Posted by nmsindy on April 16th, 2009
A puzzle in the quirky and individual Merlin style. Some gems. I found it ranged from very easy indeed to extremely difficult, with the SW corner taking me much longer than the rest of the puzzle put together. Solving time, 27 mins. Very satisfying to finish and appreciate the clues.
* = anagram < = reversed
1 ASCENSION (canonises)* Excellent surface
6 S LEEP peel< = zest &lit
10 WATER CLOSET (castle tower)* great fun clue
11 S (C)OUSE
12 LISTE (NEws)D
14 EMIRATES STADIUM (semi-traumatised)* Home of Arsenal FC in London. Nicknamed the Gunners from their name which in turn came from the club’s origins among munitions workers in Woolwich before they moved to North London in 1913. Another excellent surface.
18 A STUDY IN SCARLET (Satanist crudely)* Sherlock Holmes book. If memory serves, a Merlin puzzle based on a Holmes book was voted Listener puzzle of the year for, I think, 2006.
19 CLE(M) AT IS
20 CLARE T One in which I’m not 100% sure how the wordplay works “Not Blue Nun – the other sort of wine” Clare is a nun – so maybe ‘not blue nun’ – I’m not sure then if the clue splits before or after ‘other’. If after perhaps ‘the other’ = ‘sex’ = ‘it’ abbrev to ‘t – if before perhaps t = the (also abbrev)
22 THE THIRD MAN Graham Greene book of an even more famous film (1949) set in Vienna in the early Cold War. Fielding is misleading false capital, nothing to do with the writer – it’s a fielding position in cricket.
24 CITED Hidden
28 ELEVENS ES(say)
1 ARTISTE Hidden
2 CUCKOO IN THE NEST (One chick sent out)* A &lit clue of the highest order.
3 NEW S (ST) AND George Sand
4 INTO alternate letters in ignition
5 NARC IS SIST Sist = stop (Scottish)
6 SPLIT Double definition – in Croatia
7 ESSENTIAL ORGANS (Reasons genitals)* Term from botany
8 POTS DAM (mad stop)< Near Berlin – peace conference held there in 1945
13 D E MI VI ER GE Definition – loose but not penetrated. say, communist turned = (eg red)< containing E and MI VI i.e. MI6, I think, using Roman numerals
15 A T A G LANCE
16 A SCE(p)TIC Another brilliant &lit p = least bit of pleasure
17 TE (TAN) US suet<
19 A PH (I) D
21 SMEE cf Esme