Posted by rightback on June 6th, 2009
Solving time: 13:43
This puzzle was themed around bandleaders, of which an impressive 11 appear in the grid, plus BANDLEADER itself at 21/19dn. The wordplay to the thematic entries (asterisked below) must have been helpful because I managed to work out the ones I hadn’t heard of (about 4), but I imagine a solver with little interest in music would have found this puzzle pretty testing.
I had a few quibbles but these were easily outweighed by the many excellent clues.
[PS: I’m racing the LAMM this weekend and will not be able to respond to any comments until Monday, so apologies in advance for any errors.]
Music of the day: Jazz Club… nice.
* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.
|* 1||GOODMAN; (MAN)* in GOON – Eccles was a character in The Goon Show; I think this band leader is Benny Goodman.|
|* 8||HENDRIX; END in ‘HR IX’ (= ‘hour nine’) – I liked the wordplay here (which rightly had a question mark) and the choice of Jimi Hendrix who led a very different kind of band.|
|* 9/10||DUKE [w]ELLINGTON – ‘duke’ is slang for the fist, hence ‘boxer’s glove insert’, which is devious in the extreme but seems perfectly fair. Duke Ellington is maybe the most famous bandleader (Hendrix excluded!) in the puzzle.|
|* 12/20dn||BILLY COTTON – a British bandleader. I think the intended wordplay is Billy Budd (an opera by Benjamin Britten, originally a novel) followed by ‘cotton [bud]’.|
|* 13||TED HEATH – two people, one a bandleader and the other a Prime Minister and Conservative leader (hence ‘blues leader’ – although there’s a missing apostrophe here).|
|15||I SPY – as James Bond might say. I liked this one.|
|16||ABETS; A + B + (SET)* – just an ordinary ‘B’ this time.|
|17||BOND[i] – referring to the famous surfing beach in Australia.|
|18||HELL-BENT – I thought this was brilliant (‘Disinclined?’, with ‘Dis’ = Hell).|
|* 20/12dn||COUNT BASIE; (A BONE IS CUT)* – another candidate for the most famous of the thematic answers. This was the first thematic clue I solved.|
|21||BRAZIL NUT; BRA + Z[est] + (UNTIL)*|
|* 22||B + ILK – great clue. Acker Bilk was known to me thanks to a terrible joke by my physics teacher who referred to F = BIlk as ‘Acker’s equation’.|
|24||SNEER AT; (TEN’S ERA)*|
|* 25||JOE LOSS; JOE (= ‘Bloggs’) + LOSS (= ‘bereavement’) – founder of the Joe Loss Orchestra. This was a lucky guess for me.|
|* 2||ADDER + LEY – another lucky guess. A ‘ley’ is a straight line in a landscape but I couldn’t make anything of the ‘Cannon and Ball’ reference as I hadn’t heard of Cannonball Adderley and spent some time trying to come up with a word which could follow both words, like ‘fodder’ or something.|
|3||NAMELY; rev. of MAN, + ELY – ‘Rampant’ means ‘standing in profile’, as in a lion rampant, but this doesn’t seem the same as ‘upside down’.|
|4||LEONIDAS; (DELIA’S NO)*|
|5||ODETTE (hidden backwards) – this got a ‘very good’ tick…|
|6||LI[sb]ON – …and so did this. Non-Brits not interested in sport may not know of the British and Irish Lions who are currently touring South Africa.|
|* 11||LYTTELTON; (T,T,T,LONELY)* – “Humph” Lyttelton, jazz musician and presenter of Radio 4’s I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, who died last year.|
|16||AMERICAN; (MAN)* around ERICA|
|17||BLUE (= ‘obscene’) BELL (= ‘clanger’)|
|21,19||BANDLEADER; [c]ANDLE in (BARED)*|
|* 23||LAST (2 defs) – the least confident of my guesses; James Last is a German musician.|