Posted by Eileen on December 5th, 2008
The usual entertainment value from this Brendan puzzle, with its elegant surfaces, clever anagrams and cunningly hidden answers. It included four reiterative phrases neatly placed around the perimeter, plus another one at 13ac, which made some of the solving that bit easier. Nothing too tricky [apart from a minor query at 10ac]
cd: cryptic definition
dd: double definition
[ ]*: anagram
1 FORD MADOX FORD: [President Gerald] FORD MAD OXFORD: Ford Madox Ford [1873-1939] was a novelist and poet
10 OSCILLATE: O [ ring, as in wedding band? ] + [A CELLIST]*
11 RADII: cd: R ADII: the radius is one of the lateral bones in the forearm; King Herod’s Massacre of the Innocents, following the birth of Jesus, was allegedly carried out in AD 9 and so ‘two years after’ is AD 11. The first of my two favourite clues, I think.
12 NYALA: hidden in keNYA LArge
13 TETE A TETE: TET: Vietnamese New Year [which I remember from a similar clue for this phrase some time ago] + EAT + ETE [summer in France]
14 FLAPPER: dd
16 PAID OFF: P[er] A[nnum] I’D OFF: ‘let go': the modern euphemism for ‘fire’.
18 RANSACK: RAN SACK
20 SCEPTRE: [RESPECT]*
21 OUT AND OUT: dd
23 BEAST: BE[A]ST
24 NORMA: hidden in miNOR MA sterpieces – her third appearance in eight days and each time as the opera, rather than NORMA [l] or similar familiar devices
25 HARMONIUM: H’M around ARM [member] ON [playing] I
26 HOME SWEET HOME: [ME THEE SOMEHOW]*: ‘composed’ is a nice anagram indicator here.
2 ONCE AGAIN: [OCEAN]* GAIN
3 DELTA: dd: DELTA is the fourth Greek letter, therefore a low mark, and, because of its triangular shape, gives its name to eg the Nile Delta [big mouth]
4 ADAPTER: AD APTER
5 ONE-STEP: cd: Neil Armstrong’s famous ‘one [small] step for mankind’
6 FORMALISE: FOR [supporting] MALI’S E
7 RIDGE: [f] RIDGE: quite cool, I thought!
8 POINT FOR POINT: dd
9 TIME AFTER TIME: and another
15 PLAIN JANE: rhymes with Verlaine [1873-1939], French poet. [I've never thought of a Plain Jane as necessarily ugly.]
17 OSTRACISM: [m]OST RACISM: my other favourite clue. In ancient Greece, people could be banished by popular vote, their names having been written on an ostrakon [ a potsherd or tile] and put into an urn.
19 KNOW-HOW: WHO [World Health Organisation] inside K NOW
20 SET FREE: dd
22 TORSO: hidden in docTOR’S Orders
23 BOOTH: dd: John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Abraham Lincoln and [General] William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army – or it could be his daughter, Evangeline, who became General in 1934.