Posted by beermagnet on August 6th, 2009
That’s a new compiler I thought. Then forgot that as I stared at the clues for an immensely long time looking for inspiration. I wasn’t sure of any answers on the first pass. I couldn’t help but notice no fewer than 19 of the 28 clues began “My”. These are all theme clues but I only cracked this after a slog. I came close earlier when I scribbled HOL- next to 2D but couldn’t think of a word that fitted, and 24D led me up a blind alley (see below). It was when I saw LINDEN hidden in 22A that the light dawned. When I looked again at the setters pseudonym I felt a bit of a twit.
For every clue beginning “My” the answer is a tree or tree related.
Once this was known the tree clues didn’t seem so hard. Some are pretty obscure though and I couldn’t have finished this without “research”.
Who is Trees? Probably one (or more?) of the regular setters in disguise producing this themed devilry. I don’t know and the theme constraint here obscures the clue style, but I’ll start the ball rolling with a guess: Tees (because it’s only 1 letter different).
I hope someone lets us know – in the meantime, who do you think it is?
Now confirmed as Tees see below
|8||MAHOGANY Wordplay unsure here: Is this HOG,A inside MANY or HOG,AN inside MAY or even A,HOG,AN inside MY ? Surely not the last as the “My” is not used in wordplay elsewhere. What is “the sounder”. Is that a homophone ind. somehow? Clue:
My boar one among the sounder? (8)
From Johnson comment: ‘sounder’ is a group of boars, therefore gives MANY. Thus HOG,A inside MANY
|9||ACACIA (AI)< excellent return, next to AC,AC accounts|
|11||LARTINGTON ART (work) inside LING (heather), TO N[orth] My last grid entry after rejecting the lightly pencilled Darlington and sorting out 3D. Someone tell me that’s not obscure.|
|12||SAPELE S.A. (world cup place), PELE (Brazilian footballer) S.A. – South Africa – I think this is most likely referring to the Rugby World Cup 1995
nmsindy points out that the finals for the round ball game are in S.A. next year
|14||SIDESTEP (PEDESTRIAN – RAN)* AInd: Unexpectedly|
|15||THICKET THICK (group very friendly), ET (alien) A clump of trees defined by ‘My group’|
|17||ESSENCE C[old] inside ESSENE (Old Jewish ascetic)|
|20||APPLE PIE A sort of CD-ish DD. Applie pie order is perfect order (well, at least good order) and it is a pud|
|22||LINDEN Hidden in upheavaL IN DENmark. The Lime tree. One of the first Trees I got leading me to understand the “My = Tree” connection|
|23||COMPULSION (COOL PUNS I’M)* AInd: fighting|
|24||DATE Single Def. One of the easier clues once the theme was cracked|
|25||SECURE CUR (vicious dog) inside SEE (be certain, i.e. understand)|
|26||THALAMUS ALA[r]M (fear, with R=king leaving) inside THUS (so) One for the brainy solvers|
|1||CALABASH A[tomic] LAB (research facility) inside CASH|
|2||HOLM HOL[iday] (short break) M[ike] The Holm Oak. A clue that may have been useful in spotting the theme.|
|3||MALLEE MALL (shopping arcade) E[veryon]E One of several types of Eucalyptus. One of several strange trees|
|4||CYPRESS C[apabilit]Y, PRESS. Some of the most beautiful of the evergreens|
|5||SAPINDUS SAP (drain) INDUS (Asian river) Another tree that was new to me. A genus of trees|
|6||MANGOSTEEN MAN (servant), GEN around (TOES)* AInd: disjointed These trees weren’t easy were they|
|7||SIMONE SI (Yes in italian, thus “to Berlusconi”) MONE[y] I had SISTER written in here until near the end, even justifying it with STER[ling]|
|13||EUCALYPTUS (CLUE SAY PUT)* AInd: in an unfamiliar way|
|16||ESPALIER (LAPSE)< (slip up) I.E. [caree]R A method of training fruit trees|
|18||CHESTNUT CHEST (case) NUT (a strange case)|
|19||DEVIATE [fiv]E VI (six) inside DATE (answer to 24A)|
|21||PROTEA PA (old man) around ROTE (mechanical procedure) The Sugarbush, another tree unknown to me|
|22||LONGAN LONG (lengthy) AN (article)|
|24||DHAK First letters in Dishonoured House Are Known. Pencilled in DHAK next to the clue early on but didn’t know the word and looking it up found a Drum which certainly confused the issue and didn’t help reveal the true tree connection.|