Posted by rightback on October 24th, 2009
Solving time: 11½ mins, one mistake (15dn: ‘sagebrass’ for SAGEBRUSH)
Paul had a puzzle on Wednesday (21st) which I found very difficult. This felt slightly easier, certainly to get going with, but was still fairly tricky in places. The answer I got wrong was slightly under-checked (only 4 out of 9 squares checked by across answers) but that’s no excuse, it was a perfectly good and not especially hard clue.
There was a mini-theme revolving around the book at 4/18/23; the link to its cryptical cousin (see 24/8/3) took me a long time to see.
The forecast for today is pretty dire – must be the OMM… I’m sure some readers of this blog will be competing, so good luck and do come and say hi at half-time – I’ll be in a small green tent.
Music of the day (5dn): Angel of Harlem by U2.
* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.
|9||INAMORATA; (IN A MOAT) around R, + A – lovely wordplay but ‘girlfriend’ was enough with the initial ‘I’ in place. Something like ‘loved one’ would have forced the solver to check the wordplay because of the ambiguity over the last letter.|
|10||DRAWN (2 defs) – it took me a while to understand the second definition, ‘like a straw?’, but of course it refers to the practice of drawing straws to see who gets the short one.|
|11||AB + SOLVE|
|12||LORE + LEI[sure] – a German siren who lured sailors to their deaths.|
|13||EVIL; rev. of LIVE (= ‘to be’)|
|14||BAR MITZVAH; ARM (= ‘member’) in BIT (= ‘scrap’), + rev. of (V (= ‘against’) + Z (= ‘unknown’)), + AH (= ‘I see it’) – a complex wordplay but again the definition (‘Ceremony’) was sufficient to solve this, given the unusual enumeration (3,7).|
|16||TANKARD; TAN + (DARK)* – what does ‘dark-shaped’ mean?|
|17||APOSTLE; ALE around POST|
|19||HORRENDOUS; (REND + O) in HORUS – the likely ‘-dous’ ending from checking letters made this an easy solve as there as only four ‘common’ English words with that ending; one point for each of the other three (answer below).|
|22||LEVI; (EVIL)* – ‘delivered from evil’ is nice.|
|24,8,3||LIBERTY ENLIGHTENING THE WORLD; (THEN + [eiffe]L + GIRL WITH GREEN BODY LET IN)* – the official title of the Statue of Liberty, which makes this a pretty good anagram; the Eiffel referred to is Gustave who was the designer of the Eiffel Tower. It took me a long time to twig that ‘cousin of 18 23 [The Giant Peach]’ was cryptically indicating The Big Apple (i.e. New York)!|
|25||HEEDING; (HE + E.G.) around DIN – a good job I stopped to check the wordplay here as I’d written in ‘heeling’, as in a dog.|
|26||ELLIS; hidden in ‘well, islander’ – Ellis Island is adjacent to Liberty Island.|
|27||CUB + I + CINCH – very nice wordplay.|
|1||CIGARETTE HOLDER; (HEATER IT) around G[rate], all inside COLDER|
|2||FAUSTIAN; A in AUSTIN, all under F – I really liked this one.|
|4,18,23||JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH; JAM (= ‘preserve’) + (THAT SPEECH AGENDA IN)* – the book by Roald Dahl which contains one of my all-time favourite poems.|
|5||HARLEM; L in HAREM – Harlem is one of the five boroughs of New York, I nearly wrote, but actually it’s part of Manhattan.|
|6||ADORATION; A, + ORATION under D[irector]|
|7||PAVLOV; P (= ‘Parking’) + A + rev. of VOLV[o] – another wordplay that I struggled to grasp. The physiologist is Ivan Pavlov, noted for making dogs salivate by ringing bells, having done that with every time they ate for a while (something like that anyway, I’m sure a scientist will correct me).|
|15||SAGEBRUSH; G in (BASE)*, + RUSH (= ‘grass’) – I rushed into the non-existent ‘sagebrass’ here, having seen (BASE GRASS)* as a possibility. This was pretty stupid, firstly because I’d heard of sagebrush and should have seen it and secondly because ‘Plant beginning to grow inside’ is a pretty unlikely definition.|
|17||ABU DHABI; HABI[t] after A BUD – ‘New Delhi’ was my first thought here.|
|20||RIBALD; [t]RI[o] + BALD|
|21||DRY ICE; RY (= railway = ‘track’) in DICE (= ‘rollers’) – very good clue.|
The other three words ending in -dous (highlight to view): hazardous, stupendous and tremendous.