Posted by smiffy on March 26th, 2009
A well-balanced smattering of general knowledge categories (and at the Trivial Pursuit, rather than Mastermind, level). A couple of Oxbridge college names cropped up early on while solving, which lured me briefly into a wild goose chase for a non-existent theme.
1 CIPHER – I+P in Cher. I’m not sure whether she’s still known primarily as a “singer” these days? Although she has won a Grammy more recently than her Oscar.
4 ICE HOUSE – I+C+eh+Ouse
10 ENTRACTE – (at centre)*
12 MARS – double def’n
13 THREADBARE – (read+bar) in the. A somewhat tenuous surface reading.
15 TAKE THE STAND – punning def’n (probably antiquated, as I imagine few sales reps resort to the lugging around flip-charts in the era of laptop PCs?).
18 INVERTEBRATE – b[ook] in (neater rivet)*
21 ESTIMATION – I’m in [-g]estation. A smooth surface here.
22/3D/23D MAKE ENDS MEET – literal def’n. The word “loop” initially had me foraging for a phrase related to belt-tightening.
24 MEGASTAR – me+gas+tar
25 SEXIST – is in sext[-on]
26 NEATNESS – I used to trip up repeatedly on those bovine word association chains (neat=cows=lowers; and vice versa), but now they seem to be firmly entrenched in my mental checklists. I suppose that’s a good example of how impereceptibly one’s fluency in cryptic lingo can evolve.
1 CHROMATE – (hot cream)*. Occasionally a “salt” really is just a salt.
2 PEMBROKE – MEP(rev)+broke
5 CONTESTATION – conte (= a short story) +station
6 HARD DONE BY – (nerd boy had)*
7 UNCLAD – uncl[-e] +ad. I wonder whether the xwd editor of the Church Times would have bowdlerised this one?!
8 EXETER – ex+eter[-nity]
11 CHEESE STRAWS – (sweets search)*. Last sighted by me circa Xmas 1988 (along with two other unlamented disappearances; Tunis Cake and the Bobby Davro Christmas Special).
14 STONEMASON – St+one+ma’s+on. A delightful definition.
16 TAMARISK – Tamar+is+k. The last to solve for me. Took me a while to recall the River Tamar (which forms the Cornish/Devon border, just outside of Plymouth).
17 BEE EATER – [Gr]ee[ce] in beater. The cliche-avoidance-of-the-day award (for steering clear of Beefeaters).
19 NEWMAN – double def’n
20 STIGMA – (a.m. + gits)rev