Posted by rightback on February 28th, 2009
Solving time: About 15 mins, with 12ac missing and 5dn wrong.
About medium difficulty this week; I fell down on the artist at 13ac, in part thanks to an error at 5dn. There’s a mini-theme of King Arthur and friends.
A couple of administrative points, if I may. Firstly, I’m having lots of trouble with Internet access at the moment; thanks very much to those who have helped me out in recent times, particuarly Eileen, Andrew and Ciaran who between them have blogged the last four weeks’ puzzles, in some cases at very short notice. Fortunately I think I now have a workable arrangement for the foreseeable future.
Secondly, I gather that there have been some issues recently with ‘off-topic’ comments, particularly relating to Guardian blogs. Being mostly off-line I’ve missed most of the developments, but I think I should say that in all the time I have been blogging the Saturday Guardian I can’t remember an occasion where I have felt that the comments have digressed too far and I would not want to discourage the occasional aside: this is a blog after all, not an answers service. In particular, I’d hate to be deprived of such offerings as Ralph’s fishy comment on this blog a few weeks ago: such etymological gems are absolutely on-topic as far as I’m concerned.
* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.
|1||EXCALIBUR; EX + “CALIBRE” – King Arthur’s sword, which he reputedly pulled out of a stone.|
|6/20||KIN + GARTH + UR – ‘garth’ is an old word for an enclosure, yard or garden, still seen in place names in e.g. the Lake District.|
|10/23||ROUND TABLE; (ADN’T)* in ROUBLE|
|11||ZAP + AT + I’S + TA – I’ve come across Emiliano Zapata before, but that didn’t stop me putting in ‘Zapatitas’ at first here.|
|12||IN + P.O.W. + E.R.|
|13||O’KEEFFE (hidden) – I’d never have got this thanks to an incorrect crossing letter from 5dn (qv) but actually I don’t think I’d have got it anyway, it’s such an unlikely sequence of letters until you see the apostrophe and I didn’t know the name: Georgia O’Keeffe turns out to have been an American artist.|
|15||CAYENNE + PEPPER – as in Sergeant Pepper.|
|17||CHEAP AND NASTY; (A + PAND(N)A) in CHESTY – nice wordplay, shame about the surface reading. I struggled on this but have the excuse that I don’t remember panda crossings.|
|22||MERITED; (RETIMED)* – the ellipsis here refers back to the previous clue, of which this answer is an anagram.|
|24||HI + LAR + IOUS – a lar was a Roman god of the house.|
|25||GOB + BO – surname of a couple of characters in The Merchant of Venice.|
|26||R + O.B.E. – R for ‘recipe’, Latin for ‘take’. [Well, sort of - see comments.]|
|27||INSINCERE (hidden) – excellent hidden clue.|
|1||EARPIECE; R in (E APIECE)|
|2||CHUMP (2 defs) – this can mean ‘the end of a lump of mutton’, hence ‘chop’ as in ‘lamb chop’, I suppose. [And see comments.]|
|3||LADY WINDERMERE – this was a guess for me, but I believe it refers to Lady Windermere’s Fan by Oscar Wilde and to the ‘Lady of the Lake’ in the King Arthur legend. Perhaps some better-read solvers could elaborate?|
|5||REP + ROVE – not ‘reprise’, which was my entry, and which (I now learn) cannot mean ‘to reproach’ or ‘to punish’, as in ‘reprisal’.|
|7||IN SOFA RAS|
|8||GRATER; “GREATER” – I tried to justify ‘graver’ for a while here.|
|9||UTHER PENDRAGON; [l]UTHER + PEN + DRAG ON – King Arthur’s father, and not a name I am ever likely to forget: not knowing this cost me a place in my first Times Championship final a couple of years ago (it was a (partial?) anagram and I entered ‘Ether Pundragon’).|
|15||YACHT CLUB; (CLUTCH)* in rev. of BAY|
|16||SYNDROME; “SINDH” + ROME – Sindh is one of the four provinces of Pakistan.|
|18||PADRONI; (A DROP-IN)* – nice anagram. This is the plural of
|19||NEMESIS, from NEMESIA|