Posted by Ciaran McNulty on January 29th, 2009
I’ve started to dread seeing Gordius’s name when it’s my turn to blog. As one of the harder Guardian setters I often find his puzzles impenetrable, unlike Araucaria who I tend to regard as hard but solvable given time.
Consequently there are a couple of answers in today’s puzzle that aren’t adequately explained, although I did manage to fill the grid – I look forward to the commenters setting my straight!
* = anagram
“” = homphone
dd = double definition
cd = cryptic definition
1. NEGATIVE EQUITY. (EVENGAIETY + QUIT)*. Something I’ve cunningly avoided by not owning anything.
8. OVOLO. O(VOL.)O. A sort of oval moulding.
9. VACUUMED. VAC + U(-turn)x2 + MED. Not happy with this being ‘swept’ or ‘swept by’, surely it’s an alternative to sweeping?
11. LILY PAD. Nice dd.
12. SO-AND-SO. SADSOON*.
13. SARAH PALIN. HARPSA(oe)LIAN*. This made me chuckle.
15. YARDSTICK. YARD’S TICK.
17. INCEPTION. NOTICEPIN*.
21. ASPIRES. ASPIR(at)ES. One aspirates on an H, which a cockney misses off.
23. EGO TRIP. E + GO + TRIP.
25. HIT IT OFF. HI + T(IT)OFF.
26. ICHOR. I CHORtle. I suspect I only know the word from reading far too many dodgy fantasy books as a teenager.
1. NEOCLASSICAL. ONE* + CLASS + 1 + CAL.
2. GROWL. GR + OWL. Clueing this as ‘sound’ is a bit vague.
3. TROOPSHIP? TR(O POSH*)IP. Travel seems to be doing double duty as anagrind and part of the def, or maybe it’s an attempt at an &lit.
4. VIVIDLY. VIV + IDLY. Viv Richards, West Indian cricketer.
5. EXCUSER. (SECURE + X)*
6. UVULA?. cd. but the Uvula doesn’t really hold the tongue at all.
7. TREADMILL. T(o) + READ + MILL.
10. WORKING PARTY. A perhaps ironic cd.
14. RECEPTION. CREEPINTO*.
16. SUPPOSING. SUP + POSING. (Thanks to Ron for pointing out my typo)
18. INSHORE. “INSURE”, depending where you’re from.
19. NEEDFUL. ELDE(rly)FUN*.
22. REIGN. RE(s)IGN.
24. REHAB. cuRE HABits. &lit