Posted by shuchi on June 19th, 2009
I enjoyed this puzzle overall, except that I thought there was an overload of ‘select nth letter’ type of wordplay. The clues are a little wordy but have entertaining surfaces, notably 8A, 27A, 6D.
Some unusual indicators too, like ‘adversely’ for reversal and ‘meets’ for container.
Getting the 13-letter answers to 1D and 10D quickly helped with the rest. The bottom-half held me up longer with EPOCHAL being the last to go in. The wordplay for 3D and 14D elude me at the moment.
1 WITNESS (WINS + SET)*
5 L-PLATE LP (disk) LATE (defunct)
8 NUT CUTLET NUT (head) C (first letter of ‘chef’) (-o)UTLET (retail business – old). I didn’t help myself by assuming the second word had to be MILLET.
9 CHOIR sounds like QUIRE (paper). Just learnt that ‘quire’ is also a variant/archaic spelling of ‘choir’.
11 SHIRE Anagram of SHIRE+C gives RICHES. Interesting wordplay.
12 SUFFRAGAN SUFF(-e)R (tolerate, without energy) (-p)AGAN (heathen without top)
13 RESERVED RESERVE (substitute) D (6th letter of ‘united’)
15 EMOTED DE (‘some’ in French) TO ME (in my opinion), all reversed, ‘adversely’ i.e. ‘placed opposite’ being the reversal indicator.
17 AVENGE AVE (greeting) N (first letter of ‘nod’) GE (e.g. reversed). Liked this clue.
19 SOULLESS Sounds like SOLE-LESS. ‘callous’ is meant to be a noun in the surface I suppose. Is it an alternate spelling of ‘callus’ i.e. hardened skin? From online dictionaries, I don’t find confirmation of this. ‘callous’ is ’emotionless’ (adjective) or ‘having calluses’ (adjective again), but the surface becomes ungrammatical if so.
22 TROSSACHS OS (ordinary seaman) S (first letter of ‘search’) in (CHARTS)*. The Trossachs is an area in Scotland. Got this from the wordplay and verified with Wikipedia.
23 PARMA PARA (soldier) around M (maiden). Parma is a city in north Italy.
24 ETHER hidden in ‘crickET HERoes’. 1979 song by Gang of Four?
25 LAMPLIGHT MAL rev. PLIGHT (difficult situation)
26 CLARET CLARINET (musical instrument) – IN
27 EMPRESS E (first letter of ‘edge’) M (last letter of ‘Beckham’) PRESS (paparazzi)
1 WINDSOR CASTLE WINDSOR (a type of chair) CAST (thrown out) LE (‘the’ French)
2 TATTIES TAT (rubbish) (SITE)*, and I learn through Google that ‘mince and tatties’ is a popular Scottish dish.
3 EDUCE E (last letter of ‘garage’) DUCE (homophone of a word that means ‘petrol’?)
4 SALESMEN (NAMELESS)*
5 LET OFF LE (last letters of ‘likeable’) TOFF (aristocrat)
6 LACHRYMAL H in (LYCRA)* first letters of ‘make amusing line’
7 THOUGHT H (first letter of ‘Holland’) in TOUGH (hard) T (time)
10 RENE DESCARTES (TREES)* around (NEEDS* CAR)
14 REGISTRAR I knew of ‘registrar’ as one who maintains official records, ‘doctor’ is a new meaning for me.
16 CONSOMME CON (against) SOMME (from Battle of the Somme). Took a while to spot that the definition was ‘clear course’.
18 EPOCHAL COPE (deal) reversed, HAL (diminutive of the name ‘Harry’)
20 EN REGLE ENLE (Henley contracted) around reg (first 3 letters of ‘regatta’)
21 SCULPT (CUPS)* T, around L. I like ‘plastic’ as anagram indicator and the pun on ‘mould’.
23 PAL UP AL in PUP. I haven’t seen ‘meets’ used as container indicator before, was expecting a charade here. At first I didn’t think it was fair, but as I blog I realize ‘meet’ can also mean ‘intersect’.