Posted by rightback on November 7th, 2009
Solving time: 14 mins, about half of which on 7dn (TOMATO PUREE) and 10ac (GROOM).
I enjoyed this as much as any Guardian puzzle of recent times. The highlight is probably the remarkable clue at 20/6dn based on the Shakesperian quote at 14/16/19dn from Romeo and Juliet but I loved several others too, although a pair in the top right nearly beat me.
Music of the day: I couldn’t find any ‘grebo’ (7ac) that I liked, I’m afraid, nor anything referencing tomato purée, so here’s Chocolate (6dn) by Snow Patrol.
* = anagram, “X” = sounds like ‘X’.
|1||REPACK; rev. of CAPER (= ‘bound’) + K (= 1000 = ‘grand’) – I don’t think I previously knew that ‘caper’ meaning ‘to leap about’ came from the Latin caper, a goat (the same root as Capricorn, ‘horned goat’).|
|4||SOLICIT; SO (= ‘Hence’) + LICIT (= legal = 5dn, hence ‘5’)|
|9||FORTY-FIVE; (OVER FIFTY)* – I thought this clue was brilliant.|
|10||GROOM (2 defs) – I couldn’t see this until the ‘M’ was in place.|
|11||GREBO; rev. of BERG + O – a new word to me, meaning a heavy metal or grunge devotee. I do remember the band Pop Will Eat Itself although not their songs Oh Grebo I think I love you and Grebo Guru. Topically this band was colloquially known as ‘The Poppies’, although I doubt that was on Paul’s mind when he wrote the puzzle. Having said that, I’ve just discovered that ’45 RPM’ (9ac in this puzzle being FORTY-FIVE) was a 2004 hit for the punk band Poppyfields so maybe this is a very well-hidden theme!|
|12||CANAL BOAT; CAN + (TO A LAB)*|
|15||MISLAY (1 def, 1 jokey def) – the jokey definition being ‘Producing square eggs, might you’. I suppose the question mark really belongs with this part as well.|
|17,13||ORIENT (= ‘E’) + EXPRESS (= ‘say’) – excellent wordplay.|
|19||SUCCEED; “SUCK SEED” – ho ho.|
|22||TRICOLOUR; “TRICKLER” – fantastically terrible homophone (21 refers to 21dn, ‘stream’, i.e. something that trickles).|
|24||SACRA; rev. of AS + rev. of ARC – two separate reversal indicators here, ‘turning’ and ‘back’.|
|27||POOTERISH; POORISH around T[h]E – Charles Pooter was the main character in Diary of a Nobody. His
|28||MASSEUR; MASS + EUR[o]|
|29||S + TUBBY (= ‘obese’ = 23dn)|
|1||REFUGEE; (FREE)* around [h]UGE|
|3||CEYLONESE; (ONLY)* in C[h]EESE (= ‘Leicester, say, less hot’) – very good surface reading.|
|4||STERNUM; UM (= ‘I’m still deciding’) under STERN (= ‘back’) – a hyphen requires to be ignored here.|
|5,26||LEGAL EAGLE; LEG (= ‘on’, in cricket) + ALE (= ‘beer’) + (LAGE[r])* – it’s a good job I guessed the answer here because the wordplay was tricky to unravel.|
|7,2||TOMATO PUREE – this was the one that stumped me. The wordplay is brilliant: ATOP (= ‘on’) + URE (= ‘river’), all inside TOME (= ‘book’). It was this last part that led me to the answer, but only after I’d spent plenty of time looking for a famous book to fit the whole phrase. Doubt over GREBO at 11ac didn’t help, but to be honest probably didn’t hinder either.|
|14,16,19||PARTING IS SUCH SWEET SORROW; (HERO’S + CAPU[l]ET OR WS’S WRITINGS)* – I only dissected the anagram after seeing the answer, which fortunately was a phrase I knew, but it is nonetheless brilliant (referring to Juliet’s family, the Capulets).|
|18||TROOPER; rev. of REPORT around O[ld]|
|20,6||DEATH BY CHOCOLATE – ’14 16′ translantes to ‘Parting is such sweet’ – stunning.|
|21||STREAM (2 defs)|
|23||OBES + [cak]E – ‘Orders’ = OBEs, which looks better with an apostrophe but I can’t quite bring myself to use one for a plural.|
|25||CLIMB; C (= ‘a ton’) + LIMB|