Posted by Andrew on January 2nd, 2009
Boatman’s third outing in the Guardian, and, completely by coincidence, my third chance to blog him. Another enjoyable puzzle, with some excellent clues – I particularly liked 25ac, 1dn and 19dn. Best wishes for 2009 to all bloggers, readers and setters.
dd = double definition
* = anagram
< = reverse
1,11. TENNIS PLAYER (SENT IN)* + PLAYER (=actor)
4. IN LAMB (LIMB AN)*. Using “agricultural worker” to describe a ewe is a bit “strained”, I think.
9. TORT TROT<. A tort is a “civil wrong”, of which trespass is an example.
10. SALIVA TEST (AT VESTALS’ I)* The “I” is “Boatman”
12. VICARIAL (I L CAVIAR)*
13. OYSTER BED Y BREST* in OED – pearls come from oysters
15. MIND Homophone of “mined”, and to MIND something is to “object” to it.
17. HAVERSACK RAVES* in HACK
21. RED PANDA Hidden in “coveRED PAN DAmaged”. It took me ages to spot this, even after I’d guessed the answer, maybe because of the line break between the last two words. The Red Panda is an Asian animal that looks more like a fox than a panda, hence its alternative name of Firefox, as in the Web browser.
22. UNWARY UN WAR Y (for “yes”)
24. NAVAL CADET (VACATE LAND)* – Boatman’s second appearance in the clues.
25. OBOE Homophone of “owe beau” – very nice (though an oboist isn’t necessarily a soloist).
26. DESIST Hidden in “EumeniDES IS Typical” – another confusing line break.
27. DRAGON DRAGO(o)N
1. TROLLEY Kind of a dd. Gateaux would be found on a sweet trolley, and a fruitcake is someone who is “off his trolley”. A fun clue.
2. NATTY T T in NAY. As in a “natty dresser”.
3. INSURER (IS RERUN)*, with a nice cryptic definition
5. NOVICE NOV(ember) + ICE (=frost)
6. ASTEROIDS A(ctor) “on” STEROIDS. Asteroids are part of the Solar System, but I suppose they’re “among the stars” if you look through a telescope.
7. BASTARD STAR in BAD
8. OLIVIER AWARDS I (middle letter of PIP) in OLIVER (musical) + A + DRAW< + S(ight)
14. THESPIANS THE SP IAN’S. SP (starting price) is fairly common for “odds”. “McKellen’s” seems to be doing double duty here, as “colleagues” on its own doesn’t really define THESPIANS, except in the context of these two linked clues.
16. DIE HARD (DISPATCH RIDER – SCRIPT)* – very clever.
18. EQUATOR EQUA(l) (“unfinished match”) + TOR – Kop and Tor are both names for hills.
19. CARTOON (NO ACTOR)* &lit – excellent!
20. ENACTS ASCENT*
23,16ac. WRONGDOER WRONG (mistaken) + DOER (actor). The use of “below”, which would be fine in a normal Down clue, doesn’t work here because DOER is actually above WRONG in the grid.