Posted by nmsindy on April 21st, 2009
Another themed classic from Virgilius. Every across answer is thematic. So are almost all the clues, which as usual are superb. Some unusual words were forced in by the thematic requirements and Virgilius gave very straightforward clues to these. Solving time, 19 mins – it does not have to be super-hard to be good.
Many solvers will know, but for others, I will explain that the Six Nations Rugby Union tournament is held over seven weeks each spring with England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy each playing each other once. In the tournament just finished Ireland not only won the title but beat all the other teams for the first time since 1948 and so achieved was is known as 20 across. I think Virgilius would have celebrated this achievement.
* = anagram < = reversed
1 IRISH TERRIERS As in the other cases, a phrase is used with an adjective describing the country first. 24 is SIX NATIONS
9 BOD As well as meaning a bloke this refers to the nickname of the Irish centre and captain, Brian O’Driscoll, who was voted player of the tournament. From first letters, and leading to such phrases as ‘In BOD we trust’
10 WELSH RABBIT Wales won the tournament the previous year also with a Grand Slam. This means the same as ‘Welsh rarebit’
11 SCOTCH CAPS caps also = international players and Scotland play in blue.
14 GO A L (last letter of successful) and also &lit as in RU, a goal is 7 points, where a try (5) is followed by a successful conversion (2).
16 ENGLISH ROSES Emblem that appears on England’s jerseys.
20 THE GRAND SLAM The term is taken from bridge (i.e. not missing a trick)
21 PACK a brilliant double definition with thematic reference (my favourite clue). ‘pack’ are the forwards in RU.
24 SIX NATIONS
27 FRENCH TOAST England beat France by a wide margin in this year’s tournament.
30 TRY See the explanation at 14!
31 ITALIAN SONNET (internationals)* less r (last letter of fervour).
2 RED – HOT (tho)*
3 SAW Double definition
4 TELIC Hidden reversal
5 RAH (har(m))<
6 I VAN The Terrible (Tsar of Russia) front row = part of rugby pack
7 RIB ROAST
8 STYLISH (this sly)*
9 BEST double definition
12 CENTRE (recent)* centre = back, 9 across for example
13 POSTS double definition
15 ERRANT hidden
17 LUNG I
18 S TOP OFF
19 SEA CHEST (the cases)* Jack = sailor
21 FOOT I.E.
22 ES PY First and last letters
25 NEARS hidden
26 ACYL ditto
29 TEA leaves Cryptic definition
29 TEN score = twenty of which ten is half (net)<