Posted by rightback on July 11th, 2009
Solving time: 17:30
The preamble said that this was a ‘Fourth of July’ offering, the manifestation of which was the appearance of the word ‘state’ in many of the clues, sometimes referring to an American state and sometimes not.
Some of the clues in this puzzle were extremely good, especially 8dn (POISON PEN LETTER); I was going along nicely until getting stuck in the top right where PLATE, APPLIANCE and most of all CELSIUS and WAPITI caused me trouble, along with IMMANENT at 4dn which I was surprised to find was correct. On the other hand I was confident of 11ac (ALABAMA) and 12ac (CELSIUS) but still don’t understand them and would appreciate assistance.
Also, thanks very much to Eileen for having filled in for me last Saturday.
Music of the Day: Something American to fit the theme: Mach 5 by the Presidents of the United States of America.
* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.
|9||RELIEF MAP; RELIEF (= ‘rescue’) + M,A,P (initial letters) – the cunningly disguised definition is ‘Plan to demonstrate mountain’. Possibly this clue is a nod to the ongoing Tour de France?|
|10||PLATO; PLANT (= ‘bush’) + O[xygen] with [gree]N removed – another well-hidden definition.|
|11||ALABAMA – ‘degrees’ is presumably BA and MA, but I don’t understand the rest. The clue is ‘State briefly you’ll reply to everyone by degrees’.|
|12||CELSIUS – is this just a cryptic definition, intending to mislead the solver into thinking of degrees of latitude and longitude? I thought there might be a homophone involved but if there is I can’t see (or hear) it.|
|14||RE + CREATION|
|16||HE + A + ROUT – the letter A as an abbreviation for ‘American’ is in Chambers but seems very difficult for a blocked crossword, even on a Saturday.|
|17||MACHINE; CH in MAINE|
|19||SECOND POST; (C + DESPOTS + ON)* – I liked the definition here (‘Midday service abolished’).|
|22||B + OIL|
|25||ATTRACT; (TART)* + ACT|
|27||ISRAELITE; (REALITIES)* – according to Chambers an Isrealite in the Biblical sense is a descendant of Jacob, hence ‘Old Jacobean’.|
|1||ORGANOPHOSPHATE; (GO + ON + OATH + PERHAPS)* – excellent anagram.|
|2||ALL AT SEA (2 defs) – I don’t think the first part of this clue quite works; boatmen could be ‘all’ at sea, but could you describe a singluar boatman like that?|
|3||DE + GAS – ‘state’ here indicating a state of matter.|
|4||IMMANENT; “IMMINENT” – this was a very doubtful guess for me; ‘immanent’, from the Latin manere (meaning ‘to stay’) means ‘dwelling within’ or ‘inherent’, hence ‘all around’.|
|5||SPACER; rev. of RECAPS|
|6||APPL(IAN + C)E – another definition cleverly concealed in a larger phrase, here ‘Perhaps iron [man]‘.|
|7||WAPITI; WA (= ‘Washington’) + PIT (= ‘trap’) + I (= ‘Boatman’, the setter) – I could only think of ‘gin’ to fit ‘-I-‘ and so struggled with this one.|
|8||POISON PEN LETTER; (EPISTLE TORN OPEN)* – a superb &lit.|
|15||HOBNAILED; Spoonerism of “nob hailed” – the definition here (‘booted’) seems dubious. As a verb, ‘hobnail’ can mean ‘to trample with hobnailed shoes’, but that’s still not quite right.|
|17||MASSACRE; MASS[achusetts] + ACRE|
|18||ISOBARIC; (AS BIRO + I + C[an't])*|
|20||CHRIST; (HR + IS) in CT (= ‘Connecticut’)|
|21||PRECIS; [th]E[me] in (CRIPS)*|
|23||UTTER (2 defs)|