Posted by Gaufrid on April 29th, 2009
Another grid that is effectively four separate crosswords, loosely linked. I found the NE and SE quadrants reasonably straightforward but took a little longer over the other two. With hindsight, most of the answers are obvious but they didn’t seem that way when I was trying to solve some of the clues.
I enjoyed the puzzle and particularly liked 22a once I had resolved the wordplay, though I do have a query about the validity of 4d. Edit: see comments #1 & #2.
1 FACEBOOK BECA (because useless) in KO (knockout) OF reversed
5 TWITCH cd – reference to twitchers (bird-watchers).
9 ONE-SIDED O (love) SID (little boy) in NEED (necessity)
10 DROP IN d&cd – a drop in the bucket, or ocean, is a very small amount.
11 PASSER-BY PAS (step) SERB (former Yugoslav) Y[ugoslav]
12 ORGASM hidden in ‘fOR GAS Masks’
14 BROWN BREAD BROWN (Gordon) Bread (money)
18 THREEPENNY cd – a ‘bit’ is a coin (you need to be over a certain age to remember the threepenny bit) and there is a musical work entitled The Threepenny Opera.
22 PATOIS TOI (you, in French) in PAS (not, in French) – in France ‘patois’ was spoken in rural, less developed regions.
23 OFFBREAK OFF (unavailable) BREAK (holiday) – a cricketing term.
24 VICTIM VIC TIM (two little boys)
25 EVICTION VICTI[m] in *(ONE)
26 RELENT [mi]LE in RENT (payment)
27 FRISKILY RISK (danger) I (one) in FLY (insect)
1 FLOPPY OPP[onents] in FLY (run away)
2 CHEESE d&cd – hard cheese = bad luck.
3 BOILER d&cd – ‘condensing’ referring to the more modern, ‘greener’ type of central heating boiler.
4 OVERBURDEN – the definition is clear but a ‘descant’ is an accompaniment above and harmonizing with the main melody whereas a ‘burden’, or bourdon, is a refrain or bass accompaniment to a melody. To ‘overburden’ would mean to provide too much bass rather than too much descant. Rather than being read as a whole (which I did originally), this clue needs to be split into two, ‘put too much on’ and ‘the descant’. A ‘descant’ is a musical accompaniment above the main melody whereas a ‘burden’, or bourdon, is a bass accompaniment so indeed ‘the descant’ is ‘over burden’. Edit: thanks Conradcork for providing the enlightenment.
6 WARDROBE WAR (fighting) DR (doctor) OBE (decoration)
7 TAP WATER TA (thank you) W (wife) in PATER (father)
8 HANDMADE homophone of ‘handmaid’
13 SWINE FEVER *(NEWS IF) EVER (for good)
15 STOPOVER TOP (dominating position) in SOVER[eigns] (50% of monarchs)
16 CRITICAL dd
17 SEDITION S (second) EDITION (issue of books)
19 ABACUS A BAC[ch]US (god without church)
20 GEMINI EG (say) reversed MINI (small)
21 SKINNY INN (tavern) in SKY (heaven)