Posted by rightback on June 27th, 2009
Solving time: 13:44
This seemed about average difficulty for Paul, though I think I made heavy weather of it. As always there are some extremely inventive clues, and the lack of hyperlinks in the blog suggests that there were few obscurities.
I always get suspicious when I see a grid like this with the perimeter consisting of only unchecked letters, expecting a message to materialise, but I don’t think there’s anything hidden in this one, especially given the two long linked phrases which I guess were probably the basis for the construction.
I’m away for a while now, so won’t be able to reply to any comments, but thanks in advance for any corrections or clarifications.
Music of the day (15ac): New York, New York.
* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.
|8||HYACINTH; HINT around rev. of CAY, + H (‘closure of each’) – I didn’t know ‘cay’ was an alternative spelling of ‘key’ (in the sense of ‘island’), and even if I had I don’t think I’d have got there from ‘bank’ (a key can also mean a reef) without spotting the answer first.|
|9||A + BROAD – a very simple but good clue.|
|10||EDAM; rev. of MADE, &lit.|
|11||WINCHESTER (2 defs) – another I’d never have got without several checking letters; I knew of the Winchester rifle but not the bottle of that name, apparently named after a set of measuring standards kept at Winchester.|
|12||FOR ME + R – I thought ‘Desginated mine’ for ‘FOR ME’ was brilliant.|
|14||SCIMITAR; [l]IMIT in SCAR|
|15||NEW YORK – ‘Large fruit’ as in ‘Big Apple’, and the song made famous by Frank Sinatra. I should have been much quicker with this but all I could see was ‘New Year’.|
|17||SIXTEEN; SEEN around (IX + T) – brilliant clue, and my last entry; sixteen and nine (IX) are square numbers and a ‘T-square’ is a type of square (although strictly I’m not totally sure this means ‘type of square’ = T), but ‘seen’, which looks entirely innocent and meaningless in the clue, is in fact a crucial part of the wordplay.|
|20||COLOSSAL; COL + rev. of LASSO|
|22||WHOOPS (2 defs)|
|25||ZODIAC; rev. of (AID in COZ) – very topical surface reading.|
|26||IDENTITY; I DENT IT + [b]Y|
|2||SCAM; rev. of MACS|
|3||A + N.S.W. + E.R. – none of the states of Australia looked likely candidates for wordplay elements so I ignored this clue until I had some checking letters.|
|4,23,1||CHINESE RESTAURANT SYNDROME; (HER NURSE DESSERT MAY CONTAIN)* – great anagram and a complex cross-reference in which the ‘nuts’ part of 13/24 is the anagram indicator.|
|5||KASHMIRI; rev. of (I + RIM) after (K + ASH)|
|6||PROSCIUTTO; (CUT STRIP O[ff])* + O (= ‘duck’) – very well-disguised anagram fodder.|
|7||GALE + NA|
|13/24||MAY CONTAIN NUTS; (CAN TINY AMOUNTS)* – wonderful anagram.|
|16||RESOURCE; (ROSE)* + rev. of ECRU|
|18||EXPEDITE; (P + EDIT) in EXE|
|19||FLEAPIT; rev. of (TIP + A + ELF) – I wasn’t sure how ‘Knock’ and ‘tip’ were quite the same, but Chambers gives ‘tip’ as meaning ‘a tap or glancing blow’, and if I’d thought about it I should have known this, from cricket (‘tip-and-run’ means you have to score every ball) and basketball (in which the start is called a ‘tip-off’).|
|21||ORE + GON[e]|
|22||WIT + HER – a good clue but with W-T— in place I was distracted by ‘Dry… not…’ into thinking that the answer must start ‘wet—’.|