Posted by rightback on December 13th, 2008
Solving time: 6:50, with a self-induced hold-up on 13ac (ICKY) at the end.
How difficult you found this probably depended on how quickly you spotted one of the long multi-word phrases; the central column held me up but I managed a lucky early solve of 10/1/23ac which helped a lot. The rest of the puzzle was easier than usual for Paul, I thought, with virtually no obscurities, evidenced by the lack of hyperlinks in the blog. My favourite clue was 20ac: Lifting one’s habit? (12).
Music of the day (10/1/23ac): Eternal Flame by The Bangles.
* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.
|5||SIDESHOW; SIDES (= ‘faces’) + HOW (= ‘question’)|
|9||OCCURRED; (C + CURR[y]) in O.E.D. (= ‘dictionary’)|
|10/1/23||NO REST FOR THE WICKED – lovely wordplay (‘As candle’s eternal flame suggests’), using the classic pun on wick/wicked.|
|11||HIT + THE BOTTLE|
|13||[p]ICKY – I wasted 1:20 on this at the end through carelessly writing ‘ile’ instead of ‘ice’ at 12dn. Don’t think I’ve seen this word in a crossword before, but it’s in Chambers!|
|14||SETTLE IN; (TEST LINE)* – a simple but very well-worded anagram.|
|17||ALTER EGO; rev. of [Richard] GERE in ALTO|
|18||VERY (2 defs) – I wrote in ‘fair’ here, crossed it out, then wrote in ‘just’ and crossed that out as well before finally seeing the correct answer.|
|20||KLEPTOMANIAC (cryptic definition) – brilliant.|
|24||AGGRIEVE; rev. of (IR + (GAG)*), + EVE (= ‘girl’)|
|26||END (= ‘last’) + URE (= ‘flower’)|
|2/22||ONCE (= ‘then’) + OVER (= ‘finished’)|
|3||TOUCH (= ‘affect’) + TYPE (= ‘type’)|
|5/8||SOD THIS FOR A GAME OF SOLDIERS – a sort of half-cryptic definition which doesn’t quite work for me.|
|6||DINGBATS; D + IN + G.B. + AT + S (= ‘conclusion of operations’)|
|7||STRUT (2 defs)|
|12||ICE LOLLIES; [m]I[t]C[h]E[l]L + OLLIE’S – refers to Oliver Hardy, one half of Laurel and Hardy.|
|15||LOVE CHILD – another excellent cryptic definition.|
|16||BEHOLDEN; EH in (BLONDE)* – I liked this a lot.|
|19||JINGLE – as in Jingle Bells.|
|21||POKER (2 defs, split at ‘…Ashes / game’) – excellent clue to finish.|