Posted by shuchi on April 17th, 2009
I got off to a breezing start with this puzzle, filled in 90% of the grid without pause but then unravelling the wordplay for a few of them took some thinking. Not sure of 13A, 14D still. (13A, 14D annotations updated based on Geoff’s inputs. Thanks!)
Two new words for me – TAOISEACH and SPLIFF. It was good to find my favourite artist Escher mentioned.
1 SHIELDS (SHE SLID)*
5 KETTLES NETTLES – N + K
9 LET ON L with NOTE reversed
10 MIDDLE AGE 40-60 years is middle age, and “g” is literally the middle of aGe. This reminded me of the DOUBLET clue from yesterday’s FT.
11 FARTHINGS FAR (distant) THINGS (objects)
12 PEARL PEAL (ring) containing R (queen)
13 FLOATING VOTERS Reverse wordplay, floating voters => anagram of “voters” to give “strove”
18 PHANTASMAGORIA (A GHOST IN A PRAM A)* It helps to get a long word into the grid on sight.
20 RISER dd early riser, and ‘flight’ as in stairs
22 OVERTRUMP OVERT (exposed) RUMP (bottom) Amusing one.
24 TAOISEACH TAO (According to Confucius, the right way) IS before EACH
25 TOTEM TOTE (carry) M (“my” opening)
26 DEPOSIT (TOPSIDE)*
27 TOPLESS TESS (the Hardy heroine) around (POLE – E)*
1 SPLIFF SPLI (almost tore i.e. split) FF (very loud)
2 INTER ALIA hidden in ‘wINTER A LIAr’
3 LYNCH odd letters removed from ‘sLaY eNoCh He’
4 SEMANTICS (IT CAN MESS)*
5 KUDOS (SUDOKU – U)*
6 TELEPHOTO LE (the French) P (place) HOT (passionate) O (love) after TE (Toulouse empties) A litle too wordy. I used to think that telephoto was an adjective for lens, not a noun but my dictionary makes me wiser.
7 LLAMA (A MALL) reversed
8 SEEDLESS “missing top players” is seedless…is the other definition “Orange might be”? I’d be happier if something like “what an orange might be” led to SEEDLESS.
14 ASTERISKS (SKIE + STARS)* ‘stars’ is doing double-duty as the definition and part of the anagram fodder.
15 GRAPESHOT GRAPES (they make wine) HOT (live). Appreciate that though used twice (6D, 15D), HOT was indicated differently in each case.
16 ETIQUETTE TE (limits of ‘the’) up and down around (QUITE)*
17 SPIRITED DIPS (goes down) reversed, around RITE (service)
19 SPUMES PUM E in SS
21 SLOOP POOLS reversed
22 OP ART O (love) PART (some)
23 TOT UP cd (Edited. Thanks Eileen.)