers!); HASH + IE + R(un)|
|31||ENTER, be admitted; ENT + RE reversed|
|32||ECHO, duplication; hidden|
|33||REDNECK, illiberal type; RECK round END reversed|
|34||STEMSON, ship’s timber; STEMS ON means continues to check|
|35||SHUTOUT, 5-0 victory (or 3-0 or 2-0!); SHOUT round U + T(eams)|
|36||ERASING, blotting out; ERAS (times) IN G(overnment)|
|2||RKOIAA, KIAORA, a Maori greeting; two letters of KI(wis) + A + ORA(L)|
|4||SIFH, FISH, beautiful & lit clue! Fish is defined and hidden.|
|5||UTQAR, QUART, imperial measure; (S)QUAR(E) + T|
|7||AXMICL, CLIMAX, peak; CX round LIMA|
|9||IDLASN, ISLAND, another excellent & lit clue! I (one) + L(oam) in SAND|
|10||NIETI, TIE-IN, TV product; IE in TIN|
|20||SURTDU, TURDUS, the thrushes; RUT reversed + DUS(T)|
|22||ANNECU, NUANCE, distinction; NU(IS)ANCE|
|23||TSEHON, HONEST, reliable; HOST round (wi)NE|
|25||OONEH, OHONE, cry of grief; ONE round HO|
|27||IADTR, TRIAD, three notes; TRAD round I|
|30||SVEA, SAVE, cure; SA(L)VE|